Victor Schwartz

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.

ALEC’s Koch Funded Cabal “Educating” our state and Federal Judges

ALEC’s Koch Funded Cabal “Educating” our state and Federal Judges

A VLTP Special Report – ALEC’s Federal Interference, Part II

August 20, 2012 | by Bob Sloan

Last month I began a two part series that began with “ALEC, the Koch Led CABAL & “The Amicus Project” – Fed Court Interference.” The first segment dealt with identifying and exposing ALEC’s Koch-funded cabal interfering with our judicial processes by filing hundreds of “Amicus Briefs” to state and federal courts in pending cases.  These were cases involving issues under the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments and other rights – and submitted by numerous cabal members, such as ALEC, Heritage, Heartland, Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses, CATO, Mackinac, etc.

When they file these briefs it is not sufficient to simply join together and file one comprehensive “brief” or argument in support of whatever position the cabal’s side is advocating for.  No, they file separate briefs making it appear that there is a groundswell of support on the cabal’s side of an issue.  I described this as the “front door” access the cabal uses in their attempts to influence outcomes in judicial cases involving legislative and related pursuits of the cabal.

This diary will introduce everyone to the cabal’s “back door” access to and influence upon state and federal judges through seminars and conferences provided by the cabal members...to in effect “program” judges to rule favorably in key cases.  These seminars are used to “educate” our judiciary as to the positions held by corporations and other matters important to businesses and their wealthy owners.  These seminars are provided to judges prior to important case reviews…the amicus briefs are “reminders” to the judges of what they “learned”through these seminars that were provided along with luxury vacations paid for by many corporations that may eventually wind up as a party before one or more of these judges.

The seminars take place at truly plush resorts (many of them the same used by ALEC for their annual meetings involving legislators) during all expense trips provided to the judges by a number of Conservative funded organizations (click the blue links for more information about these groups); the Foundation for Research on Economics and Environment (FREE Foundation), George Mason University’s Law and Economics Center, Northwestern University’s Northwestern Law Judicial Education Program, James Madison University’s Center for the Constitution at Montpelier and several other, smaller organizations.

These seminars are a way for ALEC’s corporate members and contributors to assist the cabal’s pursuit of influencing judges to render pro-corporate decisions on important issues and cases.  Below the fold I’ll provide some of the information, a video from ABC’s 20/20 and other documents identifying how this entire “system” has been set up, the funders and backers and the impact these maneuvers have had upon our judicial system.

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Since the founding of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 1973, conservative Republicans have pursued one overall objective – to control all three branches of the federal government.  The reason for seeking to gain total control is obvious.

In this pursuit they began by striving to grab control of state government’s three branches: legislative, judicial and gubernatorial.  In this latter effort, they have been relatively successful in that today they have twenty-one fully controlled state governments.  Many of these states became “Red” after the 2010 election that brought wins to the Tea Party and control to the GOP in more states than ever before.

It isn’t sufficient for anyone seeking control of our government to merely hold a majority in any of the three branches of government – they also need those in the controlling majorities to think like they do, owe their careers to those who worked to put them in office or exhibit a genuine allegiance to an overall agenda.

In 2001 ABC’s 20/20 presented an expose titled “Junkets for Judges” which can be found on YouTube in a two part presentation.  Here is a link to part two.

An important part of the foregoing investigative report is the fact that they claim as of 2001 they had identified more than 500 US judges who had attended these seminars.  Many that attended were at the time sitting in review of cases involving issues that were discussed at the seminars – and some returned to their courtrooms, and ruled favorably on behalf of corporate rights over governmental rights.  This 20/20 report only reports on the GMU seminars.  They don’t address the ones provided by FREE, Northwestern University, Liberty Fund or others.  At that time FREE had not opened their doors to state appellate and Supreme Court Justices and judges, providing the same pro-corporate seminars to them.

These junkets are designed to provide attending judges with an ultra-conservative, pro-corporate outlook on key issues.  During these free trips judges attend daily seminars provided by purported scientists, corporate executives and others advancing a one-sided, pro-corporate, free-market conservative ideology.  The seminars are designed to impart to the attending judiciary, corporate or business points of view on critical issues involving environment, economics, tort reform, EPA and takings law (eminent domain).

