Thursday, June 6, 2013

Congressional Members - Argue ALEC - FINALLY

Definitely not the liberal media.
Happened in Congress
So this is kinda special.

The extremist policies of the American Legislative Exchange Council are now being identified at the Congressional level.

And some of you folks out there were naive enough to believe that ALEC did not have a foothold in our Nation's Capital.
By Megan R. Wilson - 06/05/13 04:12 PM ET

Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson (Ga.) on Wednesday said a regulatory reform bill moving through Congress has “the Koch brothers' fingerprints all on it.”

Johnson drew a connection between political contributions from Koch Industries — the second largest privately traded company in the U.S. — and its nonprofit arm to ALEC and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the latter of which helped research a recent Chamber of Commerce study on sue and settle practices.

 “This is an anti-regulatory bill drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC,” Johnson said during the House Judiciary subcommittee hearing. “The Koch brothers have used ALEC to invest in radical ideas.”

“Passage of this bill would have a dramatic, dastardly impact on air and water quality,” he continued.

The clash came as lawmakers debated the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, which was introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) in April and has 27 co-sponsors, all of whom are Republican.
On several occasions, Collins attempted to interject into the discussion, which Johnson rebuffed. When the two tangled briefly in an exchange about lawmakers being members of an advocacy organization in general, Collins suggested that some could be a part of union-affiliated organizations and offered up the NAACP.

“That’s not ALEC,” Johnson shot back.

Collins then turned to the guest panel and asked Thomas Easterly, the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, if a speech he gave on over-regulation at an ALEC conference last year biased his view of the legislation.
Easterly said he talks to a wide variety of groups, including environmental groups.
Easterly's slides of his ALEC presentation can be found - - - HERE - - third item down.
The Indiana Law Blog has snips from an IndyStar article that is no longer online that includes the following snip:
This time, the criticism of Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Thomas Easterly stems from a presentation he gave in November in Washington, D.C., to policymakers at a conservative lobbying group's forum heavily sponsored by the coal industry.

During his talk, Easterly decried federal air-quality regulations as being overly expensive, impractical and ineffective and said they would all but block the creation of new coal-fired power plants. Environmentalist critics say that during his talk he also appeared to offer pointers on how to sway public opinion, draft legislation and file legal challenges to combat the regulations.
Fortunately Lee Fang at The Nation also did an article on Easterly's ALEC presentation based on a Greenpeace piece which is still online and includes this snip

The files, obtained from an ALEC meeting earlier this month, show Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Tom Easterly presenting his own plan for how to block federal regulations for greenhouse gas emissions.
Finally - our congressional members are starting to see the impact ALEC legislators is having ALEC on the Hill and how "expert witnesses" with ALEC affiliations can color the discussion toward ALEC policy.  ALEC has a specific agenda - and it needs to be public - each and every time.

ALEC Congressional members providing representation of, for and by the ALEC corporate members.

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