Saturday, August 4, 2012

Upmeyer (IA-ALEC) Lies for ALEC

"I am an ALEC member because I am interested in solutions, rather than rhetoric."

Right-to-work for less, kill at will, Voter ID, Immigration, Prison labor, Elimination of the minimum wage, Elimination of pay based on comparable worth, defining ecological protestors as terrorists, privatization of government goods and services, legislation that increases fracking, legislation that increases greenhouse gas omissions, legislation that decimates government agencies like the EPA and FDA, elimination of good paying union jobs, gutting employee pension funds,  elimination of consumer rights, promoting the sales of smokeless tobacco with lower taxes, protecting the patent and trademarks of their corporate profit sector members (Genetically modified plants, tobacco packing), opposing and actively fighting the Affordable Healthcare Act, all the ALEC nastiness that drains public tax dollars to fund for profit education members of ALEC.

"Those are not only reasonable priorities, they are noble ones and they are the reason I am a proud member of ALEC."

This one is about an ALEC member trying to write something positive about the nastiness that is known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  The title of the “opinion” piece kinda tells it all – she is so proud of her organization – ALEC – that she doesn’t even put the name in the title.

Anyway – here we go … 

By Linda Upmeyer

At a time when our nation needs to be focused on job creation and a more effective and efficient government, I am thankful there is a place where state legislators are already hard at work. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, brings legislators together to share and develop policies that focus on three priorities:

l Promoting legislation that creates a more transparent, accountable government.

l Supporting policies that place a priority on free enterprise and consumer choice.

l Advancing tax policies that are fair and simple and spur competitiveness.

Linda, Linda, Linda– you forgot about the piece where the corporations write and then bring in about 90% of the “model” legislation that is introduced at your meetings.

You want clear and transparent government – practice what you preach – let’s see clear and transparent reporting by ALEC – ALL past and present ALEC members – legislative and corporate – ALL ALEC “model” legislation that is proposed – has the ALEC logo on the top of the page.

Consumer choice?  Really???? – but according to ALEC ‘model” legislation – consumers are NOT allowed redress against corporations that cause them harm (your tort reform stuff – remember those???)

Your last point about spurring competitiveness – now let’s see -  is that for your constituents, the farmers in Iowa, the resort owners in Iowa, the daycare centers in Iowa  ...     – they should be competitive with whom on a national level? 
Oh, yeh – how stupid of me, you're talking about ALEC corporate profit sector members with that bullet point.

It is certainly reasonable that we demand our government to be more accountable. It is reasonable that we work to eliminate job-killing red tape and focus more on helping small businesses grow.
Small businesses do not belong to ALEC – they can’t afford the dues!!!!

It is also reasonable that we work to reduce taxes so that individuals save more of their earnings and job-creators have more to invest and grow our economy.
And how has ALEC done this historically???  reduce taxes for individuals?????
You have not!!! 
The only focus that ALEC has is on creating more profit for their corporate members.  Can you name ALEC “model” legislation that gave the public a tax break
– hell no
Grover Norquist’s  Americans for Tax Reform is a member  is a member of ALEC and he only writes tax legislation for the “job-creators” (hah!), the 1%.

Those are not only reasonable priorities, they are noble ones and they are the reason I am a proud member of ALEC. Unfortunately, there are some well-funded special interests groups that disagree with the Jeffersonian principles of ALEC. These special interest groups have a very cynical perspective of the hard work of those they disagree with, and they are determined to silence ALEC’S free-market, limited-government message.
I’m afraid Jefferson would NOT agree with you - in fact I think Jefferson would be cheering on those "special interest groups" on - telling them Destroy ALEC, Destroy ALEC.
In fact when I did a review of all the ALEC literature that I could find, over a 1,000 pieces – you barely mention Jefferson in your literature.  I really wish you folks would quit throwing that mantra around.

“I hope we shall crush… in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."  Thomas Jefferson

Linda – you should probably watch this Thom Hartmann video about your esteemed Jefferson.
I don't think he would like ALEC very much.
Jeffersons Three Greatest Fears

And as for the special interests groups – they ARE USING THE FREE MARKET concept you folks so dearly love – so shut up!

