Sunday, November 4, 2012

ALEC Scholarships - Not Just for Legislators

A little history about ALEC scholarships
The scholarships funded by big business to help your state legislator go to ALEC meetings at luxury hotels and posh resorts.  Scholarships that allow corporate lobbyists close door access to your legislator – out side the public view in secret meetings.

Here are some snips from ALEC document – my emphasis throughout.

1989 Wyoming Private Sector Chair asking for money from RJR
ALEC activities in Wyoming have provided the opportunity for constant communication with legislators which has been most helpful in pursuing the interests of R . J . Reynolds and the tobacco industry .
Oh – yeh legislative members of the American Legislative Exchange Council from across the US were very good to the tobacco companies trying to fight implementation of smoking bans!

1996 Joint Board Meeting
Section 10 .03 Duties. State Chairmen duties shall include recruiting new members, working to ensure introduction of model legislation, suggesting task force membership, establishing state steering committees, planning issue events, and working with the Private Enterprise State Chairman to raise and oversee expenditures of legislative scholarship funds.

Section 10 .07 State Scholarship Accounts . All funds for ALEC State Scholarship Accounts shall be deposited in accounts designated by the ALEC Board of Directors. State Chairmen are prohibited from establishing, maintaining, or utilizing any other such accounts for ALEC purposes . Violation of this section shall constitute grounds for : (1) immediate removal from a leadership position, and (2) dismissal from membership in accordance with these bylaws .
It’s a good thing that they deposited that money in accounts that were designated by the ALEC Board of Directors.

In 1996 – ALEC was in financial trouble and they were raiding the scholarship funds for general operations and in 1997 the following statement was made in the minutes of a joint board meeting
In addition, ALEC will attempt to repay $200,000 during the year to the state scholarship account that will be due as of December 31, 1997 .

2004 Financial Statement – Summary of Accounting Policies
Legislator member dues received in advance are deferred until the appropriate membership period and reported as deferred member dues. Scholarships received on behalf of State Legislators in agency transactions are reported as scholarship funds. Scholarships are payable, upon approval by the relevant State Chairman, to State Legislators to reimburse them for travel expenses incurred attending Al.EC meetings

Why is this background important?
Well I have been looking at the documents that were released by CMD – the Report on ALEC Junkets and I found some interesting people who were reimbursed from the ALEC scholarship funds.
From the CMD report
The scheme works like this: ALEC state chairs (hand-picked legislators and private-sector members) solicit corporate money that goes into a “Scholarship Fund” that is then used to pay for lawmakers’ trips. Records show that ALEC legislators know who’s paying their way—some state leaders even urge lawmakers to send thank-you notes to their patrons— but everyone else is kept in the dark.

ALEC claims to the IRS that it does not have to report the money spent on elected officials because it is just holding the funds “in trust” for lawmakers. But at the same time, it promises corporate donors that they can get a tax write-off for their donations.

Below is a list of people who received reimbursement out of the “State Scholarship Funds” as noted by State. 

The scholarship funds ALEC State Chairs beg from big business, on behalf of state legislators – payable to State Legislators.
I went onto Google and entered some names that had been reimbursed form the STATE LEGISLTOR SCHOLARHIP FUND that I was not familiar with and this is what I found:

Ann Cornwell
Director, AR Senate/Secretary of the Senate at Arkansas Senate
Laura Elliott
Director of State Programs for the American Legislative Exchange Council
general counsel for the Republican Party of Arkansas

Sharon Jarnagin
Admin. Asst. Arizona Legislative Computer Services

Diane DeVore
wife of Chuck
Janice Keene
wife of Richard
Pete Hernandez
Appointed 2012 judgeships in the Los Angeles County Superior Court  was a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1995 to 1998.
Cheryl McLachlan
Cheryl Mclachlan - Scheduler for Senator Jean Fulton
Christina Villines
wife of Michael Villines Past Assembly member

Rick Gowdy
former Deputy Director of Membership Development at the American Legislative Exchange Council

Joseph Anson
Lobbyist for Bayer
Kevin Mullin
Principal Commercial Operator at Statoil Marketing & Trading (US) Inc.

