Friday, November 30, 2012

This Weekend - Moyers to Rebroadcast US of ALEC

Just announced this afternoon  11/30/12

This weekend, Moyers & Company will rebroadcast our episode “United States of ALEC.”

Have a TV
Educate others on ALEC

Fidn the channel and time near you -
Just enter your zip code and follow the prompts!!!

Public Safety Workers - ALEC's Next Target????

It is important to note – first and foremost – who wrote the article that I found this morning.

Jason Mercier is Director of the Center for Government Reform at Washington Policy Center. He serves on the Executive Committee of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force and is the private sector chairman of ALEC’s Fiscal Federalism Working Group.
It is also important to note the publish date of this article is November 29th .
ALEC’s Summit is being held in DC, Nov 28 - 30.
   This article was published in Washington State.
   Mercier is most likely – almost positively – in attendance at the ALEC conference
        when this article was released - attending the ALEC Summit in DC.
Which could lead one to believe that this was a topic of concern at the ALEC Summit in DC and Mercier published it in Washington state to get it published - without connecting it to the ALEC Summit in DC.

I can envision him and his white ALEC cronies sitting around - smoking expensive cigars and drinking fine liquors at a lobbyist funded hospitality hour in DC - talking about how they can start to spread this new “fiscal” message.

Average Pensions for State Patrol, Law Enforcement and Firefighters More Than Twice State Public Employee Average

In the article he notes this:
For future pension benefits, Washington should transition to a defined-contribution plan, similar to a 401(k), for new hires. These plans are now common in the private sector because they provide a retirement benefit for employees while helping companies accurately project future pension costs.

An ALEC report also released on November 29th on their webpage notes:
ALEC Model Legislation
Defined Contribution Act
The defined-benefit model of retirement benefits for state and municipal employees is not fiscally sustainable. The ALEC Defined Contribution Act requires the legislature to direct the state retirement board to create and maintain a defined- contribution program in which all state and municipal employees will be automatically enrolled.

As I noted in last night's blog entry about ALEC new "Shiny Baubles" report
           2. Protecting Workers’ Retirements
          This section starts with this right wing lie
          Because lawmakers have overpromised and underfunded
          pensions for state employees, states are now facing trillions
          of dollars in underfunded pension costs and worker
          retirements have been put at risk.
          There was no “overpromising”!!!!!!  There were negotiated contracts!
          It was the guys on Wall Street that screwed the pension funds.
          Put the blame where it really belongs – WALL STREET.
          Their solution:
                     Ditch pensions and use 401k plans.

There are no coincidences when it comes to ALEC.

Coincidence that the topic of this article is specifically public safety workers?
There are no coincidences when it comes to ALEC.

Coincidence that this article was published during the ALEC Summit in DC?
There are no coincidences when it comes to ALEC.

Coincidence that this article was released the same day the ALEC new report was released?
There are no coincidences when it comes to ALEC.

Coincidence that this article almost exactly mimics the report by ALEC published on the same day?
There are no coincidences when it comes to ALEC.

Again I ask:
Coincidence -  that the topic of this article is specifically -  public safety workers?
There are no coincidences when it comes to ALEC.

Teachers unions move over - 
ALEC has a new union to eviscerate 
Make room for your new company in the ALEC anti-union hellhole:
           State Patrol, Law Enforcement and Firefighters

ALEC's Brand NEW "Shiny Baubles" Report

Ten days after I wrote this, ALEC finally did a press release on it - fortunately their press release is as bad as the report - "  ALEC Unveils Legislative Priorities for 2013".  Evidently ALEC thinks their "legislative priorities" for 2013 are a big deal - but it's just more of the same - more of the same old, same old."

Here we go  - - - - -
This is a tale of trying to fool  the American people by putting shiny baubles in front of them and hoping they think it is pretty.

ALEC is in DC right now and if you look at the agendas for the meeting one of the things they are doing is “sunshining’ their legislation.  This means they are looking at it to determine which legislation they should continue to keep and which ones are outdated.  The real purpose is probably to weed out the racist, misogynist, classist “model” legislation - so they can replace it with the exact same legislation but with more covert language.
– they do that on a regular basis
– you should see some of their legislation from the 80's and early 90's (disgusting, really disgusting) 

Well anyway – they dropped a brand new report on their webpage tonight.
Took their same old crap – put a shiny new cover on it.
Kinda like re-gifting – but in a really disgusting kind of way.

