Center for Media and Democracy

Smart ALECs Get Their Due

From Business Insider by WhoWhatWhy.

The news in the past week has been heartening to those who see the transparently corrupt nature of ALEC, an organization that works with legislators to come up with and push pro-business legislation on the state level.  Corporations pay up to $25,000 to get in on the action…

“…The term “legislative exchange” must be an inside joke, with the “exchange” not being among legislators, but between those who have the money and those who want it. And ALEC is just the currently most visible arm of one of the most threatening power grabs by big money ever seen.”

Read the Complete article at Business Insider here

ALEC’s Fracking Agenda Exposed

Lisa Graves, Executive Director of The Center for Media and Democracy, sheds light on ALEC’s fracking agenda.

To watch this video, please click here

FL State Rep. Dennis Baxley, Sponsor of ‘Right to Kill’ Law, Also Proud Racialist, Vote Suppressor

By Brad Friedman

It turns out that Republican Florida state Rep. Dennis Baxley is far more odious than we realized when, last December, we described him as, among other things, “reprehensible”, “anti-American” and “democracy-hating”.

It appears we were way too kind.

Baxley, it seems, was the chief, NRA-funded sponsor behind Florida’s 2005 “Stand Your Ground” law — better described as a “Right to Kill” law — the first of many similar ALEC-templated bills to be passed by Republicans in states across the country, allowing for what opponents had warned at the time, would result in “racially motivated killings.”

To read the rest of this blog, which contains a video by Rachel Maddow and also an interview with Dennis Baxley, please click here.

VLTP Statement in Response to ALEC’s “Press Release” on Corporate Members

By Bob Sloan, VLTP Executive Director

Today ALEC released a statement concerning the ongoing pursuit by VLTP and other organizations urging companies and corporations with memberships to ALEC or financially supporting them to leave ALEC.  As anticipated this campaign is having a huge impact upon the shadowy conservative organization as first Pepsi then Coke, Intuit, McDonald’s, the Gates Foundation and today Wendy’s announced they were severing all ties to ALEC.  Since last Friday that makes six gone and approximately another 300 to go.

Here are key issues mentioned in the “Statement by ALEC on the Coordinated Intimidation Campaign Against Its Members” response issued by ALEC’s Executive Director, Ron Scheberle:

“ALEC is an organization that supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies and the vigorous exchange of ideas between the public and private sector to develop state based solutions. Today, we find ourselves the focus of a well-funded, expertly coordinated intimidation campaign.

“Our members join ALEC because we connect state legislators with other state legislators and with job-creators in their states. They join because we support pro-business policies that promote innovation and spur local and national competitiveness. They’re ALEC members because they’re more interested in solutions than rhetoric.

“Our members join ALEC because we connect state legislators with other state legislators and with job-creators…

Job Creators…a term we’ve been hearing since George Bush uttered it during his presidency when he initiated his “tax cuts”.  This has become a buzz word meaning “US” differentiating the employers, the affluent, business owners, CEO’s, hedge fund managers, bankers and influential conservative politicians from “THEM” the working class who lack all of the above.

We have been speaking the truth about ALEC for more than a year now.  We have always referred to ALEC as a well-funded anti-democratic corporatist shadow government, operating and hiding behind the classification of a charity to advance a corporatocracy to replace our democratically-styled government.  Now that those organizations involved in chasing after ALEC have begun to have an impact, ALEC responds that what we’re doing is a “well funded and expertly Coordinated Intimidation Campaign.”  This is simply not true.  Our efforts have only recently become somewhat coordinated and we have never been well funded.  VLTP applied for a grant from the Soros’ operated OSI Foundation to help fund our efforts of going after ALEC.  We were denied.  We have sought financial support from other Progressive organizations – and have not received one dime from them.  In two years of our work we remain funded through the contributions and donations of our members – who are all middle class working Americans.  There is a working group of organizations now pursuing ALEC and their members.  VLTP has been a part of that effort in that we are a research arm of that group.  Members of VLTP have been researching and documenting ALEC’s activities for nearly a decade now and we freely provided that research to members of the working group.  We contributed material to the joint CMD and Nation ALEC Exposed project and we’ve organized and participated in three ANTI-ALEC Protests last year in Cincinnati, New Orleans and Phoenix.  Others in the working group do not wish to participate in protests, rallies or marches.  We disagree and do these on our own – or have so far.  We think what we do is important to the overall effort.

What ALEC has been doing for nearly 40 years now, results in every single American experiencing some form of suffering through a; loss of the privilege to vote, imprisonment, loss of a job, lower wages if they do have a job, government deregulation on securities, banking and our environment, replacement of public education by private for-profit companies, risk of loss of life due to laws such as the “Stand Your Ground” legislation and lack of access to affordable healthcare.  Yes, each of these are ALEC based initiatives they have pursued and managed to implement in our states and at the federal level over the past three decades.

