Friday, June 14, 2013

ALEC's Newest Shell Game

The following entry was brought to my attention by another analysis of the information that was done on a new webpage -  Resist the Privatization of America ( I strongly suggest you read their article – cause I won’t re-hash what they wrote).

After doing more research I found that most people are just regurgitating the verbatim post from Politico – without even thinking about what in the hell it means - or doesn’t mean.  Like it means something – what, who knows.
I have one main problem with this article from Politico.
I hate it when people don't source key documents like this - gives them power over the information and it keeps the information from everywhere else - which is a huge disservice to everyone.

No source document.  Why not?  Why not share it?  I am really big into sources and without the whole document to review it is very difficult to really know what ALEC’s intent is.  You see – you can read cuts and snips from ALEC crap – but if you are inexperienced with the nastiness of ALEC – you don’t have a damn idea what it all means.

The nonprofit got flak and lost members for its controversial legislative positions. | AP Photo
By ANNA PALMER | 6/13/13 4:31 PM EDT

After originally defending its position, ALEC eventually moved to shutter the controversial committee that handled those issues and refocus its energy on economic policy.

This is not entirely accurate.
As I noted multiple times – they just moved the stuff from the Public Safety and Elections Committee to other task forces.

Republican State Rep. Jerry Madden of Texas chairs the Public Safety Task Force and although he is disappointed the committee is disbanding, he said many of the issues will be transferred to other committees.

"ALEC's decision won't impact the important issues we've worked on," Madden told The Christian Post.
And as Resist the Privatization of America notes – it appears that ALEC has re-instituted the Public Safety and Elections Committee on ALEC’s webpage – which means more gun and voter/election paste/copy legislation from ALEC.

The change comes on the cusp of the group’s 40th anniversary meeting in Chicago in early August.

ALEC’s senior director of policy Michael Bowman sent private-sector members an email Thursday, announcing the unanimous board decision.

Which Board?
The ALEC Corporate Profit Sector Board that they now call and advisory committee?

“This change is intended to preserve and protect the unique and valuable nature of our public-private partnership,” Bowman wrote. “Private-sector members are free to work with legislators to introduce, draft, model policy.”

“preserve and protect”
ALEC is not changing anything – this is just their newest shell game on this issue. 

“Private-sector members are free to work with legislators to introduce, draft, model policy.”

I am the only blog that has repeatedly and consistently referred to the fact that 90% of all ALEC legislation is written by corporations – as can be verified by the documents that were dropped by Common Cause in their IRS case against ALEC.

The shell game that ALEC is proposing is that instead of having the corporation sponsor and introduce the legislation – what they will do is give their corporate written legislation to an ALEC legislator and say, “Please sponsor and introduce this for us.  We can’t be the ones that sponsor and introduce this legislation under the new rules.”

That appears to be the shell game - the corporate lawyers will still write the legislation - the corporate lobbyists will still bring the corporate written legislation to ALEC - but now it will be a state legislator sponsoring it at an ALEC meeting - probably on a 110% paid corporate scholarship from the corporation who wrote the legislation.
If companies or associations already have initiated policy, it will be grandfathered in for the upcoming meeting.
Pro-corporate legislation – authored by corporate lawyers – introduced and sponsored by corporate lobbyists for the past 40 years are “grandfathered”.  This includes their resolutions on Keystone XL Pipeline and the Trans Pacific Partnership.  This includes their NRA gun legislation, their voter legislation, their private prison legislation, their anti-union legislation, their anti public schools legislation, etc. 
A spokesperson for ALEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As Bill Meierling put it just a few months ago:
"We really believe in transparency," ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling told The Huffington Post. "We believe that more eyes on our model policies will create better policies. We are hoping to engage with the public."
Which turned out to be another ALEC LIE.

ALEC has no intention of sharing any information inside ALEC – as exemplified by the disclaimer (reported by PRWatch/ALECExposed) ALEC put it on their documents at the last ALEC meeting in OKC
© 2013 American Legislative Exchange Council. This document is the property of American Legislative Exchange Council (''ALEC"), and may not be copied or distributed without the express written permission of ALEC. Because this is an internal ALEC document ALEC believes it is not subject to disclosure under any state Freedom of Information or Public Records Act. Should you want to make copies, or if you receive a request for disclosure of this or any other ALEC document under your State's Freedom of Information  or Public Records Act, please contact Michael J Bowman, Senior Director, Policy and Strategic Initiatives, ALEC.(202) _________________________

Maybe this is why Politico didn't release the document - but I don't think so,.

Think about it folks!
Really think about it!!!
Corporations have had control of the content of ALEC legislation for almost 40 years.  
 Why would they allow that power to be taken away from them?

As reported at CMD/ALECExposed – 98% of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations.
Why – cause that money lets them write legislation.
Why would they allow that power to be taken away from them?

Something fishy is going on here and without access to the source document – it is really hard to tell you exactly what it is that ALEC has planned.

But I do know one thing.
The American Legislative Exchange Council is an extremist, pro-corporate, ultra-conservative right-wing organization and there is nothing in the article from Politico that suggests that there is going to be any fundamental change.

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