North Carolina Advocates for Justice endorses ALEC Members – UPDATED, and it’s worse

Despite posting this to NCAJ on their Facebook page, there has been no response from anyone at NCAJ.

memo to self:  research NCAJ and see if they are what they claim to be.

updates: NCAJ endorsed candidates Marilyn Avila and Jamie Boles confirmed  as members of ALEC

 

“The North Carolina Advocates For Justice was formed more than 45 years ago by a small group of trial lawyers who wanted to protect peoples’ rights. Today, the North Carolina Advocates For Justice has almost 4,000 members and is one of the top protectors of individual rights in North Carolina. NC Advocates For Justice members represent those injured by the wrongdoing of others, workers fighting for their rights in the workplace, the disabled, those addressing family problems, consumers, those in debt, and those accused of crime.

“The North Carolina Advocates for Justice accomplishes its mission through effective advocacy work in the NC state legislature advocating for the rights of all citizens, through the development of over 40 professional development seminars annually to help attorneys improve their skills, and through the administration of a variety of public outreach and education initiatives aimed at enhancing public understanding of the US legal system. The organization’s Legal Affairs Committee also monitors the development of law and serves as a trial attorney advocate to the State Bar.”

The above is quoted directly fromo the NCAJ web page located at http://www.ncaj.com/page/about/?submenuheader=0

I want to emphasize that NCAJ is a good organization doing a lot of good work.  But it’s a shame that these well-intentioned attorneys did not bother to do their “due diligence”.  Included in their recommendations are a number of ALEC members:

Dist. 37 – Paul Stam–member Civil Justice Task Force–Art Pope‘s (who used to be, and may still be a member of  ALEC) “boy” in the legislature.

Dist. 40 – Marilyn Avila–possible member–confirmed attending ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting, not on any task forces confirmed member of ALEC

Dist. 52 – Jamie Boles–possible member–confirmed attending ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting, not on any task forces confirmed member of ALEC

Dist. 53 – David Lewis–possible member–confirmed attending ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting, not on any task forces

Dist. 68 – D. Craig Horn – member Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force

Dist. 77 – Harry Warren–possible member–confirmed attending ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting, not on any task forces

Dist. 79 – Julia Howard–member Health and Human Services Task Force

Dist. 86 – Hugh Blackwell – member Civil Justice Task Force

Dist. 90 – Sarah Stevens–was a member of the Public Safety and Elections Task force which was disbanded because of the Stand Your Ground legislation and the Trayvon Martin murder.

Dist. 108 – John Torbett–possible member–confirmed attending ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting, not on any task forces

Dist. 117 – Chuck McGrady–possible member–confirmed attending ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting, not on any task forces.

We know from ALECexposed and Common Cause releases that Mr. Horn is a member of ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force.  But looking at the extensive information provided by the NC Legislature, we can look at every member of the state legislature and see what bills they have introduced and how they have voted on every bill,

In the case of Mr. Horn, according to http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/reports/introducedBills.pl?nUserID=604&Chamber=H, Horn introduced the Castle Doctrine (Stand Your Ground Law); a law to make English our official language; a law to restrict early voting; the Women’s Right to Know Law (must wait 24 hours and take consultation before exercising her right to be in control of her body); a law which has been used before to start the march toward privatizing prisons; the Photo ID for Voting Act; a law to prevent “illegal aliens” (what, are they from Mars?) from attending community colleges–the polar opposite of the Dream Act; and there is a lot more but this is more than adequate to make my point re Mr. Horn’s lack of qualifications to be recommended by the NCAJ.

Believe it or not, there are a lot of good attorneys out there.  I’ve been fortunate in always finding a good attorney whenever I have needed one.  My attorney contacted NCAJ who told him that “Horn is in a very safe district and will be back next year.  He also voted with us and against his party’s leadership on the Grey Mills amendment which effectively gutted the cap on damages in SB 33 (This was the medical malpractice “reform” which basically made it impossible to bring a medical malpractice action in an emergency situation unless the doctor was stoned or drunk or assaulted the patient – my note).  That amendment passed but was later stripped out by leadership when the bill went to conference committee.

“What your client (that’s me) says may well be true but on at least one vote last year (and it was an important one for NCAJ) Horn did not blindly follow his party but voted for what he thought was right.  Given that he is sure to be elected we wanted to build on that vote and try to build that relationship.”Well, the NCAJ’s rationalization that getting in bed with the bad guys will result in some fractional success is a losing strategy, both strategically and from the standpoint of self-respect and moral integrity.  When you lie down with dogs you get fleas.

All of the information in this post about the NCAJ’s recommendations can be found at their web site, http://www.ncaj.com/

Please contact the NCAJ to register your opposition to their short-sightedness:

NC Advocates for Justice
1312 Annapolis Drive
PO Box 10918
Raleigh, NC 27605
(800) 688-1413 (ph)
(919) 832-6361 (fax)
webmaster@ncaj.com
For readers outside of NC, check to see who is recommending ALEC members for re-election.  We are not advocating voting for any given candidate.  But we are advocating that you help inform the public in your own states and districts about any given candidates membership in ALEC.  After all, these candidates have paid to be members of ALEC–where they can sell their votes to corporations and special interest groups, and where they create the model legislation which is destroying our country.

Also, remember that according to ALEC by-laws, it is the responsibility of ALEC State Chairmen to get approved Model Legislation introduced in their states.  (Eric Cantor performs this job for them in Congress.)At least the NCAJ did not recommend ALEC’s NC State Chairman, Tom Tillis–but then again he is running unopposed.

Hello?  NCAJ?  There is nothing wrong with outreach and networking.  There is everything wrong with looking at just a small part of a candidate’s history and ignoring the rest before recommending a candidate.  You could not be any more shortsighted than you have been.  How about a retraction of some of your recommendations?  Live up to your own ideals.