117 ALEC Members Voted Out in 2012

by Rebekah Wilce — November 20, 2012 – for CMD (Center for Media and Democracy) – Project: ALEC Exposed

In primary and general elections in 2012 and recall elections in 2011 and 2012, a total of 117 members and alumni of the American Legislative Exchange Council [5] (ALEC) were voted out of office, according to research and analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), ColorOfChange, and others.

Arizona Down 14 ALEC Members

As reported [6] by CMD, former State Senator Russell Pearce was voted out of office in November 2011 in what was widely seen as a referendum on Senate Bill 1070, the anti-immigration legislation Pearce introduced. Pearce was a long-time ALEC member and was on the public sector executive committee [7] of the task force that adopted SB 1070 as a “model” bill [8].

In addition, ALEC state legislators Representatives J. Ted Vogt (R-10) and Amanda Reeve (R-6) lost in the general election. Representatives John Fillmore (R-23), Nancy McLain (R-3), and Rep. David Burnell Smith (R-7), and Sen. Lori Klein (R-6) lost GOP primary elections in 2012. Representatives Cecil P. Ash (R-18), Steve Court (R-18), Jack W. Harper (R-4), Peggy Judd (R-25), Terri Proud (R-26), and James P. Weiers (R-12) and Sen. Sylvia Tenney Allen (R-5) retired or were ineligible for reelection due to term limits.

Wisconsin Down 11 ALEC Members and Alumni

In Wisconsin, six known ALEC members have been voted out of office since 2011, and prominent ALEC alumnus Tommy Thompson did not win his bid for U.S. Senate. Thompson had been a popular Wisconsin governor and United States Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush. He said in a speech at an ALEC event in 2001 that he became involved with ALEC in 1974 [9], a year after its founding. Thompson ran for U.S. Senate against Rep. Tammy Baldwin, an unabashed progressive, and lost.

Representatives Joseph Knilans (R-44), Roger Rivard (R-75), and Evan Wynn (R-43) also lost their races [10] this month. Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-39) lost the GOP primary for U.S. Senate seat to Thompson and was not eligible for reelection to his Assembly seat. Former Rep. Randy Hopper (R-18) and former Senators Dan Kapanke (R-32) and Van Wanggaard (R-21) lost their seats in recall elections in 2011 and 2012. Sen. Rich Zipperer (R-33) resigned to join Governor Scott Walker’s administration, and Representatives Karl Van Roy (R-90) and Michelle Litjens (R-56) retired.

Minnesota Down 11 ALEC Members

In Minnesota, 11 of the state’s 26 known ALEC members will not return to office in 2013, thanks to retirement, redistricting, and voter rejection, according to [11] Bluestem Prairie. Those out include Rep. Carol McFarlane (R-53B), Sen. Chris Gerlach (R-37), former ALEC state chair [12] Sen. Gen Olson (R-33), Sen. Gretchen Hoffman (R-10), Rep. Ron Shimanski (R-18A), Sen. Ted Daley (R-38), Rep. Connie Doepke (R-33B), Sen. Mike Parry (R-26), Sen. Amy Koch (R-19), Sen. John Howe (R-28), and Rep. King Banaian (R-15B).

Other States’ Reduced ALEC Membership

In New Hampshire, five of the state’s 31 known ALEC members were not re-elected [13] to their seats for 2013: Rep. Jennifer Coffey (R-6), Rep. Beverly T. Rodeschin (R-2), Rep. Will Smith (R-18), Rep. Joseph Thomas (R-19), and Rep. J. Gail Barry (R-16).

In Rhode Island, both of the state’s “ALEC State Chairmen,” Rep. Jon Brien (D-50) and Sen. Frank Maher (R-34), were voted out of office.

A list of ALEC legislators who were up for election on November 6, updated with wins and losses, is available from ColorOfChange here [13].

To read Rebecca Wilce’s complete article for PRWatch, please click here