Friday, January 4, 2013

ALEC Says - State AG is Not 4 U or Me

One of the pieces of legislation we will see duplicated across the United States by ALEC members this year will be:
           Attorney General Authority Act

The State Attorney General currently is there to protect YOU AND ME from the abuses of corporations.
Not if ALEC legislators have their way!
ALEC corporations don’t want the Attorney General to protect us - it cuts into their profits when they have to pay up for abuses to the citizens of a state.

So ALEC has introduced the  Attorney General Authority Act
  for ALEC corporate profit sector members - the public would not want this legislation!!!!
  But then, ALEC doesn't care what you or I want or need.

For a little info on the Act – a snip from MinnPost:
ALEC Attorney General Authority Act.

“Just as a private attorney cannot bring a suit on behalf of a client without the client agreeing and authorizing such action, and then only within the guidelines allowed by the client, so it should be with the attorney general. Rather than an attorney general deciding on his or her own what authority the office may have to bring a lawsuit, the authority should be defined by the state as reflected by the specific decisions of the legislature via statute. The legislature, not the attorney general, is best positioned to balance the competing concerns that go into the decision of whether to allow a cause of action and under what circumstances.”
Now in English

In even plainer English: AGs, who are typically the consumer’s lone public advocate these days, may not file suit against, say, a tobacco company, a mortgage fraudster or a national company flaunting state law, unless the legislature passes a bill saying he -- or in our case, she -- can.

So think about it:
    may not file suit against   
    unless the legislature passes a bill saying he -- or in our case, she – can.

And then the next question would be – which current state legislator wrote that legislation?
    The Attorney General Authority Act
    Charlie Ross, Wise Carter Child and Caraway, PA

And this is what was reported about the introduction of "The Attorney General Authority Act" at the ALEC meeting (my emphasis):
OVERBY: Yeah, one proposal is called the ALEC Attorney General Authority Act. And to really boil it down, it would give state legislatures more power to tell attorneys general when they can and cannot file lawsuits. Just for example, it says the attorneys general's client is the state, not necessarily the people of the state.

This bill comes from a law firm in Mississippi. One of the firm's clients is a big utility company, Entergy. And in Mississippi the Democratic attorney general has a three-year lawsuit going against Entergy. His question is whether Entergy manipulated prices and overcharged consumers. So this seems like the kind of case that could be reined in by the ALEC Attorney General Authority Act.

By the way – Entergy was/is an ALEC member. (I personally question if they dumped ALEC.)
Entergy was a"Vice-Chairman" level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $25,000.[5] Entergy was also a sponsor of the Louisiana Welcome Reception at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting.[6]  Entergy, which was a member of ALEC's Civil Justice Task Force as of June 2011, told Walden Asset Management in August 2012 that it did not renew its ALEC membership in 2012.[30]   

By the way
Charlie Ross, Wise Carter Child and Caraway, PA  
was a 2007 ALEC Legislator of the Year - while he was serving in the Mississippi legislature.

Charlie Ross's claim to fame in state politics revolves largely around the credit he takes for passing the many lawsuit restrictions of the past few years.
(aka: tort reform)

Why is this important to know?
ALEC state legislators attend ALEC meetings on CORPORATE scholarships
ALEC state legislators get wined and dined in private by CORPORATIONS at ALEC meetings.
ALEC state legislators attend "educational" sessions funded by CORPORATIONS and with lots of CORPORATIONS represented as panelists or speakers.
ALEC legislators write very little of the “model legislation” pushed across the US by ALEC – it is mostly written by CORPORATIONS or corporate lawyers.
ALEC legislators just go to an ALEC meeting and bring the corporate legislation back to their state and then introduce as if they have written it.
The State Attorney General is currently there to protect YOU AND ME from the abuses of corporations.
ALEC corporations don’t want the Attorney General to protect us.

A What If?
Case in point – what could happen - - - -if your state enacted
ALEC’s Attorney General Authority Act

An example of where ALEC’s Attorney General Authority Act could become a problem for the citizens of a state.

(My emphasis)
SAN FRANCISCO -- California Attorney General Kamala Harris is suing ConocoPhillips and its spinoff, Phillips 66, over underground tanks used to store gasoline at more than 500 gas stations in the state.

Harris alleges the companies have tampered with or disabled leak detection devices and failed to properly inspect and maintain the tanks since November 2006.

Harris accuses the companies of violating state laws intended to protect residents from contaminated groundwater

ConocoPhillips,"Director" level sponsor of 2011 ALEC Annual Conference[16] ($10,000 in 2010)[17][13]
Be handy dandy for Conoco if ALEC’s "Attorney General Authority Act"  had already been introduced and passed in CA.  Because then, legislation would have be written first, before this suit could go forward.  If it happened to be a state where the legislature was dominated by ALEC legislators who had been wined and dined at ALEC meetings  and given scholarships to attend ALEC meetings at posh resorts  – by Conoco – the legislation needed by the state Attorney General probably would not happen.

Would this suit go forward - probably not - if your state had ALEC’s Attorney General Authority Act.
 contaminated groundwater
for the public - no lawsuit against the polluting ALEC corporate profit sector member.

Wouldn’t happen if California had ALEC’s “Attorney General Authority Act “ and Conoco (and other ALEC corporate profit sector members) know that.

Why do you think Concoco (and other ALEC corporate profit sector members) spend bundles of money on ALEC and ALEC legislators?

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