The campaign against ALEC was at first a distraction, then a disappointment and now a disgrace. ALEC operates no differently than other national organizations that bring policymakers together to share ideas. Meetings are held each year around the country with thousands of elected officials (both Republicans and Democrats) and members of the private sector. This is not unique, and hardly demonstrates a “shadowy” organization. ALEC is being targeted purely because its opponents do not agree with its goal of a smaller and smarter government.
The only thing that is a disgrace is that the public was not able to bring ALEC nastiness into the light 20 years ago – and because of that ALEC is a “shadowy” organization with a history of deception and secretiveness – admit it – even now most of the members don’t acknowledge their membership anywhere!

The fact that “Private” profit sector members of ALEC bring in pre-written legislation that they want passed at the ALEC meeting and then is promulgated across the US by ALEC legislators is indeed unique – NO OTHER organization does that!!!!

In addition to ALEC, the Iowa Legislature is also a member of the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Each of these organizations is supported by similar contributors. The organizations all make recommendations and craft model legislation. They are resources for information and provide opportunities to learn about successes and failures in other states.
NOPE – they are NOT!

Linda, Linda, Linda - Oh, Linda - you have to start paying attention in class.
In ALEC's own words - from the brochure at the ALEC Annual meeting from last week:
The Task Forces act as a public policy laboratories where model legislation and policies are discussed and approved by both the public and private sector members for dissemination to legislators and policymakers across the country.  ALEC is the only state legislation organization that adopts policies and creates model legislation for its members to use in their states.
Look Linda - Lookie - - - - - -

Stolen from the VA Progress webpage

The other organizations may be “supported” by the same organizations – BUT THEY DO NOT – repeat DO NOT let those same organizations write and introduce legislation at the meetings!!!!!
Linda, you know that – why do you even insinuate that there is a sameness between the other organizations and ALEC nastiness.

“Private” profit sector members DO NOT bring  pre-written legislation that they want passed to any of the other organizations!!!!
Every idea brought to the Iowa Legislature must be vetted through the rigorous committee process and a majority consensus must be reached before becoming law.
REALLY????  Vetted by who?  The ALEC Board of Directors?
When you bring it to Iowa does it have the ALEC logo at the top of the page – so other legislators know where the “model” legislation came from????
NOPE – didn’t think so.

It is a shame that some would choose to vilify those working to move our country forward. Legislators should be talking to each other about policies that would help grow our economy. If they want to be effective, they also need to be talking to the businesses and individuals who are affected by those policies — people just like you and your neighbors. This is a responsible process, and one that fosters innovation.
Moving the country forward - toward fascism maybe.
No – what is truly a shame is that you will spend multiple days every year – sitting in private meetings with corporate lobbyist – who bring pre-written legislation to you for your dissemination and YOUR CONSTITUENTS get one town hall once in awhile at your convenience.

This is not a reasonable process – it does not foster innovation!
It is a corporate driven process that fosters increased corporate profits at the expense of the American people.


Most important, I am a member of ALEC because I want to be equipped with the best and most timely information to implement policies that will create jobs and provide economic certainty for my constituents and all Iowans.
Could you please explain how ALEC creates jobs?
That is a bunch of crap and you know it!
America has yet to see ANY right wing politician seriously talk about a jobs bill – all the right wingers have done is destroy good paying jobs in the public sector – if I remember correctly 600,000 public sector jobs have been lost because of the right wing!

I remembered correctly.

The public sector, comprised of federal, state, and local government employees, has now cut more than 680,000 jobs since 2009, the worst three-year period on record. Without those public sector cuts, the unemployment rate would be a full-point lower.
Don’t go there – just don’t go there.

Iowa – an ALEC right to work for less state – that economic security that I’m sure every Iowan making less than a living wage is grateful for.

While critics will no doubt continue their attempts to tear down efforts of the organization, the members of ALEC will remain focused on the same principles of limited government and individual liberty that our great nation was built upon. I believe we need more cooperation and teamwork in finding solutions, not less.
God I hope not –
If my wish before I die were to be fulfilled – ALEC will die a timely death before I do.

Linda Upmeyer, R-Garner, is the Iowa House majority leader. She is a cardiology nurse practitioner who was first elected to the Legislature in 2002. Comments:

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