Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mo Money Fuels ALEC's Mandatory Minimums Change of Heart

ALEC is getting a huge amount of press - for something that they should not be getting press for
Monday, the conservative, corporate-backed group adopted model legislation that would reform draconian mandatory minimum prison sentences, according to Families Against Mandatory Minimums, which sponsored the legislation.  

The ALEC Board of Directors passed a version of the Justice Safety Valve Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in both houses of Congress to give judges discretion to reduce statutory minimum sentences that impose onerous sentences for a range of drug and other crimes, FAMM Florida Project Director Greg Newburn told ThinkProgress.

ALEC doesn't do anything for anybody except it's corporate members!
People - the ones from zygotes -
  are not part of ALEC's agenda - 
  ALEC legislators have no concern for us 
  and ALEC legislators do not legislate for us.

Oh, well, you really don’t need people to do this. You just need control over the legislature and you need money, and we have both.”

That sentiment was underscored so many times to me, that they don’t want people involved in the political process, or in the policy process.
Giving ALEC or subsequently ALEC legislators
 - Kudos - or press time - 
for this new legislation
is premature 
until we can identify ALEC's true, ulterior, for-profit motive for this legislation.

One possible ulterior for-profit motive is illustrated in an email exchange I had with Bob Sloan, Director of the Voter's Legislative Transparency Project. - who has written extensively on ALEC's private prison legislation. 

My question to Bob was - 
Why would ALEC all the sudden do this, back away from mandatory minimum prison sentences?  Especially when ALEC has spent decades writing legislation to establish for-profit prison systems and then distributing ALEC "tough on crime" legislation that put more people in prison - financially benefiting ALEC corporate private prison members.

And his answer came back to - increased corporate profits - 
   And you can be sure there is an ALEC Corporate Member who will benefit.
Here is his response - in it's entirety - shared with you with Bob's permission - to enlighten you that all may not be as it seems, with ALEC (or IMO with Eric Holder's motives).
   ...  it’s easy NOW for ALEC to jump on this proposed legislation, with so many states verging on bankruptcy brought about in part by the high annual cost of incarcerating.  

What FAMM and others who now are praising ALEC fail to understand is that ALEC wrote and pushed all the legislation responsible for our overcrowded prisons and court systems…as a way of profiting off of crime and criminal justice policies.  

Now they are proposing that instead of state sanctioned parole (which they helped abolish state by state) be resurrected – but in a way to allow profiting off of releasing the same low level offenders they targeted until the last year or so. 

The parole they suggest is a “post conviction bond” paid for by the offender or his/her family and friends, issued by a member of the American Bail Coalition (ALEC long time member).  

Once issued, the offender is required to wear a GPS device (built by an ALEC friendly corporation) and monitored by a private company (another ALEC sponsored company) – and in the end, the private bonding company has complete control over if/when to violate an offender and simply pick him/her up and return them to prison.  After all the bonding company has already made their money off those they return, and the then move on to the next victim.

If states were not in such dire straits financially, ALEC and the “Right On Crime” bunch headed by Gingrich, Jeb Bush and other staunch conservatives would continue to call for stiffer criminal penalties and new laws to incarcerate as many as possible.

Bob Sloan, Executive Director
Voter's Legislative Transparency Project
Adviser to PHEWA's Criminal Justice Network
More or new money for ALEC Corporate members.

   New markets - established using ALEC legislation.
   Expanded markets - established using ALEC legislation.
   INTENTIONAL "Free-market Manipulation" - using ALEC legislation

solely to increase the revenues of corporate members of the extremist, right-wing pro-corporate American Legislative Exchange Council.

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