Michal Kaminski MEP

Is ALEC a Lobbying Group? British Answer is ‘Yes’

Is ALEC a Lobbying Group? British Answer is ‘Yes’

editor’s note:  VLTP has filed a whistleblower complaint with the IRS regarding ALEC’s 501(c)3 tax-exempt status noting that ALEC admits to being a lobbyist by virtue of statements in its own by-laws.  The IRS has received 3 such whistleblower complaints, with VLTP’s being given the master number for the potential investigation.

This report by our researcher in the North Sea, is smoking gun evidence of ALEC”s lobbying efforts in England and the European Union.

 

Definition of LOBBY:

  • intransitive verb: to conduct activities aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation
  • transitive verb1: to promote (as a project) or secure the passage of (as legislation) by influencing public officials
  • 2: to attempt to influence or sway (as a public official) toward a desired action

 
It’s not very often you get the chance to follow a piece of lobbying from inception to end point but there are several occasions in which ALEC has allowed this to happen.

In San Diego August 2010,  a resolution was proposed by Brandie Davis (Phillip Morris International) calling on ALEC ‘to oppose plain packaging bills in legislatures around the world’

Resolution Urging Congress to Pass a Ban on 'Plain Packaging'

Martin Callanan MEP (UK Conservative Party) and Michal Kaminski MEP (Poland) were both in attendance at this meeting.

 

In July 2012 we received FOI responses from two UK government departments and the European Union regarding letters received from ALEC covering both plain packaging and smokeless tobacco products.

The response from the UK government departments involved:

“Both Dr Vince Cable (Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills) and Mark Prisk MP (Minister of State for Business and Enterprise) received letters dated 22 December 2010 from one Karla Jones who is Director of International and Federal Relations at ALEC. Neither letter was solicited.

As is the case with much Ministerial correspondence the letters were reviewed by BIS officials. In this case the letters were so reviewed and were placed on the Department’s information keeping system. Neither Minister saw the letters and no advice was provided to Ministers by officials. No further action was taken.”
_______________________________________________________________
Karla Jones 12-22-10_________________________________________________________________Karla Jones-Mark Prisk MP--12.22.10________________________________________________________________
Noble Ellington-European Commission 12-17-10, pg 1Noble Ellington-European Commission 12-17-10, pg 2Noble Ellington-European Commission 12-17-10, pg 3Noble Ellington-European Commission 12-17-10, pg 4

The review of the European Tobacco Product Directive can be found at
http://ec.europa.eu/health/tobacco/docs/tobacco_consultation_en.pdf
It’s an 11 page document, with the cover shown below:
European Commission-Possible Revision of the Tobacco Products Directive

ALEC’s letter to the EU in response to this consultation document doesn’t even acknowledge the document.

Karla Jones-John Dalis 12-22-10

This cover letter from Karla Jones was accompanied by the same 4 page letter from Noble Ellington which had previously been sent to the European Commission on 12/17/10.  ALEC just keeps its head down and keeps charging.

It should be noted that for lobbying to take place it is not necessary that the outcome be that sought by the lobbyist.

na-Saighneain
na-Saighneain

 

 

ALEC Legislators – Pretending to Be US Foreign Diplomats

Part Two in a Series by 2old2care

 

While reading an excellent piece of investigative journalism written by Bob Sloan – Voters Legislative Transparency Project entitled:

ALEC-New Partnerships and Exposing Hidden Foreign Influences

I was horrified with the implications of “ALEC state legislators” interfering in international affairs.

I guess in a way – this whole ALEC “International Task Force” sham should be a warning to citizens around the globe of the inflated image that the American Legislative Exchange Council has of itself.

In 1985 the Wall Street Journal made this statement in an article about ALEC:

Yet ALEC remains focused on the least glamorous of political figures, the lowly state legislator.

In 1985 in an article in “The Conservative’, then ALEC president, Kathy Teague noted:

The turnover rate among state legislators is very high  …  These are men and women through the United States who are making laws for the first time in their lives.  …  For the great majority of state legislators, being a lawmaker is their second career.  They are businessmen and women, lawyers or doctors or architects or homemakers.  They have decided to spend three month or six month of the year passing laws, making the laws of their state.

And these people are screwing around with international policy?

These people are making believe they are “foreign diplomats”?

These people are focusing their attention on international issues – when in fact they should be focusing on representing the people of their state – as they were elected to do so.

  • These “lowly [ALEC] state legislators” ARE NOT foreign diplomats and they should not pretend to be one.
  • These “lowly [ALEC] state legislators” ARE NOT governors of the state.
  • These “lowly [ALEC] state legislators” ARE NOT designated trade representatives for the state.
  • These “lowly [ALEC] state legislators” ARE NOT members of the US Congress – they are STATE legislators.

What in the hell do they think they are doing?

Which one of their state constituents told them they wanted them interfering with international relations?

 

I want to bring to the reader’s attention some of the legislation/resolutions that have come out of the ALEC International and Federalism Task Force in the last couple of years.

Senator Val Stevens (WA) introduced the Resolution on Open and Reciprocal Trade with Canada.

Resolution in Support of the Keystone XL PipelineMs. Brandie Davis (Philip Morris International).  Ms. Davis is a lobbyist.  Phillip Morris International is an ALEC Corporate Member.

