Sunday, June 9, 2013

Think About It - What if ALEC Never Existed

Think about it –
How different would our political environment be if ALEC had never existed?
Think about it.

Think about it –
How different would out political environment be if ALEC had not existed , had not had access to top policy leaders and had not provided a venue for multi-national companies to interfere with our government for the past 40 years?

Think about it –
The ALEC Business Policy Board met on July 7,1983- Following the meeting, Business Policy Board members joined the ALEC Board of Directors for a dinner cruise down the Potomac on the IS.S.S. Sequoia, the Presidential yacht.

Think about it –
As reported in a piece of ALEC literature:
          Rumsfeld Extols Free Enterprise System at ALEC conference.
at the 1982 May  “Health Care and the States” conference

The theme of Mr. Runmsfeld’s speech centered on the need for preserving our free enterprise system and creating an environment in the United Sates which is supportive of business activity.
At that time Rumsfeld was the President and CEO of G D Searle & Company.
At that time Rumsfeld was the Chairman of ALEC’s newly appointed Business Policy Board.
ALEC’s Business Policy Board, chaired by Donald H. Rumsfeld serves as a forum between the business community and State Legislators. ALEC recognizes that government must work with business to maintain free markets if America is to grow and prosper.   
Think about it –
From the ALEC 1983 Annual Report 
ALEC serves as a liaison between lawmakers and the business community and between Washington and the State Capitals.

Ten years ago ALEC was founded by State Legislators for the purpose of establishing a network of communication between lawmakers who share a commitment to the principles of free enterprise,

Several hundred corporations and foundations provide support to the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC counts as its corporate members businesses from many and varied fields, including pharmaceutical companies, utility companies, oil companies, direct sellers, and the retail industry.  

ALEC serves as a liaison between the interests of these companies and its legislative members.
Think about it –
Section 2.01 The purposes and objectives of ALEC shall be to work in cooperation will the private sector to promote individual liberty, limited government and free enterprise.

Think about it –
For forty years – ALEC has worked in cooperation with multi-national companies – instilling in these companies the belief that the needs of the corporations are more important than the needs of the people and the commons.

For forty years – ALEC has given multi-national corporations a platform to de-regulation, union-busting, privatization of government good sand services – at the expense of the people and the commons.

For forty years – ALEC legislators, in their zealous defense of the free-market, have given precedence to the needs and desires of multi-national corporations  – at the expense of the people and the commons.

Think about it –

I’ve been thinking about it this morning when I read a report that was recently published by The Democracy Center entitled: Unfair,Unsustainable and Under the Radar:  How Corporations Use Global Investment Rules to Undermine a Sustainable Future.

Snips from the executive summary:
In 2009, when the government of El Salvador refused to issue an environmental permit to a Canadian mining corporation, community activists in Las Cabañas rejoiced.      That victory, however, may well prove to carry a high cost for the people of El Salvador. In a legal assault filed in a World Bank trade court, Pacific Rim is now demanding $315 million in compensation payments from the Salvadoran government, an amount equal to one third of the country’s annual education budget.

Public health campaigners in Uruguay won a huge victory in 2010 when the national government passed new health laws to discourage tobacco consumption.     the U.S. corporate tobacco giant Philip Morris retaliated with a $2billion legal action against the government.

For many this system of corporate-driven investment rules and “dispute resolution” burst into public view a decade ago when Bechtel, the San Francisco-based engineering conglomerate, sued the people of Bolivia for $50 million following the now-famous Cochabamba Water Revolt, after investing just $1 million in the country.

The world today is covered by an expanding web of over three thousand bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements. These agreements grant rights to corporations and allow them to sue governments for policy initiatives that they claim interfere with their profits.

One new likely battleground is citizen and community efforts against oil and gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’. The proposed investment chapter of the Canada-EU free trade agreement, if approved, may give corporations the legal fire-power to challenge government regulation of this highly controversial practice.

Think about it –
Where did these corporations get the idea that they could sue countries and probably in the future,  states and counties and cites?

Where did corporations get the idea that they had the right to undermine the people and the commons?

Where did corporations get the idea that their profit had precedence over the people and the commons?

Think about it –
Would corporations think that corporate right to profit outweighs the rights of the people and the protection of the commons – if it hadn’t been for the workings of right-wing, pro-corporate, extremist organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council?

Think about it –
Deep down in your heart – you probably agree, that this type of corporate power would not have been imaginable if it had not been for extremist pro-corporate right-wing organizations supporting the  corporations belief that the free-market was more important than government of, for and by the people.