The cabal uses these free vacations in the same manner as the travel companies and time share companies do…everyone of us has been subjected to offers of “free vacations” for simply attending a time share presentation.  None of us plan on buying a time share, or joining a “discount” club – but face it, many do and for that reason the techniques are successful and continue to be used year after year.  These judicial education trips are no different.  Judges get an all expense paid trip, thinking they will have fun and can ignore the  propaganda presented in the seminars…but in the end, if they want to be able to take more of these trips, at some point they have to rule as if they’ve “learned” something at the previous ones, and thus be allowed subsequent trips.

I’m sure that those behind this activity involving the programming of judges, will no doubt claim that everyone has the right to advance their own arguments on important legal cases…that there are numerous other organizations providing seminars, conferences and work shops for judges.  Just as they’ve done in defense of ALEC’s operations and pursuits of proposing and passing state laws favorable to their conservative political agenda.

There are important differences between the cabal’s efforts of influencing the judiciary – and legislation – and the efforts put forth by others; the partisanship of their efforts.  All of their activities are designed to advance a pro-corporate, conservatively political position.  The claim of bi-partisanship or non-partisan makeup of the cabal’s members is delusional.  ALEC for instance has conservative leaning Democratic members, but they hold no positions of authority within the ALEC hierarchy; no chairmanship of ALEC’s task forces, on their Public sector board, etc.

Though the 20/20 expose concentrated upon George Mason University’s involvement in providing these trips for our judges,we found several additional universities and private, non-profit organizations participating in these efforts at both the state and federal level.  All but one are provided by conservative organizations, foundations or schools:

•    George Mason University(Law and Economics Center – LEC)   (Recipient of Koch funding totaling $20,297,143 from 1986-2006 ), Earhart Foundation, JM Olin Foundation.
•    Foundation for Research on Economics and Environment (FREE).  Funded by ExxonMobil, GE Foundation, Koch Family Foundation  ($1,305,500 through 2006), JM Olin Foundation, Earhart Foundation and Castle Rock Foundation (Coors). ($65,000 in 2009) and the Claude Lambe Foundation ($1,540,000).
•    Northwestern Law Judicial Education Program (funded by many key ALEC members, including Koch) .
•    Liberty Fund providing judicial conferences and seminars to/for Judges.
•    Federalist Society  (Koch funded   $1,437,200 through 2006)
•    Aspen Institute (Koch funded  $1,115,000 through 2006 with David Koch on the BOD).
•    University of Kansas, Law and Organizational Economics Center (LOEC) begun in 1995 by Henry Butler  with a $1,000,000 grant from the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation (see section on Henry Butler below).
•    International Judicial Academy which provides seminars for judges on the International level.

Supporters of the IJA have included; JEHT Foundation and Foundation to Promote Open Society.  JEHT Foundation ceased to operate in 2009 due to the Madoff ponzi scheme where their money was invested.  Foundation to Promote Open Society gets some of their principal funding from George Soros. Much of their contributions and donations received – along with their expenditures – are to/from other countries and include non-Soros’ funding.If you would like to know if a specific federal judge has attended one or more of these seminars, please visit http://tripsforjudges.org/ where you can input a judge’s name and search by organization, foundation, etc.  This link is somewhat outdated and does not have current information for 2012, but much of the information is in there and worth a look.

Other organizations provide judicial “training” to state and federal judges, but the foregoing seven are those with ongoing regularly scheduled seminars and trips.  Some completely reimburse judges for travel, housing and food while others reimburse to a set amount (such as U of K’s LOEC that reimbursed state judges up to $500.00 cap for travel).

The funding for six of the seven providing such judicial trips are funded with money from one or more of the Koch controlled family foundations.  In addition many known conservative foundations also fund these trips and seminars for judges, including; John M. Olin Foundation, Inc., M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Castle Rock Foundation, Claude Lambe Foundation (Koch controlled) and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

A sampling of topics presented in the seminars to these judges – state and federal – include; environment, takings laws (imminent domain), economics, tort reform, juror selection and jury decision making, The presentations are made by speakers from various colleges, universities and of greater importance from corporate CEO’s and executives representing Shell Oil and other major ALEC member corporations.  In addition many of the presentations are made by those representing; Heritage Foundation,  American Enterprise Institute, National Center for Policy Analysis, George Mason University, Brookings Institute and several other mostly conservative entities.

