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Legislative Leaders Push to Restore Funding for ALEC Trips

Legislative Leaders Push to Restore Funding for ALEC Trips

This article cam across my desk today, from the liberal newspaper of South Dakota.  Interesting–but–I found the response from Dee Voss to be particularly informative.

Remember the half-million dollars that the Legislature added to its own budget, giving themselves twelve times more money to play with than they could find for each K-12 teacher in South Dakota. The Legislative Research Council never said they needed that money, so what on earth could fiscal conservative Republicans Speaker Brian Gosch and Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson have wanted that money for?

Why, to attend ALEC meetings, of course. Here’s Rep. Kathy Tyler’s account of the LRC’s Executive Board’s first meeting on how to spend that new mad money:

Our inaugural meeting saw the election of chair and vice-chair and a discussion of legislative travel. There are three organizations to which South Dakota belongs: National Conference of State Legislators, the Council of State Governments, and the Midwestern Legislative Conference.  One trip per year per legislator is the current policy.  There are also four national projects or forums that appointed legislators can attend.

The travel policy used to be much broader—go to wherever and you’ll be reimbursed.  Of course, without any restrictions, things got a bit ugly, and travel was restricted. After much discussion of increasing the number of trips to three and adding ALECAmerican Legislative Exchange Council, as a destination, time forced the final decisions to be made at the April meeting. The inclusion of ALEC will be an interesting discussion.  While the organizations currently approved are run basically by dues and have legislators’ issues in mind, ALEC is funded about 98% by corporations and tends to have its own agenda—HB1234 for example [ ref: Rep. Kathy Tyler (D-4/Big Stone City), “Summer Break?Kathy’s Corner, 2013.04.01].

Rep. Gosch and Sen. Olson wouldn’t want South Dakota to fall behind the faux-conservative pro-corporate agenda. So they want to use your money to send their minions for marching orders from ALEC. I’m sure you won’t mind if your legislators pay less attention to you and more attention to the Koch brothers.

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Response to “Legislative Leaders Push to Restore Funding for ALEC Trips”

  • Dee Voss

2013.04.01 at 09:18

They should not need state money for these trips. And the state probably shouldn’t have paid in the past. If the state paid for the trips in the past – I would ask the legislators if they received an ALEC corporate funded scholarship to attend the meeting and if they did receive a corporate scholarship – I would ask the legislators to reimburse the state for past conferences that the state funded.

Why? because most of your ALEC legislators are task force members
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/South_Dakota_ALEC_Politicians

And because of they are task force members – the corporations that fund ALEC also pay for your task force legislators to go to meetings – for free – through corporate scholarships – travel, room, registration, parking – paid for by the corporations.
http://www.commoncause.org/atf/cf/%7Bfb3c17e2-cdd1-4df6-92be-bd4429893665%7D/CIED%20SNPS%202012.PDF

SCHOLARSHIP POLICY BY MEETING
ALEC Spring Task Force Summit: 1. Spring Task Force Summit Reimbursement Form: ALEC Task Force Members are reimbursed by ALEC up to a predetermined set limit for travel expenses. Receipts must be forwarded to the ALEC Policy Coordinator and approved by the Director of Policy. 2. ALEC Task Force Members’ room & tax fees for a two-night stay are covered by ALEC. 3. Official Alternate Task Force Members (chosen by the State Chair and whose names are given to ALEC more than 35 days prior to the meeting to serve in place of a Task Force Member who cannot attend) are reimbursed in the same manner as Task Force Members. 4. State Scholarship Reimbursement Form : Any fees above the set limit, or expenses other than travel and room expenses can be submitted by Task Force Members for payment from their state scholarship account upon the approval of the State Chair. Receipts must be submitted to the State Chair, who will submit the signed form to the Director of Membership. 5. Non-Task Force Members can be reimbursed out of the state scholarship fund upon State Chair approval. Receipts must be submitted to the St ate Chair, who will submit the appropriate signed form to the Director of Membership.

ALEC Annual Meeting : State Scholarship Reimbursement Form : State scholarship funds are available for reimbursement by approval of your ALEC State Chair. Expenses are reimbursed after the conference, and may cover the cost of travel, room & tax, and registration. Receipts are to be submitted to the State Chair, who will then submit the signed form to the Director of Membership.

