Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brien (CT-ALEC) The Disbelief of an ALEC Chief

(My emphasis throughout)
 For some of the state legislators associated with the nastiness known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), their rise to stardom has been at meteor speed  – Cantor, Boehner, McMorris-Rogers, Barbour, DeLay, Cheney   

Some not so much.

Representative Jon D. Brien
Chair, House Municipal Government Committee
Member, House Judiciary Committee
Chair, House Commission to Study Municipal Financial Integrity
Jon D. Brien (Democrat - District 50, Woonsocket)
PUBLIC SERVICE INFO: Elected Representative on November 7, 2006.

An ALEC newbie - presumably  ...  
Brien said he did not become a member of ALEC until 2011, however, and therefore the ALEC-modeled education bill wasn’t introduced while he was involved with the organization.

Less than a year after “joining” ALEC
ALEC State Chair – Rhode Island
Jon D Brien

ONLY Dem on the ALEC Board
Jon D Brien

Got on the ALEC Board in under a year!!!!
 – under what I would consider “shady” auspices.
[April 2012] Brien said he was just named to the group’s “governing body” in the past month. He said he was introduced to ALEC by former Woonsocket lawmaker and majority leader Jerry Martineau, a past state chair of ALEC who served jail time for political corruption for using his position in the General Assembly to curry business favors with CVS and Blue Cross.

CVS and Blue Cross – both ALEC members at the time that Martineau went to jail.
“Jerry and I have always been friends,” Brien said. “I wanted to pick up that mantle.”
Pick up the mantle – eh????
Is that what they call it now?
I think it is probably still called political corruption – but ALEC probably calls it picking up the mantle.

Either this guy was a political genius to get elected to the ALEC Board in less than a year –
Mmmmm    probably not a political genius or giant.
He is probably just another corrupt corporate ALEC legislator,

Oh – and about the lying part

April 2012
While he referred to himself as the “godfather of Voter ID in Rhode Island,” he said he did not use the ALEC  model bill for Voter ID. He said he has never proposed an ALEC model bill in the House but he often proposes legislative issues that are also near and dear to ALEC such as anti-tax bills, education reform efforts and others.

April 2012
Brien has had less success than Blais. In 2010, the Woonsocket Democrat introduced a bill [pdf] related to education that explicitly said it was “patterned after model legislation suggested by the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Alliance for School Choice.”

Jon Brien was so proud of his ALEC roots that he didn’t hide the fact that he was using “copy & paste” legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council corporate bill-mill factory.
LIAR – Same month – I wonder if it was even on the same day.

And it appears he was probably a Republican in sheep’s clothing
Though Brien calls himself a Democrat, in practice he’s one of the most conservative members of the General Assembly. On socially issues he falls to the right of even his Republican colleagues and on fiscal policy he’s simply draconian. He’s both a Catholic, and an Ayn Rand acolyte – a toxic combination to the left.
What is it about the Catholic religion and Rand – are they connected in some kind of really sick way?
Maybe some Rand based Catholicism is preached in the morning at ALEC meetings.

Too bad the Connecticut Democratic Party doesn’t vet their candidates better.
And then there is the issue of the citizens of Connecticut for voting him in as a “Democrat”.

This rising political star even made the New York Times for his ALEC prowess:
It turns out that one of them, Jon Brien, is also on the national board of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Although ALEC is probably best known for its support of the Stand Your Ground law in Florida, the conservative group has a very clear agenda for dealing with state budgets. It wants to shrink them. Although Brien has denied that he is applying the ALEC philosophy to his small city, it looks, in fact, as if that’s exactly what he is doing. It’s not pretty.

And just a month later 
- he was looking for somewhere to the lay the blame for his behavior.
Or was it just another LIE?
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) While Governor Lincoln Chafee has ‘encouraged’ resignations from Economic Development Corporation board members who voted for the 38 Studios loan guarantee, one of his key appointees co-sponsored the bill that made the loan guarantee possible.

Several lawmakers, including one of the other two co-sponsors, tell Target 12 there was no explanation why the measure went from allowing $50 million in loan guarantees to $125 million. The $75 million difference matches the amount of the loan guarantee given to Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios, after the bill was passed in May of 2010.

After Costantino’s pitch, Rep. Joseph Trillo, (D) Warwick, asked why the bill was being rushed.

“Why are we slipping this into the supplemental budget?” Trillo said in April of 2010.

That bill passed the House but stalled in the Senate. It eventually came back as a separate bill and passed both chambers before Governor Don Carcieri signed it into law.

Co-sponsor, Rep. Jon Brien, (D) Woonsocket, told Target 12 he did not know about the 38 Studios deal when his name was added as one of the sponsors.

“I had no idea and looking back, I feel as if I was used,” Brien said.

But his 15 minutes of ALEC political fame may be up   

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a powerful corporate front group that lets Big Business draft legislation to pass in state legislature. Most of its allies are Republicans, but a few are Democrats, too.

Rhode Island state representative Rep. Jon Brien is one of those Democrats. He even serves on ALEC’s board. But Brien received some bad news late yesterday, as a firefighter who challenged him in his Democratic primary defeated him by 50 votes.


According to a local press report, Brien’s reaction at his planned victory party was a little different. He “stared at a placard listing the poll numbers with an expression of grim disbelief.”

Will he now be looking at ALEC and saying:
“I had no idea and looking back, I feel as if I was used,” Brien said.

I wonder which ALEC corporate profit sector members – aka lobbyists are stepping up to the plate to offer this ALEC buttwipe a job.

ONE more ALEC nastiness DOWN – Two Thousand plus ALEC legislators to go.

UPDATE – 10/31/12
Maybe Brien's recent loss to apolitical newcomer, firefighter Stephen Casey, means that Rhode Island voters want to be represented by a real Democrat -- one who pays more attention to the needs of the working men and women of Woonsocket than the corporate sponsors of ALEC and their GOP allies. Come to think of it, Brien is of no use to ALEC as a former state representative. I wonder which position he will be most sorry to lose?


ALEC Legislators
At the state and federal level
They are threat to our democratic representative government.

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