ALEC 2013: Jobs, Innovation, and Opportunity In the States

The American Legislative Exchange Council is getting kinda pissy about people looking at their materials and commenting on them – so I'll be using fewer snips in this opinion piece.

Here’s ALEC’s gift to you 
– published tonight
– right after their holiday gala was held at the Hyatt in Washington DC tonight.

ALEC releases its plan for Jobs, Innovation, and Opportunity.
Model legislation is available at
Of course it is – and it is probably pro-corporate legislation!
I couldn’t find it! 
Must be hidden on one of those secretive pages – just for ALEC members.

And their plan (part of it):
1. Limiting Taxes and the Growth of Big Government
The very first thing – the very first chapter and it ends like this
Finally, legislators should establish a Council on Efficient Government to determine which programs currently being run by the government could be competitively bid out to the private sector.

2. Protecting Workers’ Retirements
This section starts with this right wing lie
Because lawmakers have overpromised and underfunded pensions for state employees, states are now facing trillions of dollars in underfunded pension costs and worker retirements have been put at risk.
There was no “overpromising”!!!!!!  There were negotiated contracts!
It was the guys on Wall Street that screwed the pension funds.
Put the blame where it really belongs – WALL STREET.
Their solution:
         Ditch pensions and use 401k plans.

3. Harnessing America’s Energy Resources and Reducing Costs
It is imperative that states repeal costly renewable energy mandates in order to ensure affordable and reliable energy.

States should eliminate expensive renewable energy mandates that harm consumers and job creation.
God forbid the United States should stray away from the fossil fuel Corporate Profit Sector members of ALEC for energy.

4. Cutting Red Tape and Eliminating Unnecessary Regulations
Cost of Regulations is Hurting Businesses and Destroying Jobs

tax code, health care regulations, and environmental regulations –
Boo Hoo! For the ALEC Corporate Profit Sector members.
That’s the cost of doing business.
If corporations didn't destroy the environment and maim or kill people with your products and services – we wouldn’t have to regulate you!!

5. Economic Opportunity
The ALEC Occupational Licensing Relief and Job Creation Act ensures that an individual may pursue lawful occupation free from unnecessary occupational regulations.
This one has always slayed me.  Think about it folks – something, somewhere happened that caused licensures to be REQUIRED.  But good old ALEC doesn’t bother to take that into consider.  Probably because licensure mean a more knowledgeable workforce – which requires (morally) higher wages and god forbid the organization that wants to eliminate the minimum wage would want people to earn more because they were licensed to do their job.  This also is applicable since ALEC wants anyone that wants to teach to be able to do so – without licensure.

6. Harnessing Innovation
contradictory rules and proceedings by each of the fifty state public utility commissions threaten Internet-based services such as video calling.
ALEC VOIP Profit Sector Members really want the public to be stupid enough to let regulations on internet based products be de-regulated.  The general public is choosing to stay ignorant on this - but others are writing about it - trying to educate the public.

7. Improving Education
The ALEC Education Savings Account Act allows parents to use funds that would have been allocated to their child at their resident school district for an education program of the parents’ choosing.    including private school tuition, online education, certified private tutors,   

program that provides high school students with access to online learning options regardless of where the student lives.     focusing on student mastery of subjects at their own pace and own time, instead of the traditional seat-time learning requirements.
Yep gotta get rid of those classrooms and those damn teachers that steal public tax dollars away from the ALEC Profit Sector Members.
ALEC Corporate Profit Sector members deserve those tax dollars!!!!

8. Increasing Access to Health Care and Controlling Costs
The ALEC Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act protects the rights of patients to pay directly for medical services, and prohibits penalties levied on patients for failing to purchase health insurance.
Still trying to kill Obamacare.

