Federal Forum

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 →

ALEC Pursues Control of the U.S. Senate in November – The Allen vs. Kaine Virginia Senate Race –

Former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) are tied in the latest poll of the Virginia Senate race.  Allen and Kaine are tied among likely voters with 46 percent support apiece, according to a new Marist poll conducted for NBC and The Wall Street Journal.

With Democrats scrambling to hold control of the Senate and regain the House majority in November, I’m puzzled by the lack of attention to Allen’s affiliations with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Allen has a long history of affiliation with ALEC going back to his days in the Virginia legislature.

For the past 18 months, ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny due to their involvement in advancing a partisan conservative agenda throughout the US – including that of suppressing the right to vote by minorities, the elderly and college students.  Forty corporations and more than fifty legislators have dropped membership in ALEC since April of 2011.  The latest to cut ties was Merck just this week.

In the case of George Allen, he was not only a former ALEC member when he served Virginia as a state legislator he was also a recipient of ALEC’s “prestigious” Jefferson Freedom Award in 1996.  Allen proudly advertises this on his website in an August 2011 press release along with this picture –

In his acceptance speech Allen stated:

 

Allen is also an ALEC Jefferson Scholar and in 2006 while serving in Congress Senator Allen was chosen by ALEC to serve as Co-chairman of their new Federal Forum Task Force.

VLTP reported in an in-depth expose last November, “American Legislative Exchange Council – Federal Government and Corrupt Practices”, that Senator Allen was instrumental in advancing ALEC’s agenda directly into the US Congress through the Federal Forum’s initiatives.

As far back as 2002 ALEC Watch listed Allen as an ALEC Alumnus yet of today’s organizations pursuing full exposure of ALEC and transparency to their actions and memberships, VLTP is the only one to identify George Allen’s ALEC connection.  To date few have bothered to look back upon Allen’s legislative record to determine which ALEC model legislation Allen sponsored, supported or introduced.  I would urge those organizations and activists pursuing ALEC nationwide to put some effort into announcing Allen’s ALEC affiliations to Virginia’s voters.

Allen’s opponent in the upcoming election, former Governor Tim Kaine has somehow failed to take full advantage of Allen’s ongoing relationship with an organization now seen as toxic by many Americans in such a tight race.  I believe to continue to not bring Allen’s ALEC involvement to the attention of Virginia’s voters will not only be a disservice to Kaine – it is a disservice to his supporters and the voters of the Great Commonwealth of Virginia.

Please click here to see a video history of George Allen, Candidate for the U.S. Senate.

The Paul Weyrich troika is alive–unity among ALEC, Heritage Foundation, and the Republican Party

a super article from Brendan Fischer at PR Watch.  Absolutely a must read!

Three right-wing organizations founded nearly forty years ago by conservative activist Paul Weyrich are rediscovering their shared origins. The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of 169 right-wing Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, is establishing a partnership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the controversial “corporate bill mill” for state legislators, and their first meeting is scheduled at the Heritage Foundation headquarters. Each of those three organizations — the RSC, ALEC, and the Heritage Foundation — were founded in 1973 by Weyrich.

…Weyrich famously observed that with regard to the conservative movement “our leverage in the elections goes up as the voting populace goes down.” Today, ALEC and the GOP are pursuing his vision with a voter suppression agenda that includes strict voter identification bills introduced in 37 states across the nation since 2011, purportedly to crack down on phantom “voter fraud.”

ALEC boasts on its website that in 1981, President Ronald Reagan formed a national Task Force on Federalism, which included ALEC’s then-National Chairman Tom Stivers of Idaho, and “would come to rely heavily upon members of ALEC for expert testimony.” According to ALEC’s history, ALEC members like “State Senator [now Governor] John Kasich of Ohio and Senate President Robert Monier of New Hampshire regularly met in front of the committee.” ALEC also claims that it “worked directly with the administration on policy development issues.”

To read Brendan Fischer’s complete article, I highly recommend that you click here. .


KOCHTOPUS: The Kochs’ Influence Network Explained – VIDEO

This artistic interpretation of the Kochtopus is from “Outing the Oligarchy: Billionaires Who Benefit from Today’s Climate Crisis” from the International Forum on Globalization.

 

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To watch this explained on the very informative video, please click here

To navigate through the Kochtopus yourself (I recommend watching the video first), please click here