Think about it –
Extremist pro-corporate right-wing organizations providing support to corporations that the free-market is the ideal - limiting government is the goal..

and then there is the
TPP - Trans-Pacific Partnership
If you research the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) you will find
A secretive process –
Writing a “so-called” trade agreement - that's what it's being billed as when in fact - it is NOT a trade agreement.
Twenty six chapters in this agreement - only three chapters are public (due to a leak) and this is a very, very nasty piece of pro-corporate policy that will hurt citizens across the world.
(We need Anonymous to release the whole agreement.)
The TPP, based on the information that has been released would
1. Making it easier for corporations to shift jobs throughout the world to wherever labor is the most exploited and regulations are the weakest; and
2. Putting checks on democracy at home and abroad by constraining governments’ ability to regulate in the public interest.
    in the TPP that would enable them to challenge virtually any new law, regulation or even court decision that adversely affects their expected profits as a “regulatory taking” through international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems. Similar provisions under past trade pacts have already been used to weaken portions of the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act in the United States, as well as the environmental and consumer safety protections of developing countries throughout t he world

The TPP Tribunal
Under the TPP corporations could sue federal, state, county and city regulation – if the corporations believe that the regulations interfere with their right to do business in that country, state, county or city.

Who would rule over the many disputes that would occur under the TPP at the federal, state, county and city level in regards to disagreements with corporations over intact regulations that would be seen as interfering with corporate rights in the TPP
Your state attorney general, the EPA, the FDA, your city council????
A “tribunal” would determine whether the regulations impose a hardship on the corporation.

Six hundred multinational corporations – each with a legion of corporate lawyers – fighting laws and regulations and then deciding amongst themselves what they want to be able to do and where and when and making it so – with no governmental interference at all.  That’s what the TPP will do.

Not you – not me – not our government officials – but corporations making the determination whether they want to abide by federal, state, county, or city laws and regulations.

Not you – not me – not our government officials – but corporations making the determination to be able to disregards all state, county, city and federal regulations – because a tribunal of corporate lawyers deemed it so.  That’s what the TPP will do.
  ...  what the TPP actually does is to remove corporations or the spillover effects of their activities from the reach of government.      The real result is global privilege of the corporate class as a class immune to government regulation.

One of the provisions allows corporations to avoid the courts and laws of countries by creating a private tribunal that corporations can use to sue governments for the costs of complying with regulation. Essentially, the laws of countries that apply to corporations are supplanted by decisions of a private tribunal of corporate lawyers. 
Corporate lawyers will be determining whether federal, state, county, city laws apply to the corporations who are filing lawsuits against the government entities – to deregulate whatever the corporations want de-regulated.
The negotiations for this agreement have been going on behind closed doors, shutting out the American people.
While the American people have been shut out of the negotiating process, over 600 lobbyists have been let in as “corporate trade advisors.”

The American people should have a say in their future; it shouldn’t be dictated by “corporate trade advisors”.

Think about it –
ALEC legislators are right in the middle of the fray.
ALEC corporation lobbyists are right in the middle of the TPP negotiations.

ALEC’ International Task Force  already has a resolution on it!!!

Inside ALEC | September/October 2010
Karla Jones, Task Force Director
Resolution Urging Congress to Pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)
The TPP is the most ambitious free trade agreement currently being discussed by the Obama administration and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and it will reduce trade barriers between the United States and seven other countries in the Pacific Rim including Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Peru. Free trade agreements are often times only bilateral, whereas the TPP involves multiple countries over four continents. With enlargement flexibility, intellectual property protections, and transparency provisions, the TPP is considered by many to exemplify the gold-standard of all free trade agreements and it promises to be the model for all free trade agreements in the future. The TPP has the backing of the current administration, making its passage much more likely. This resolution calls on Congress to support negotiations for the passage of the TPP, as this agreement will help

ALEC Boasts that it has
2,000+  state legislators that support ALEC foreign trade policy
96  97 members of the US Congress that support ALEC foreign trade policy

Compliant, impressionable ALEC legislators being indoctrinated at ALEC meetings as to what they are supposed to think, believe and do.  
International Relations Task Force Meeting
Federal Relations Working Group
Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA
Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Zealand Presentation on the TPP
Consul General John Mataira (New Zealand Consulate)
Consul General John Mataira (New Zealand Consulate in Los Angeles, CA) spoke to us about New Zealand and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership”
Representative William A. Hamzy, Esq. (CT)
Representative William A. Hamzy, Esq. (CT) introduced a resolution proposing Support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as outlined in Consul General Mataira’s presentation. He contended that US involvement in the TTP could help counter growing Chinese influence in the area.

And will someone please tell me why – why a group of “ALEC state legislators” with little to no foreign diplomat experience are sticking their noses in this area.


Inside ALEC | January 2011 • 19
Telling malleable ALEC legislators what they are supposed to think, believe and do. 

Written by
Rt Hon Mike Moore is currently the New Zealand Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Moore is also a past Director of the World Trade Organization and a former New Zealand Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) presents an exciting opportunity for the United States to boost exports and create jobs. The partnership is being negotiated by the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. These countries are committed to producing a high standard agreement that will set new benchmarks for trade and economic integration.

We invite you to spread the word about the benefits offered by TPP. Every U.S. citizen, business, and elected official who sees value for the U.S. in TPP will contribute to strong momentum to achieve this exciting partnership. ALEC’s International Relations Task Force has a resolution supporting final ratification of TPP. If ALEC members are interested in discussing TPP further, they should contact Karla Jones, ALEC International Relations Task Force Director at or Ben King at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, D.C., on
Think about it –
Would corporations think that their right to profit outweighs the rights of the people – if it hadn’t been for the on-going existence of right-wing, pro-corporate, extremist organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council?

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