Sunday, September 16, 2012

George Allen (VA) - An ALEC Tenther

Before we get to the George Allen speech it is important for readers to understand that ALEC has been at the forefront of the tenther movement for decades.  Their focus is on the states – so the tenther movement is a natural movement for them.  We really have no way of knowing – but I believe the tenther movement, as we know it today, was hatched at an ALEC meeting and has been in incubation at ALEC functions ever since.

As noted in the ALEC 1995 States and Nation magazine:
The Ad Hoc Committee on State Sovereignty is a major force in the movement to restore the proper balance in the federal-state relationship. The Committee is comprised of legislative leaders and private sector members concerned about federal encroachment on state sovereignty. Unfunded, under-funded and funded mandates have skewed state budgets and undermined effective administration of state programs, ALEC's 1995 National Leadership Summit explored state sovereignty, and the Committee helped set the agenda on this important issue. The Committee recently authored Sovereignty of the People and Devolution, which contains model legislation that restores the integrity of the Tenth Amendment and devolves power back to the states and to the people.

"What they're proposing is radical and dangerous and unpatriotic."

Knowing that
It is also important to understand that even though this entry looks at a historical document – it is probably very current.  Why? Because ALEC has continued their tenther movement right up to this day.  And, As I documented two days ago – Allen has been active in ALEC, which can be documented definitively through 2008 and my guess, is he has been hiding that affiliation for the past couple of years – cause he knew he would be asking for your vote this year.

Knowing that
On to
George Allen – ALEC Tenther

It’s sometimes amazing to me the arrogance that members of ALEC display.

In today’s entry – I am going to be introducing you to George Wallace – oops, Allen of “Welcome to American, macaca.”  fame.

Allen is so proud of his affiliation with the nastiness of the American Legislative Exchange Council – that like a past president – he has put his speeches online for all to read.   Unfortunately, it appears that most people have not read the content of the Allen speeches because there is a conspicuous lack of coverage about the speeches in the press.
So my job had been defined for me.

Now we will look his speech given at the ALEC National Leadership Summit: State Sovereignty: The Next American Revolution   May 1995  (This was their fifth National Leadership Summit)

It’s important to remember when reading his speech – that he is with his “buddies” – his “friendlies” – he can say what he really thinks and what he knows they will appreciate what he is saying.

First – he has to acknowledge the dignitaries in the room – I will repeat them so you can be aware of some who were at the ALEC banquet.
Steve Martin – Virginia
Sam Brunelli – ALEC Director
Weren’t many dignitaries in the room.

He goes on to babble about his ALEC-biased interpretations of the work of Mason, Madison, Patrick Henry and Jefferson, noting that these great historical figures
“Appreciate the work being done by ALEC.”
HAH!  They are rolling over in their graves over the destruction ALEC and extremist right-wing organizations like ALEC are doing to the democratic representative government that they established.

He then goes on to pat himself on the back about a federalism conference that he hosted, sponsored by the Republican Governors Associations with 30 Republican governors/elect attended and that many attendees was “unusual”  (his phrase “not your usual”  ..  meeting – I’ll stick with unusual).  The numbers of governors that attended the conference surprised him – scares me to death.

Anyway – Gingrich, Dole and Armey came down to the meeting to help out too. 

He notes that all of them
“worked as co-partners on how we can    restrain the federal government and its reach   
And in 2012 George Allen wants to be part of the US Senate, again.
George Allen in 2012 wants to be part of the US SEnate AND "restrain the federal government and its reach  …"

“In the last two centuries of experience as a self-governing nation, we have witnessed a steady expansion of national government power at the expense of the powers of the states and localities.”

“Again and again, emotional policy issues in these debates tend to obscure  --  or ignore  --  the underlying structural question of what level of government is most appropriate for decisions to be made about things that directly affect citizens’ lives.”
I read that and immediately was taken back to an article written by Bonnie Cooper – ALEC’ 1997 National Chair entitled Heartstings Legislation: We Shouldn’t Make a Law Just because it “Feels Good”.  Her basic premise in that article is that saving Bambi or the environment, paying minim wage, responding to global warming is not justified.  “That EPA mandates to reduce “potential” harm are mostly based on questionable scientific assumptions” (aka junk science). “Lawmakers too often enact laws that favor the group that is the most hysterical.” And "Congress instead grants federal agencies the power to punish almost any behavior that displeases agency officials or gains favorable headlines." She includes this statement in her article:  “The government over-regulates the economy based on antiquated notions that are stirred by the emotions of envy and greed.” 

Similar to an ALEC meeting – these Republican governors slithered into Williamsburg with the intent of overthrowing the government that we now have – becausetheythooughttheycan – and according to Allen
“we were free to focus on these issues without any fear or any trepidation about the principles and the philosophy that undergird our efforts to recapture the prerogatives and ability of the states to be true laboratories of democracy,”
Laboratories of evil, is more like it.
Laboratories to destroy democracy - more like it.