9. Preventing Lawsuit Abuse
Trial lawyers and others have found ways to, at times, profit off our nation’s broken legal system at the expense of small businesses and job creators.
Oh, god – the tort reform crap – can’t you guys find something new to talk about.
Those damn trial lawyers – trying to protect the consumer.  I’ve written ad nauseam about ALEC’s hate for trial lawyers and trial lawyers have now gotten smart and have their own web pages about the nastiness of ALEC tort reform.  Take Justice Back –Corporations are Stealing From You
With few proof requirements and lenient standards for claims, consumer protection acts are being used to punish law-abiding businesses.
Yeh – those dumb people who sit on juries, listening to all that evidence and then making unwarranted awards  - that hurt those poor ALEC Corporate Profit Sector Members for maiming or killing people with their products.
ALEC’s model Product Liability Act would develop a variety of commonsense reforms in state product liability statutes to ensure, for example, that a lawsuit against a product manufacturer is brought against the manufacturer of the product that actually caused the injuries.
Good luck trying to sue that company in China that made your hip implant!
Good like trying to sue the company in Bangladesh that made the parts for your knee replacement.
Good luck trying to sue that pharmaceutical compounding company in Ireland that caused the death of your family member.

This book contains information on 25 pieces of model legislation in the following nine subject areas:
It includes summaries of the legislation.
One paragraph - with misleading verbiage of the "possiblities" of the legislation.
It's not until you actually read the legislation that you see how horrendous it is.
One of ALEC’s misleading statements that they will feed to the press – another ALEC LIE by ommission.

Oh - but they do tell you:

For questions about model legislation contact Briana Mulder at
Good luck with that – if you aren’t a dues paying ALEC member!!!

The Moral of the Story
When I was working on this entry I was brought back to a holiday party almost 50 years ago (that is important).

I was raised on a farm. There was a rule at our house - the house is the house, the barn is the barn. The underlying rule was that the two did not co-mingle.

Anyway - back 50 years - A bunch of us stupid, dirt poor, farmers (and the kids) got together to celebrate the holidays and one of the farmers had taken some dried up cow pies and coated them with varnish and gave one to each family at the party - as a prank gift.

When we got home my dad brought the varnished cow pie into the house and my Mom went ballistic and yelled at my Dad “GET THAT OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!! It doesn’t matter if it's all nice and shiny – it is still cow shit.”
And that is the moral of the story.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

ALEC Mtg Today - Fiscal Cliff Manipulation

Today while you are busting your butt to make ends meet and trying to figure out how you are going to make it ‘til payday – know that at the secretive, private ALEC meeting today – at 5pm, the Tax and Fiscal Task Force will be revising (note it is a revision - this ALEC resolution has been around for awhile) this ALEC resolution:

Resolution Urging Congress to Permanently Extend the Bush Tax Cuts*
This resolution encourages Congress to permanently extend the Bush Tax Cuts of 2001 and 2003. [Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.] Allowing these tax cuts to expire will undoubtedly slow the growth of the U.S. economy, and further harm America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.  

This should be a sign to all of us that the ALEC legislative members have no concern for the majority of their constituents
      - they serve the corporations and those that own the corporations. 
The very fact that they are ALEC legislative members should make every voter question the ALEC legislators commitment to “the public”.

When you have corporations writing ALEC legislation and resolutions - it's pretty safe to assume that the legislation/resolution will benefit the corporation and those who profit handsomely from the corporations.

And it's important to remember that 96 members of Congress are ALEC-ers.
(And most of them are probably at the secretive ALEC meeting today.)

In Addition
In addition to protecting the top 1%
 – today,  there is another sinister subterfuge happening
behind the closed doors of the secretive ALEC meeting at the Hyatt in Washington DC.

Like the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist’s ALEC member organization - Americans for Tax Reform is a nonprofit.

Today Grover is probably at the ALEC meeting, twisting the arms of state legislators – wielding his power over them in an effort to destroy state government services and “shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

The Center to Protect Patients Rights ($4,189,000, mostly the Koch brothers) and Crossroads GPS ($4,000,000, Karl Rove’s group) contributed 66% of Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform budget in that year.

Americans for Tax Reform is an organization that proudly announces to legislators that if you don’t do what we want you to do – we will make sure you are primaried in the next election.  And I guess when you have Koch and GPS money behind you, the threats may have some substance.

