ALEC — Announces the End of the Public Safety and Elections Task Force – No Sighs of Relief Just Yet…

Under intense pressure from activists and organizations including VLTP and the Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC begins to crack internally as the shadowy organization has been drug into the light of day – with great difficulty.  Over the past few days twelve top corporate members/sponsors fled ALEC in haste as their brands became synonymous with ALEC’s political and legislative corruption.  This morning Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the latest corporation to sever all ties with ALEC.

Also this morning – and possibly in response to this latest defection by Blue Cross – ALEC quietly issued this statement in a press release:

ALEC Sharpens Focus on Jobs, Free Markets and Growth — Announces the End of the Task Force that Dealt with Non-Economic Issues

(Washington, D.C.) April 17, 2012—David Frizzell, Indiana State Representative and 2012 National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), issued the following statement today on behalf of ALEC’s Legislative Board of Directors:

“Today we are redoubling our efforts on the economic front, a priority that has been the hallmark of our organization for decades. Fostering the exchange of pro-growth, solutions-oriented ideas is precisely why ALEC exists.

“To that end, our legislative board last week unanimously agreed to further our work on policies that will help spur innovation and competitiveness across the country.

“We are refocusing our commitment to free-market, limited government and pro-growth principles, and have made changes internally to reflect this renewed focus.

“We are eliminating the ALEC Public Safety and Elections task force that dealt with non-economic issues, and reinvesting these resources in the task forces that focus on the economy. The remaining budgetary and economic issues will be reassigned.

“While we recognize there are other critical, non-economic issues that are vitally important to millions of Americans, we believe we must concentrate on initiatives that spur competitiveness and innovation and put more Americans back to work.

“Our free-market, limited government, pro-growth policies are the reason ALEC enjoys the support of legislators on both sides of the aisle and in all 50 states. ALEC members are interested in solutions that put the American economy back on track. This is our mission, and it is what distinguishes us.”

This Public Safety task force is the one used in the recent spread of; anti-immigrant legislation (SB 1070 in AZ. and other states), the current spate of voter ID bills and earlier bills such as prison privatization, prison industries, minimum mandatory sentencing and truth in sentencing (85% completion of sentence imposed) as well as the now infamous stand your ground (kill at will) legislation in Florida and more than 20 other states.  This same task force has been used to coordinate redistricting legislation on behalf of the GOP for years.  This ALEC body has been used to incarcerate millions and disallow their right to vote upon release or completion of probation or parole – and has been working overtime to disenfranchise millions more in 2012 and beyond through unnecessary voter ID model legislation written by ALEC and proposed, enacted and passed in many states already.

Eliminating this one branch of the organization does not mean all the legislation they’ve sent out to the states is going to be withdrawn, laws already on the books and being used to drive mass incarceration and exploitation through privatization of prisons and prison industries will remain as a testament both to ALEC’s successful influence and as a testament to their corruption.  Neither is erased by eliminating the original source for the legislation and exploitation.  Trayvon Martin’s life will not be restored, millions will not be miraculously released from our jails and prisons and corporations will not withdraw from prison industry operations and exploitation of slave labor.

The disbanding of this one task force does however mark the beginning of what most hope is an internal implosion that will eliminate ALEC altogether.  The announcement that ALEC is, “redoubling our efforts on the economic front, a priority that has been the hallmark of our organization for decades. Fostering the exchange of pro-growth, solutions-oriented ideas is precisely why ALEC exists“, does not bode well for America’s economy and jobs.

The statement that they will focus on jobs and the economy at this moment in the battle against ALEC, serves as both an acknowledgement of ALEC’s participation in actions we’ve long complained of and an admission of their guilt for those acts.  Additionally it serves as a warning to us that they intend to double-down on the war waged against economic reform and the pursuit of jobs.  These issues are now controlled nationally rather in the separate states by ALEC’s alumni/members in the U.S. Congress.  VLTP has been trying to emphasize this fact for many months now.  While ALEC and their critics alike continue to deny that the organization is involved with U.S. federal laws and policies, our research clearly refutes that denial.

VLTP knows ALEC’s influence within our Congress is immense and their alumni have been obstructing any real attempts at true economic reforms since the 2010 election.  Through ALEC the states have been taking their cues from Congress on these critical issues and causing obstruction and obfuscation of the arguments. When ALEC says it will focus on
jobs & the economy, it is not a good thing for you, your family, your job, your community or our national economy.

In fact the U.S. House has been directed by two key ALEC members; House Speaker, John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  As the videos linked to below demonstrate, once Boehner and Cantor advanced from state legislatures to Congress, they remained loyal and subservient to ALEC and their agenda.  If you take a few moments and listen to the speeches given by both in their presentations in 2009 you’ll get a grasp of their continued commitment to ALEC and Conservative policies.

Under their direction and that of 89 other House members and 9 Senators who are loyal ALEC alumni, we’ve been shown a snapshot of what the future of our Congress will be should they continue to hold a House and gain a Senate majority in the future. For this reason we must not be swayed by one press announcement served up in the way of appeasement.

ALEC is an American disease that has been infecting all segments of our society and simply carving off one piece of that diseased carcass does not provide a cure.  The cure is a total elimination of the cancerous mass that is ALEC.

We’ve managed to expose the manipulations that for decades had been hidden away behind closed doors in dark smoke filled chambers deep within ALEC – and behind tight security at luxury resorts.  Joint corporate and legislative maneuvering, negotiations and crafting of pro-corporate profitization laws for all Americans to live by have been exposed to the light of day shining through ever widening cracks.  I fear that ultimately we’ve now driven these men and their hidden agenda from those rooms and forced them into a much smaller, much darker, better hidden “closet” in the corner.  From there they will surely continue their agenda, feeling safer for the lack of attention and public focus.

It will be our considerable job to follow them, throw open the doors to the empty chambers and seek them out by shining the same light of truth through the keyhole and under the edge of their closeted meetings until finally they flee from sight and rather than seek another dark crevice to hide in, disband altogether.

We are working on bringing that eventuality to a reality even as this is being written.  Serious and experienced researchers have been pouring over documents, links, pictures and other important materials.  There is much, much more to the ALEC saga and story that is known but has not been released yet.  More facts and information to show the depth of corruption practiced by ALEC and the network they are a part of; organizations, think tanks, foundations, corporations and individuals all working behind a curtain of secrecy to change the face of democracy and turn our government over to the highest bidder.  Right now the top bidder is the Koch brothers, Charles and David with their massive wealth, influence and total control over dozens of Tea Party lawmakers elected by Koch money in 2010.  Add the Tea Party legislators to the state and federal ALEC alumni and members…and you realize the job is far from over.

This picture represents the attitude, personae and total lack of respect or regard ALEC has for our democracy, the office of President and Americans in general: 

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is an ALEC Alum and has implemented every possible piece of ALEC written legislation in her state since taking office.  She serves as a key enabler of ALEC through SB 1070, expanding prison privatization, reductions in corporate taxes, voter id laws to disenfranchise, privatization of education, long distance learning, school vouchers, tort “reform”…anything that crosses her desk with ALEC’s DNA upon it is immediately signed and the citizens of Arizona be damned as she bows on behalf of Arizona’s citizens to ALEC’s will and influence.