What was their focus?
Law enforcement
Tax Policy
Regulatory Policies
Social Services
Which according to Allen that
“these things can, and should, be done properly at the state level”
I think that today would be a good times to ask the citizens of Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin – living under governor dictatorships – whether or not state control is the best type of control.  Ask the people of those states how often they wished that there had been someone, anyone from the federal government to help them – with even one damn thing – to help them.  Their states are on the brink of f#cking dictatorial disaster because of these damn governors and it’s left up to the people to try and stop the mess.  But according to Allen – everything can “be done properly at the state level”.

On the other hand – if the tenthers have their way – we can all live in 50 little dictatorships and everyone will be happy – everyone, except the people who really want to live in the UNITED States of America.

Allen then goes on to point out the “Williamsburg Resolve” which was the manifesto created at the Republicans governors meeting and his speech reads like he holds up a copy of the ALEC Declaration of Sovereignty for the audience.  (At this point I’m starting to feel like I am in a training program “How to Establish a State Dictatorship:  Six Easy Steps”.) 

Anyway he says reading those documents will resolve the debate about federalism and move to American “constitutional self-government”.

“constitutional self-government”.
An interesting phrase – I wonder if he made it up.

He then goes on to tell the audience how he is instituting his own type of ALEC federalism program in Virginia with the help of Jim Gilmore (whose name can be found in multiple ALEC documents as a speaker after he is elected governor.)

At this point he gets whiny – like a lot of ALEC members, when he states:
“First of all, we, unfortunately, go to court so often that the Attorney General’s office is constantly busy – whether it is the “motor voter” registration law; whether it is the Clean Air Act, whether it is this Ozone Transport Commission, or whether it is edicts from the EPA that are not based on any science, not based on any common sense, and, in fact, not based on any law.

We are in court challenging the basic constitutionality of federal laws that invade the sphere reserved to the States and are in violation of the Tenth Amendment”
You see – these ALEC tenthers are so simple minded that they don’t understand that the atmosphere goes over the entire UNITED States – not just their state.  They are so myopic that they can’t figure out that long haul truckers travel across the UNITED states – not just their state.  And they are so scientifically challenged – that they only believe the elementary edicts that come out ALEC in regards to scientific data and therefore, have no real science based opinions – other than those written by ALEC to increase the revenues of ALEC’s corporate profit sector members.

Antherer point I find interesting in his shrill, is that it appears to be apparent that his staff is doing the job they were elected by the people to do – so that is a reason to promote federalism?

Not understanding the the UNITED states is interdependent and being upset that his staff is doing their jobs.
Weak argument for federalism.

Then he tries to tell a story about federal over-reach in the regards to education.  He goes off on a tirade about “special ed” kids – in his words “a certain type of student”.  Supposedly the feds say that the discipline process for them has to be different (I have no idea) and Allen says – NO WAY! He states at the end of his tirade:
    just because somebody has dyslexia, that usually is not an excuse for beating up a teacher!”
What the …..??????
This is an example of federal over-reach?
Federal over-reach - really????
I think it is his way of doing some type of incitement – that is really sick - and based on what I read a very weak argument for federalism.

His third reason to promote federalism is this:
“Third, our administration is working with members of Congress in support of federal legislation that will reduce the burdens that they impose on the states and reverse the incessant federal intrusion into areas in which we, as state and local officials, are much better able to respond  … “
Let me have my damn dictatorship!

Not only that but  ... 
He ordered his state employees to do “Federal Interference Assessments”.
Documenting the impact of the federal government “interference”
Hmmmmmmmm, I didn’t see that on any campaign slogans – EVER!
I’m not sure this is what the people want their tax money spent on.

Let’s see – at this point he outs others at the ALEC meeting
Sam Nixon
Leo Wardrup
Robert Nelms
Harvey Morgan
Frank Ruff
as supporters of his federalism programs.

Allen supports a “Conference of the States” to restore the power of the States.  He notes that:
“In fact, as far as I am concerned, ALEC has been having “conferences of the States” all these years”

“Specifically, I, as well as you all in ALEC, support the allowance of a three-fourths super-majority of states to initiate amendments to the Constitution without the necessity of calling a constitutional convention or gaining the approval of Congress.
Doesn’t that sound like the overthrow of our government to anyone else?
Doesn’t it bother anyone that these ALEC-ers are making these decisions behind closed doors – their word is god – and not even bothering to check in with the – CITIZENS – of the UNITED States before they go off on their little ALEC federalism sedition tour?

But Allen wants to go further.
“I think that when three-fourths of the States formally resolve that Congress has exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting a statute, I believe that should be sufficient to effect the repeal of that federal statute.
So let me see here – the CITIZENS elect Congress – but “the STATES” (whoever that is) can repeal whatever they want to.
Are they going to bring this potential repeal to the public for a referendum vote, before “the STATE” repeals it?
Representative government???? Not sounding like it!

He believes that these ideas are shared by “most Americans”.
Most Americans are not secessionists.
Most Americans don’t have a sedition bone in their body.
Maybe the anti-democratic Americans that go to ALEC meetings, may share his ideas – but I think he is pushing it to make the generalization that most Americans would support this – especially,if they understood the dictatorial nature of federalism.