Ms. Brandie Davis (Philip Morris International) introduced a Hard Science Resolution.  Ms. Davis is a lobbyist. Phillip Morris International is an ALEC Corporate Member.

The Honorable Michal Kaminski (Member, European Parliament and ALEC International Legislator) introduced a Resolution in Support of Deepening EuroAtlantic Integration of the Republic of Moldova.

The Honorable Roger Helmer (Member, European Parliament and ALEC International Legislator) presented a Resolution against EU Funding of NGOs.

Representative Tim Moffitt (NC) – current Legislative Chair of the IR Task Force –  introduced a Resolution Opposing World Bank Lending to Argentina.

Mr. Yeong-jainn “Jeff” Liu (Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative Office) made a presentation about the fairness and importance of Taiwan being added to the US Visa Waiver Program.

Final ratification of US-Korea Free Trade Agreement introduced by Mr. Bob Filippone (PhRMA).   Resolution passes unanimously. PhRMA is an ALEC Corporate Member.

Resolution Supporting Review of Argentina’s GSP Status introduced by Representative Penny Bacchiochi of CT. Resolution passes unanimously.

“Establishment of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones in Pakistan” –  Assemblywoman Ayesha Javed (Punjab Provincial Assembly-Pakistan)

“Resolution on Plain Packaging Legislation” Brandie Davis (Philip Morris International).  Ms. Davis is a lobbyist. Phillip Morris International is an ALEC Corporate Member.

Mr. David Powers (Reynolds American, Inc.) introduced a Resolution Urging the European Union to Remove Its Ban on the Sale of Smokeless Tobacco.  Reynolds American, Inc. is an ALEC Corporate Member.

Representative John E. Piscopo (CT) introduced a Resolution Against U.S. Participation in International Agreement in Copenhagen

Who gave “ALEC state legislators” permission to meet with foreign nationals to discuss policy?

WHO ARE THESE FOREIGN NATIONALS?

WHAT ARE THE POLITICAL BELIEFS OF THESE FOREIGN NATIONALS?

WHY ARE THESE FOREIGN NATIONALS ATTENDING ALEC MEETINGS?

WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT REGISTERED AS FOREIGN LOBBYISTS ALLOWED TO WRITE POLICY FOR THE UNITED STATES?

WHY are “ALEC state legislators” meeting with these people?

ALL OF THIS DONE OUTSIDE THE PURVIEW AND SUPERVISION OF THE US STATE DEPARTMENT!!!

WHO IN THE HELL DOES ALEC THINK THEY ARE?????
All of this is very disturbing – but it goes to a new whole level when you take into consider that ALEC’s International Task Force members – were messing around in IRAQ. DURING THE WAR!!!!

In his presentation on Good Governance Promotion in Iraq, Senator Curt Bramble (UT) explained various reasons why and how the U.S. ought to be instrumental in educating newly elected Iraqi state legislators by training them in principles and good practices of governance, how to draft legislation and work effectively with the executive branch of their governments. He illustrated his points by describing his experiences working with the Baghdad Provincial Council in Iraq.

Representative Gene Ward introduced a Resolution Establishing an ALEC Democracy and Governance Program. Representative Ward added that the five major legislative issues of the Iraqi government should also be addressed, namely unemployment, education, corruption, infrastructure and health care, respectively. He also suggested conducting this training of newly elected legislators partly in the U.S. and thus providing an example of good government practice.

Representative Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) recently met with Georgia Ambassador Batu Kutelia and members of his staff at an ALEC reception in Washington, DC as part of the 2009 ALEC States & Nation Policy Summit.

[Rep. Whisnant is a member of the recently reorganized ALEC International Relations Task Force. Gene and his wife Josie introduced the Ambassador and his staff to other Legislative and private industry ALEC members.]

 

During the summit, the ALEC International Task Force members passed resolutions related to international trade policies and practices. One Legislative member reported on his recent trip to Iraq. He went and discussed ALEC concepts of free markets, less government, and individual freedoms with Iraqi leaders.

You have to ask:

  •    Who did they talk to?
  •    What did they tell them?
  •    How did these “ALEC state legislators” represent themselves to Iraqi       officials?
  •     Who did the Iraqi officials think they were talking with?

 

ALL OF THIS DONE

OUTSIDE THE PURVIEW AND SUPERVISION OF THE US STATE DEPARTMENT!!!

WHO IN THE HELL DOES ALEC THINK THEY ARE?????

 

We are talking ALEC STATE legislators here – NOT foreign diplomats.

The “lowly state legislator”

These are men and women through the United States who are making laws for the first time in their lives.

For the great majority of state legislators, being a lawmaker is their second career.  They are businessmen and women, lawyers or doctors or architects or homemakers.

Are you kidding me – state legislators from ho-bunk towns in the United States making “international” resolutions and traveling to war zones.

You have got to be kidding me!

Most of them haven’t even been out of state – except to go to an ALEC meeting – for free – on a corporate ALEC scholarship.
As I noted in a previous blog entry – it is very important for people to understand that 99% of the legislative members of ALEC have virtually NO foreign affairs experience – none, nada, zip – .

This whole ALEC “International Task Force” sham should be a warning to the citizens around the globe of the inflated image that the American Legislative Exchange Council has of itself.

Every citizen across the globe should be questioning why ALEC state legislators are participating in an ALEC task force that deals with international issues.

Posted by 2old2care

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