Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ALEC - Moving Public Land to Corporations

Of great importance to anyone in the US who enjoys or just appreciates the beauty of the American great outdoors is an article that appeared today at the Center for American Progress.
This article is VERY important in understanding how ALEC members view our public lands.

ALEC members view our public lands as a commodity to be sold or traded to ALEC corporate profit members – becausetheycan.

It is the duty and responsibility of EVERY American to make sure that this rape of public lands by American Legislative Exchange Council members does not occur.

PLEASE – PLEASE – PLEASE read the whole article

Some snips:
seven western states have decided to embark on unconstitutional and quixotic battles attempting to force the federal government to turn millions of acres of public lands over to the states.

Rather than being managed so that all Americans can enjoy them, turning our public lands over to states would result in their management on the whims of governors and state legislatures, who in the West are often quite conservative and tend to ideologically favor limited regulation and private profits. According to one state lands commissioner, these bills would be “catastrophic” to the public lands that Americans know and love.

These state legislative efforts are nothing more than corporate-backed messaging tools that can be traced to conservative front groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, and Americans for Prosperity, as we discuss further below.

As the Associated Press reported, “Lawmakers in Utah and Arizona have said the legislation is endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that advocates conservative ideals, and they expect it to eventually be introduced in other Western states.”

And then there is this:

March 12, 2013

SANTA FE, N.M. - When both houses of the New Mexico Legislature failed to advance bills to transfer public land management from federal to state hands, it meant more than following the words of the U.S. Constitution.

According to Kim McCreery, a regional director and staff scientist at New Mexico Wilderness Alliance in Silver City, passing such legislation would have left the state to wrestle with the high costs of significant management issues.

Kim McCreery said it's more than a lack of cooperation. She said these bills were not based in grassroots concerns. Instead, they appear to be related to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization which produces model legislation to promote conservative ideas.

"If you go back to 1995, there was an ALEC bill called the Sagebrush Rebellion Act," she recalled. "If you look at the current bills, you'll see that a lot of the language is very similar."

Read the whole thing

Leaving "the state to wrestle with high costs of significant management issues"
Proof that ALEC policy is fiscally irresponsible at the state level.
Stupid, irresponsible "model legislation" - by ALEC.

If that isn’t bad enough news.
Let’s consider one more thing

International Relations Task Force
Federal Relations Working Group

Meeting of the
International Relations Task Force
Federal Relations Working Group
States and Nation Policy Summit/Scottsdale, AZ
Friday, December 2, 2011

Some snips of the ALEC “Model Legislation” Reviewed at that meeting:

Disposal and Taxation 1 of Public Lands Act
WHEREAS, in the past, the Federal Government disposed of lands to persons with a logical nexus to the lands, including homestead claims, mining, timber, and grazing claims, the state of {insert state} expects that the United States Congress will do the same with respect to any lands not ceded directly to the state; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Government has an obligation, to present and all future generations, to pay the public debt, yet has demonstrated an inability to reduce the growing national debt even as it continues to worsen at an exponential rate.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of {insert state} strongly urges the Federal Government to use proceeds from the sale of lands not disposed directly to the state only to pay the public debt pursuant to the Congressional Disposal and Taxation of Public Lands Act (December 2011) 5 Resolutions of 1780 and 1790 and the language of the Andrew Jackson 183 veto of the lands bill that sought to use proceeds for some other purpose than this solemn compact obligation over the western public lands.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of {insert state} urges the United States Congress in the most strenuous terms to engage in good faith communication, cooperation, coordination, and consultation with the state of {insert state} regarding those lands wherein the public has developed a reasonable expectation of multiple use that must be disposed of directly to the state.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Congress should only dispose of lands not ceded to the state to persons with a logical nexus to the lands, including homestead claims, mining, timber, and grazing claims.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the United States Department of the Interior, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the members of the congressional delegation of {insert state}, and the Governors, Senate Presidents, and Speakers of the House of the 49 other states.

Resolution Requesting the Obama Administration to Confer and Consult
Therefore be it resolved: The American Legislative Exchange Council requests Congress and the Administration to acknowledge and respect the role of states in a federal constitutional republic.

The United States Congress, which represents the interests of the states individually and collectively, is the appropriate public body to determine management of resources within a state’s borders.

ALEC further calls on Congress and the Administration to commit to greater consultation with the states and to recognize cost-benefit and job-impact analyses must be addressed in order to understand how federal regulations impact states and their respective citizens.

As I have noted in two previous blog entries – here   and   here    
    International Relations Task Force
    Federal Relations Working Group
is a group that consists of “ALEC state legislators” and FOREIGN NATIONALS.
Foreign national working on US policy - outside the purview of the US State Department.

Because of the secretive nature of ALEC meetings – we have no way of knowing which foreign nationals were in attendance at the Friday, December 2, 2011 for the International Relations Task Force and Federal Relations Working Group when the discussions and voting on ALEC “model legislation” relating to AMERICAN PUBLIC LANDS was held.

As noted in an excellent piece of investigative journalism written by Bob Sloan – Voter Legislative Transparency Project.

One major difference ALEC has attempted to bury deeply and not disclose is the involvement of foreign nationals holding elected offices in their governments who also hold full ALEC membership(s) – including the right to a vote [on ALEC “model legislation”].  These [foreign national] individuals help develop US policies, write ALEC resolutions and proposed model bills to be implemented in the United States – and internationally.  They [foreign nationals] cast votes alongside corporate reps and lobbyists and conservative state lawmakers on US state and federal model legislation, formulate resolutions sent out to the President, Congressional members and foreign governments. 

These foreign officials then return to their government posts and lobby on behalf of the same initiatives they helped develop for the US – initiatives being lobbied for by ALEC to their [foreign national] governments using the same resolutions, models or policy demands.

While ALEC would have us all believe these individuals are simply “delegates” or “representatives” from across the pond who share their conservative ideology and sometimes attend and speak on behalf of their respective governments at ALEC’s three annual meetings, seminars and “academies” (20 to 30 per year)…these foreigners are in fact ALEC members in good standing who participate in critical and important US policy development advanced under ALEC’s conservative agenda.

foreign participation in developing US laws and policies –

From a previous blog entry:
“foreign nations are already taking part in establishing U.S. policies related to voting and foreign matters – through ALEC.”

We can add:
“foreign nations are already taking part in establishing U.S. policies related to American public land and the commons of the United States– through ALEC.”

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