He goes on to state that Americans concerns include
“restraints on federal power”
“have awakened to the loss of liberty “ caused by the federal government
Loss of liberty – the only thing I can think of that happened waaay after this – it is the Patriot Act – put into motion by ALEC loving George W Bush – evidently ALEC didn’t make Bush’s federalism manual a coloring book.

It’s interesting that he goes on to say:
“The republican form of government – representative democracy – only works when people are directly involved with their government.”
Overall, I don’t get a sense that the people are involved with this process anywhere – it is “the STATE” that is the decider. Are the people he is talking about ALEC corporate profit members or the Koch brothers?  Corporations are people, my friend.

Grab this quote folks – this is to telling and so incredibly dangerous!!!!
“The founders of our Republic and the framers of our Constitution well understood the ultimate incompatibility of centralized power and republican ideals.  They did not overthrow a monarchy in England only to surrender their liberties to an all-powerful central government on the banks of the Potomac.
“all-powerful central government on the banks of the Potomac
Wow! – he must hate Washington.
First of all, I think he is clearly speaking of “REPUBLICAN ideals”.
And doesn’t this ALEC-er realize that it has taken us 200 years to get here and if there was something inherently wrong with the direction that American was going that we would have figured it out – BEFORE ALEC did.

He then goes on to give the audience their talking points – the way that the audience should instill sympathy and fear in their constituents when talking about federalism – tenther philosophy.
“The average citizen understands that they have little voice when decisions are made in Congress.  They have even less voice when they’re made by a faceless unelected bureaucrat.  And they have virtually no voice when an unelected federal judge makes the decision.”
Boy – I can see the TV ads the Koch brothers will run using that one!!!!!
Let’s get the least informed people on our side (GOP TV and radio listeners) and then we can set up our dictatorships and fascist governments run by ALEC– public and private profit sector members.

That quote made me think of a monologue from one of my favorite movie “The American President”
He is interested in two things and two things only ... making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it ... that ladies and gentlemen is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle aged, middle class, middle income voters who remember with longing an easier time and to preach to them about American values and character.
But in the case of ALEC’s/Allen’s federalism it isn’t about winning elections.
It would about making the voters blame the federal government using a disingenuous campaign of maligning the federal government.

Allen then gets even scarier when he says:
Even if we were willing to trust our liberty to a centralized government – which I do not suggest we do – that just does not make any sense.”

How can one say we just want a national “one size fits all” approach now that we have fifty states?
When you consider the fact there are 50 states – already -  all of them with governments that provide services and goods to the people (until ALEC privatizes that).
When you consider that there are issues that AFFECT ALL 50 states that we NEED a centralized government for.
This type of extremist thinking is not only misleading – but it is tremendously dangerous.

And I am not the only person who thinks so
And this is Virginia in 2012 (my emphasis)
Posted By Stateline | February 9, 2011
Last week, with little fanfare, the Virginia House of Delegates approved a truly radical piece of legislation. It passed a "Repeal Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution which would give the states veto power over any enactment of Congress.


Virginia House Delegate Joseph Morrissey, a Democrat and a former constitutional law professor, responds that the push for the Repeal Amendment in Virginia is a misguided expression of opposition to the federal health care law. Federalism as designed by the founding fathers is alive and well, he says, as evidenced by the myriad challenges to the health care law currently working their way through the court system.

"We don't monkey around with the Constitution lightly, and that's the way the founding fathers designed it," he says. "What they're proposing is radical and dangerous and unpatriotic."

Allen goes on to talk about how they were implementing federalism in Virginia in regard to education, welfare, tax policies, regulation
He was proud that Virginia had their own way of doing things.
It fit his federalist philosophy.
“These are just a few of the ideas that work here in Virginia.  They may not work in other States and vice versa.”

 “We are doing all of that in Virginia and so much more.  What they may want to do in Minnesota, or Iowa, or some other state is up to them, but we in Virginia know what we want to and can do.
That is what federalism allows.  Federalism allows for experimentation.  Federalism allows for new ideas.

“The negative impact of this [federal government] ‘one size fits all” approach causes problems -- which I call atrophy.

“Now is the time to roll back the many decades of incessant grabbing and usurpation by the federal government of our rights and out ability to charter our own course.

“I commend ALEC for recognizing this”

50 states, 50 governments, 50 sets of regulations, 50 currencies, 50 ....   
And that is the scariest part of this speech.

Virginia – what ya gonna do with this ALEC-er???

It would be horrible to send him to DC
To “all-powerful central government on the banks of the Potomac" he hates so much.
To the “centralized government” that he hates so much 
To the  government that “incessant grabbing and usurpation by the federal government of our rights” that he hates so much

When he is not “willing to trust our liberty to a centralized government”

"What they're proposing is radical and dangerous and unpatriotic."

WE must make sure that
all ALEC members are NOT
elected or re-elected
to the state and federal governments.

One voice – One vote

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