While Norquist and his minions are scaring/threatening ALEC state legislators, behind closed doors, at the secretive meeting of the American Legislative Exchange meeting at the Hyatt in DC, into doing the will of Norquist/Koch/Rove,
   – giving them government killing tax legislation to bring back to their state legislatures,
   – while at the same time giving more and more to the 1%
As citizens we should be at home today spending this time figuring how to get ALEC legislators out of public office - because the actions of ALEC legislators show that they don’t care about the majority of the “public” that they are supposed to be serving.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ALEC - Purveyor of Dubious Statistics and Analysis

As reported by CMD this morning:

The critical report,
Selling Snake Oil to the States: The American Legislative Exchange Council's Flawed Prescriptions for Prosperity,
was published today by the non-partisan non-profit organizations Good Jobs First (GJF) and the Iowa Policy Project (IPP), both of which promote public policy fostering economic opportunity and smart growth for states. 

The report is an in-depth analysis on how ALEC is misleading the public with the information used in their annual report "Rich States, Poor States".  This ALEC report is widely referred to across the web and it misinforms America using dubious statistics and analysis.  This ALEC annual reports has historically been an example of "lies, damned lies and statistics"  - within the last year responsible organizations have stepped forward to point that out to Americans through their thorough analysis of the materials that ALEC distributes.

Read the entire report

Read the CMD article


"Laffer’s analysis fails to examine whether states are able to deliver on their basic duties for their residents -- like maintaining good infrastructure, supporting strong schools and higher education opportunities, or securing public safety."

"states that were rated higher on ALEC's Economic Outlook Ranking in 2007," the first year the ranking was published, "have actually been doing worse economically in the years since, while the less a state conformed with ALEC policies the better off it was."

For Example:
The state the RSPS report ranks as number one for economic outlook and number twelve for economic performance is Utah,
due to its low top marginal corporate and personal income tax rates,
flat tax, lack of estate tax,
low state minimum wage, and
Right to Work law.

But the price of these policies has been high.
Per capita income in Utah has averaged 44th out of 50 states from 2007 to 2011.
Growth in that per capita income ranked 43rd [out of 50 states].
And its poverty rate increased by 39 percent over that time period, the fourth highest increase in the states.

AND YOUR ALEC legislators are in Washington DC
right now!
Listening and believing ALEC lies 
that will destroy your states economy.

The American Legislative Exchange Council serves corporate interests, not the interests of the states, the public or this nation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ALEC Wins Award!!!! Celebrates in DC

American Legislative Exchange Council 
Wins Prestigious Agriculture Award
Celebrates at the ALEC Policy Summit being held in Washington DC

Congratulations are in order for the award announced October 2012

The winners of last year’s “Land of 10,000 Lagoons” awards presented at the World Dairy Expo were the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology (AFACT).  Both AFACT and ALEC had major roles in orchestrating state legislation and manipulating public opinion to the benefit of corporate agribusiness and factory farming in Wisconsin.

For you city kids:
Some of the first lagoons for farm wastes were put into service in North Dakota in 1960. A few of these lagoons are still in operation. They can be used to indicate how such disposal systems can be expected to perform in the kind of climate found in North Dakota.

The first lagoons installed were designed to receive all solid and liquid wastes from livestock buildings. Most systems were used in hog production facilities. In many of the systems the building floors were cleaned with water so the wastes were diluted before they entered the lagoon. In other systems wastes were collected under slatted floors before they were drained into the lagoons. In SOlne barns the wastes were conveyed through gutters by mechanical gutter cleaners. In the latter two systems wastes in the lagoons were undiluted. Some lagoons received wastes on alternate days. In other cases intervals between loadings ranged up to several weeks.

(It’s a pit where you put manure – and let it liquefy.)

Hundreds of gases are emitted bylagoons and the irrigation pivots associated with sprayfields, including ammonia (a toxic form of nitrogen), hydrogen sulfide, and methane. The accumulation of gases formed in the process of breaking down animal waste is toxic, oxygen consuming, and potentially explosive, and farm workers' exposure to lagoon gases has even caused deaths.

Oh – yeh – THAT’s ALEC