PLEASE NOTE: From 2006 – 2008 ALEC Corporations put a total of $45,000+ into the SD ALEC meeting scholarship fund, for SD legislators to go to ALEC meetings.
http://www.alecexposed.org/w/images/f/fa/BUYING_INFLUENCE_Main_Report.pdf

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This article is published at http://madvilletimes.com/2013/04/legislative-leaders-push-to-restore-funding-for-alec-trips/

Madville Times

Privatizing Government Services in the Era of ALEC and the Great Recession – Section II, ALEC

note:  this is the third in a series of articles published by the University of Toledo Law Review written by Ellen Dannin

PRIVATIZING GOVERNMENT SERVICES IN THE ERA OF ALEC AND THE GREAT RECESSION

II.   THE AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL (ALEC)

The American Legislative Exchange Council was, until recently, a little-known but very powerful and influential organization.  ALEC’s most important role is drafting model legislation. 20   According to ALEC, it “has nearly 1,000 pieces of model legislation.” 21   More than 200 of ALEC’s model bills were enacted in 2009. 22   Until April 17, 2012, ALEC’s model legislation was developed and promoted by nine national task forces.  On that date, ALEC announced that it was eliminating its Public Safety and Elections task force in order to focus on economic issues.23   The remaining task forces are Civil Justice; Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development; Communications and Technology; Education; Energy, Environment and Agriculture; Health and Human Services; International Relations; and Tax and Fiscal Policy. 24

According to ALEC, its task forces “also commission research, publish issue papers, convene More →

What the #&%! Is CMD Thinking?

Dear Center for Media and Democracy,

Are you out of your #&%! minds, or do you just want to throw some red meat to the radical right?  I refer directly to your article:
We’ve got a few bones to pick with you re this…

First, just what “industrialized nations would expect a presidential candidate to indicate his top choice for a position as significant as Secretary of the Treasury prior to the election”.  Sounds kind of like the “trust me, I know what I’m doing” ad nauseum at tonight’s “debate”.

Next up in importance:  it seems to us that since Geithner has said he’s leaving anyway, just what is the point of your throwing him to the dogs?  The right wing might try to use him as a scape-goat for the economic issues that have remained long after Bush left office.  They’re not having much success (according to polls taken before tonight’s debate) going after Obama on the economy, and you are suggesting that Geithner should be a distraction.

We agree with your view about Geithner being one of those who caused the problem(s), and we think that Obama made a crappy choice in selecting him as Secretary of the Treasury.  That being said, is now the time to fuel the fires of the right by agreeing with them on a position they have long held – on the eve of an important election.  Seems kind of political for a 501(c)(3) doesn’t it?  I mean calling for a particular kind of person to be appointed to such a posting?

But most importantly to us is why an organization as responsible as CMD can be even going down this track?  When as leaders of the movement to expose ALEC you are worrying about why any political candidate would make the future choice of a Congressionally-approved post, there is something really wrong.
Why are you not asking how many ALEC members and neocons will be on Romney’s cabinet?  Why are you not thinking about how ALEC will prosper under another republican administration?  Think how ALEC flourished under the Reagan and Bushs’ administrations–to the point of being a virtual partner in the government under Reagan.  And after your own Brendan Frazier’s report on ALEC, Heritage, and the House Republican Study Group…how the heck can you be thinking about who will replace Geithner?  ALEC.  Heritage.  RSC. Weyrich.  What are you missing here CMD?

Who knows, would Tommy Thompson have another cabinet post under Romney?  Or Donald Rumsfeld?  Perhaps Victor Schwarz for Attorney General?  Jack Kingston for HHS.  Joe “you lie” Wilson; Mary Kiffmeyer; Spencer Bacchus, John Boehner…  Neocons like John Bolton are already advising Romney on foreign Policy.  Sure, let’s bring on another war, Iran and/or Syria—we’re still paying for the last ones.
Who is going to create and administer “austerity budgets”?  We’re the ones who are going to get wiped up by this…this…KochtopusAusterity budgets are certainly winning the hearts and minds of Europeans right now, with ALEC–the legislative arm for the entire world’s 1% in America and increasingly in other countries.
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We know Lisa Graves.  We’ve been in sporadic communication and cooperation about our research re ALEC and transparency for almost 18 months.  She is dedicated to exposing and eliminating ALEC.  Watch her on videos on the VLTPVideoChannel.  IMHO, she is the face of the “expose ALEC” community.  She took the information from Cincinnati, organized it carefully, and created ALECexposed.org.  She didn’t just dump the info as others have.  I cannot believe that she approved this article for publication.

CMD–and others–what have you done with Lisa Graves?  We cannont believe that she approved this article for publication.

Tell ALEC Companies to Stand Down!

For the past year, the Center for Media and Democracy has worked to expose the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), through its ongoing www.ALECexposed.org investigation into ALEC’s operations, lobbying, and “model” bills voted on behind closed doors by corporate lobbyists and legislators voting as equals. ALEC’s extreme agenda has included templates to change our laws to make it harder for juries to hold vigilantes who kill people accountable, for American citizens to vote, for Congress to limit the distorting and corrupting influence of money in our elections, and numerous other bills that undermine the rights and opportunities of Americans.

Please join us in reaching out to corporate members of ALEC to demand that they stop bankrolling ALEC and stop corrupting the democratic process. Tell them to dump ALEC!

To read and sign the letter to corporate members of ALEC, please click here