Sunday, February 17, 2013

Meet ALEC's New Poobah of PR

There is a very important article in the Madison Cap Times on ALEC tort reform and how it takes away the rights and due process of citizens.  This part of ALEC's tort reform is really scary stuff - and I tried to wade through it's implications in an entry two years ago - but, well, hhmmmmm.... - scared me then - now, when you see what really happens -  it really scares me.

You can read about the disastrous results of the American Legislative Exchange Council's  tort reform in Wisconsin

the interesting thing I found in that article is the new spokesperson for ALEC.
Looks like Kaitlyn Buss moved on – don’t care where she is.

Here he is-
    Communications and Public Affairs
    Bill Meierling
    Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs

Here’s a little bit about their new Senior Director:
Bill Meierling
Senior Director of Public Affairs, American Legislative Exchange Council
In January 2013, Bill Meierling began a new role at the American Legislative Exchange Council, which is the nation’s largest member organization of state elected officials.

Prior to this position, Bill served as Director of Media and Public Relations at United Way Worldwide. 
Previously, Bill held positions at
Senior Account Supervisor Edelman,
This is the company ALEC hired about 9 months ago to whitewash their image. 
Partner at OpinionMakers International,
Advocacy Account Executive The Washington Times, and
Grassroots Coordinator The Leadership Institute.
Google any of these with his name and you get maybe two hits on each, maybe 
Throughout his career, Bill has directed local and national political campaigns in Argentina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the United States.
Good Campaign Director and his name and you get zero hits

2013 ALOC Class - Leaders of Change - National Urban Fellows

And of course - he's a Republican -
Guy is pretty much a ghost before the United Way.
You have to admit – there isn’t much of interest in those snips.

BUT – this bio is a little more interesting.
Grassroots Coordinator  The Leadership Institute 
Bill Meierling got his political start with Congressman Dan Burton (IN-5) where he worked for the House subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness. While with Congressman Burton, he worked specifically on the human rights issues of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dan Burton – ALEC member
Bill's willingness to work on Hispanic issues dates back to 1996 when he first became involved in Arnoldo Aleman's presidential race in Nicaragua where he helped develop a network of contacts in the United States that were supporters of the Aleman campaign.
From the NY Times
Published: December 9, 2003
Former President Arnoldo Alemán, charged with embezzling $100 million during his tenure, 1997 to 2002, was convicted on corruption charges on Sunday and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment.

The American authorities have seized $700,000 that former President Arnoldo Aleman left, who was convicted of money laundering and embezzlement here in 2003, had hidden in American banks. Mr. Aleman said he would appeal the federal court decision from Miami, saying the money belongs to the Nicaraguan government.
In 2002 and 2003, Bill worked for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services  where he dealt with the Hispanic Media for the public affairs department. He  also translated all of Director Ruben King-Shaw's speeches into Spanish.
Funny how the US HHS didn’t show up in the stuff above.
Bet he will use those connecitons while working for ALEC.
Medicare and Medicaid - look out!!
During the 2004 election cycle Bill was able to join Larry Diedrich for Congress  for both the special and general elections where he worked in grassroots  conducting and coordinating GOTV efforts throughout southwest South Dakota.
Larry Diedrich – ALEC Member

Guess he’ll fit right in at ALEC.

Anyway – what’s the new guy got to say?
He’s a funny one – this one.

ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling noted that most of the group’s members are state lawmakers — and that legislators customize ALEC bills to meet the needs of their constituents.
Customize ALEC bills – really?
Is that when you changed two words around, or put a comma where a semi colon was in the original or is that when you change everyone to every one?
 “It’s exciting that ALEC model legislation is having this impact,” Meierling said. “That’s really part and parcel of the American experience, to have citizen activism in government.”
“Citizen activism” is exciting to him.
Guess we need to make sure he gets really excited about the impact of “citizen activism” at the ALEC OKC meeting in May and the Chicago ALEC 40th Birthday party in Chicago in August.

In the press in Kansas
Democrats say bills such as HB 2023, are meant to destroy public-sector unions

ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling said tagging the model bills that way is unfair.

"It presupposes our bills are actually anti-union bills," Meierling said. "They might be pro-growth bills.”
So now, ALEC “right to work for less” is pro-growth?
Pro-growth for ALEC corporate profit sector members bottom line revenue.  
Meierling said he couldn't say exactly how many of the eight bills cited came from ALEC model legislation, but Cara Sullivan, a commerce policy director with the organization, said "some have similarities to ALEC policies we’ve passed.”
Oops – gotta get with the agenda here, Meierling – ALEC is proud of their legislation - all of it, every line of it.
Meierling is going to have to start taking credit for the nastiness known as ALEC “model legislation” and the copy/paste quality of ALEC legislation - that's the intent.  I don't even think that ALEC would suggest that the legislation be modified too much - after all that would piss off the corporate authors/sponsors that wrote the legislation.
Meierling said the fact that some of the bill language has been "researched and vetted" by ALEC committees shouldn’t be viewed as a negative and that the process of drafting model bills is all aboveboard. He invited the Democrats to join ALEC and bring their ideas.
The process is aboveboard?  Really???- which board??? - cause history has shown and proven these secret ALEC meetings - held behind closed doors - with no public input - only ALEC corporate members and pro-corporate ALEC legilative members contributing to the process.

Yeh – you would really like to have some Dem turncoats go over to the dark side – so your bipartisan, nonpartisan ALEC-speak wouldn’t be such a blatantl lie.  Didn't anyone tell you that last year Dems dumped ALEC?

In the press in Texas
ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling dismissed Fisher’s and Williams’ criticisms.

“This is kind of a battle of the Ph.D.’s,” he said. “They believe that raising taxes and larger government is better, and we believe that lowering taxes and creating jobs is better. … We will probably never see eye to eye.”
Nope – we will never see eye to eye.
And yes – it’s easier to “dismiss” criticisms – it’s extremely hard to prove what is wrong (ALEC’s logic) is correct.

And let’s be real here – there is no PhD level discussion at the ALEC level.  PhD level discourse requires the ability to engage in a Socratic and Aristotelian method.  Not even relevant when it comes to ALEC propaganda – they probably can’t spell them, let alone employ them.

In the press in Oklahoma
It's the same process by which Oklahoma legislators have proposed deregulating environmental protection programs and a bill that requires drug testing for people who subscribe to welfare assistance.

“More eyes on a bill makes for better legislation,” said Bill Meierling, the council's senior director of public affairs. “Just because a model policy has been adopted by (the council) doesn't mean that policy is taken at large and pushed upon the people of Oklahoma. Instead, a legislator may find a piece, a ‘whereas clause' in our model policy, and say that makes sense.”
They are letting him talk more than they did Kaitlyn - 
Interesting here how he is admitting ALEC writes legislation – hope he keeps this up – cause he will mess up, slip up – soon.
Yeah, those eyes of the corporate lobbyists – writing, debating and voting on ALEC “model legislation” is important – makes for better legislation - specifically crafted of/by/for ALEC corporate sector members.

And no – ALEC legislators don’t just pick up a “whereas clause” here and there – they copy/paste (plagiarize the whole thing)  - that one of the major reasons they belong to ALEC – the other is the free trips paid by corporate scholarships to posh resorts for them and their families to attend ALEC meetings.

And yes – ALEC “model legislation” is pushed on the people of the United States.

Like I said earlier:
Guess he’ll fit right in at ALEC.

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