While ALEC and their corporate and legislative members were crafting and implementing these laws in favor of their corporate cronies – and exploiting Americans in the process – they described their activities as advancing; “Jeffersonian Principles,  limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty.”  In reality they were exploiting all of us with each new law, increases in product and service costs to consumers and limiting our ability to recover damages from malpractice, asbestos contamination or defective products.  They have worked to program our judiciary through seminars given by their corporate benefactors and members, providing them with lavish all expense paid vacations.

ALEC has served as the voice and face of the 1% for years.  They have worked hard to transfer wealth to the upper class from the middle and lower classes and that is now a reality observable all around us.  They have been successful and that success has attracted huge foundations, companies and influential individuals to participate in the ALEC agenda.  Everyone wants to be on the winning team, and ALEC has been winning since it began in 1973.

ALEC is evil, dangerous to democracy and the American way of life.  Coke, Pepsi, Intuit and the other companies withdrawing from ALEC knew this and joined anyway, aiding and abetting their activities and exploitation.  We know they were aware of what they were doing when at the first exposure of belonging to ALEC, they publicly withdrew their support and membership in an attempt to avoid the full exposure they know is about to come out about them.  By leaving ALEC these companies hope to avoid any real cost for the laws they helped write that earned them millions out of the pool of tax dollars and from us, their consumers.

Yes, ALEC has to go and go quickly.  To that end VLTP is planning a protest, march, rally and teach-in event in Charlotte, NC for the week of May 6-12 while ALEC is holding their Spring Summit there at the Westin Resort.  In order to make this a successful event, we need financial assistance.  I would ask those who want to help us achieve this success provide that help through donations to VLTP.  Unlike ALEC we are a true 501 (C)(3) operating without corporate donations or financing, so all donations and contributions to VLTP are tax deductible.  Please click on the donate link above to contribute via PayPal, Debit or Credit card or contact us at Donate@vltp.net for larger contributions. No amount is too small – or too large.

We rely upon our readers and supporters to continue our work and we desperately need your help to abolish ALEC and repeal the terrible and oppressive laws they’ve gotten passed in every state.  Right now we’re working hard to fully expose ALEC’s efforts to privatize the United States Postal Service.  Please help us fight for the USPS.

 

Teamsters President: “Public is right to be skeptical of ALEC”

From the Detroit News, by James P. Hoffa

“Working Americans scored a big victory last week when four corporations withdrew their membership from a secretive group called the American Legislative Exchange Council. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods and Intuit listened to their customers and quit ALEC. I hope their example is followed soon by the rest of ALEC’s members — both the corporations that fund it and the state politicians influenced by it.

CONTINUE READING AT THE Detroit News—>

Exclusive: McDonald’s Says It Has Dumped ALEC

From Mother Jones by Andy Kroll

 McALEC

Add another name to the list of corporations who’ve ditched the American Legislative Exchange Council: McDonald’s.

“The fast food giant tells Mother Jones that it recently decided to cut ties with ALEC, the corporate-backed group that drafts pro-free-market legislation for state lawmakers around the country.”

continue reading–>

BREAKING: Intuit Out of ALEC; Coke, Kraft, Pepsi, too, while Koch Stands Ground

By Rebekah Wilce at Center for Media and Democracy

“A stampede seems to be on the way as more and more groups break ties and dump ALEC. Intuit, Inc. (maker of Quicken and QuickBooks accounting software) told the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that Intuit also decided not to renew its membership after it expired in 2011. That comment came from Bernie McKay, Vice President of Government Affairs.”

CONTINUE READING…

Trayvon Martin Killing Draws Hundreds to Protest Stand Your Ground Laws

From Policymic – article on the DC Protest against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by numerous progressive, activist and civil rights groups and individuals for their involvement in the creation of the “Castle Doctrine” or stand your ground law.  ALEC has also been identified as the creator of the “Voter ID” legislation now being enacted nationwide to disenfranchise million in this and subsequent election cycles.

From the Article:     “A diverse coalition of advocacy organizations, watchdog groups, activists, and national leaders stood in front of ALEC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to protest the “Kill at Will” legislation, which was written by ALEC corporate member the National Rifle Association (NRA). The groups protesting at the event included the National Urban League, the NAACP, ColorOfChange, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, ProgressNow, the Center for Media and Democracy/ALECexposed.org, Common Cause, People For the American Way, ProgressNow, Presente, Public Campaign, UltraViolet, Faith in Public Life, the National Council of Churches, USAction, Moveon.org, and others…”

Read full article here...