Nothing for a legislator  in GA with this name - there is a listing for a SUNY Law Professor - not in any ALEC docs though

Secretary to Renee Kosel
Secretary to Renee Kosel
J B Meier
Legislative Assistant at Illinois House of Representatives Past Customer Service/Teller Trainer/Teller at The Farmers State Bank and Trust Co.

William Carmichael is the President and CEO of the for-profit bail-bond industry group the American Bail Coalition as well as the bail-bond corporation, the American Surety Company.

Mike Morgan
Murray is President of Topeka lobbying firm Capitol Advantage LLC (2010-present). Prior to that, he directed the Governmental Affairs departments for Sprint (1996-2006) and Embarq (2006-2010).

Debbie Newman
Assistant to the Jay Dardenne Lt. Governor/Scheduling Requests
Rubye Noble
Rubye is the Assistant Parish Attorney and Legislative Liaison for Jefferson Parish,

Trevor Bragdon
Currently AFP-Maine is headed by Trevor Bragdon
Andrew Worcester
Andrew Worcester, Policy Director, Maine Senate Republican Office (2007)  (scholarship) reimbursement was 2007

Mike Birdsong
Bayer Health Lobbyist
Stevens Seale
Newton County Administrator

Marietta Rutledge
Legislative Assistant at Missouri House of Representatives

John Jordison
Director of Government Affairs and Economic Development with Great Plains Communications

John Burns
John F. Burns, JD. serves as Director of Legal Affairs of Ohio University.  (Richard Vedder – ALEC SHOLAR – is a prof at Onio Univeristy.)
Kara Joseph
Assistant to Bill Seitz
Ed Kozelek
VP Government Relations at Time Warner Cable
Director, Government Relations and Public Affairs at Pfizer
Bethany Rhodes
Legislative Aide at The Ohio Senate, Deputy Legal Counsel at the Ohio House of Representatives since 2009
Andrew Thomas
Executive in Residence at the Center for Energy Policy

Greg Platt
Supervisor Structures at BNSF Railway

Jonathan Williams
ALEC hack

William Witherspoon
Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbia

Lisa Falkenbach
Lisa Falkenbach - Executive Administrative Assistant TN Speaker of the House

Carol Castlebury
Speaker's Office staff at Texas House of Representatives
Chief of Staff to Jim Jackson

House Policy Staff
Roman Daniels-Brown
Director of Policy, Deputy Director of Research, Senior Policy Analyst WA House , Now President at Daniels-Brown Public Affairs

Beckett Hinckley
Vice Chair Wyoming Association of Public Charter Schools and Assistant District Attorney at Laramie County
Jody Levin
owns Levin Strategic Resources, a government and public relations firm and Private Sector Chair
a longtime Wyoming lobbyist for Williams Cos.

Scholarships are payable, upon approval by the relevant State Chairman, to State Legislators
Well as you can see – NOT!

The interesting part about his is that ALEC not only pays
Other state officials
Other state staff members
Secretaries/Administrative Assistant/ Schedules
Republican party officials
ALEC employees
ALEC consultants

BUT then you have this – the reimbursement to corporate representatives lobbyists for the money they spend on events at ALEC meetings.  Then they turn around and get reimbursed from STATE scholarships funds paid for by other corporate lobbyists.  AND they probably write it off as an operating expense on their financials.  AND they write off their donation to the scholarship fund (which they then get reimbursed from) from their financials!

Mississippi State Scholarship Fund Reimbursed
Mike Birdsong (Bayer) for $13,470.15
Randal Russell (Bell South)  $6,648.90 and $6,048.99 and $1,599.47 

Virginia State Scholarship Fund Reimbursed
Rick Cornwell (Verizon)    $10,456.09 and $7,230.91
McGuireWoods   $10,715.87

Ohio State Scholarship Fund Reimbursed
Time Warner Cable  $2,093.50
Ed Kozelek of Time Warner  $2,093.50
in back to back reimbursement entries

What other nastiness is out there?
Well there is probably more - cause there is also this reimbursment - which seems a bit excessive to me fromt he Virginia State Scholarhip Fund
VA Delegate Chris Jones   $12,078.00 - one check

Only time will tell.

elect, re-elect or appoint
ALEC members
to any public office
at the city, county, state and federal levels.

No comments:

Post a Comment