Trip/seminar funding listed by George Mason University include most of ALEC’s for profit corporate members, and the non-profits that fund ALEC – and most have ties to the Koch and related foundations previously mentioned.  (Those in bold are known ALEC/Koch benefactors, affiliates or corporate members). These funders are:

3M (former ALEC member)
Abbott Laboratories  (ALEC member)
Aequus Institute
Armstrong Foundation  (ALEC funding source)
AT&T (ALEC Member)
Atlas Economic Research Foundation
Batchelder III, Hon. William G. (current Speaker of the Ohio House)
Batchelder, Hon. Alice M. (Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit)
BP America, Inc. (ALEC member)
Brunswick Corporation
Castle Rock Foundation (Coors, ALEC funder)
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (ALEC Funding)
CIGNA Corporation (ALEC affiliated through Nickles Lobby firm)
Coca-Cola Company (former ALEC member)
Commonwealth of VA Tax Donations
Cortopassi Institute
Dow Chemical Company  (ALEC member)
Earhart Foundation
Exxon Mobil Corporation (ALEC member)
FedEx Corporation (ALEC member)
General Motors Corporation (ALEC member)
Gillette Company
Goodrich Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation
John William Pope Foundation
Johnson & Johnson (ALEC member)
Lilly Endowment, Inc. (ALEC member [Eli Lilly parent])
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt (Koch Ind. Patent Atty)
Pepsico Inc. (former ALEC member)
Pfizer, Inc. (ALEC member)
Property and Casualty Ins. Ass.
Randolph Foundation
Roe Foundation
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.
Sarah Jane Humphreys Foundation, Inc.
Sarah Scaife Foundation, Inc.
Searle Freedom Trust
Sharp Foundation
Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation
Shell Oil Company (ALEC member)
State Farm Insurance Companies (ALEC member)
Sunmark Foundation
U.S. Chamber of Commerce (ALEC member and joint amicus brief filings)
Unilever United States, Inc. (former ALEC member)
Verizon Communications (ALEC member)
William E. Simon Foundation
J.P. Humphreys Foundation

And when we researched Northwestern Law’s Judicial Education Seminars we found many of the same funding sources:

American Petroleum Institute (ALEC affiliate)
AT&T Inc. (ALEC member_
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
 (ALEC benefactor/member)
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Exxon Mobil Corporation (ALEC member)
LyondellBasell Industries (ALEC member)
McDonald’s Corporation (former ALEC member)
Microsoft Corporation (ALEC member)
Pfizer Inc. (ALEC member)
Searle Freedom Trust (ALEC affiliate – Heritage Foundation funder)
Shell Oil Company (ALEC member)
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (ALEC member)
The Dow Chemical Company (ALEC member)
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (ALEC/Koch affiliate & funding)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce (ALEC affiliate and joint amicus brief filings)

Here is a picture from FREE’s 2007 website that listed their funding sources for the judicial education program:free 2007 funding

Again, we see many of the same sources that are funding GMU and Northwestern University’s programs.  Note the corporate donors are all ALEC members – or were in 2007 – and the $100,000 annual contribution from the Koch’s Claude Lambe Foundation.

In 2006 federal courts began requiring that all “seminars” provided to judges had to be reported.  The reports required submission of the organization providing the seminars, topics presented and the name and organization presenting, where the funding came from for each.  A current listing of seminars held and reported to the US court since 2009 is found here.  As you’ll find if you visit, there are page after page of such seminars directed at “educating” our judges – state and federal.  Each one has basically the same funders, presenters, and you’ll also see that in many cases funding is provided by federal judges and their wives for these events.

The FREE foundation was uncomfortable filing such reports with the court system, so after we exposed them in 2010-2011, FREE decided to stop dedicating their seminars to judges.  Now they provide the same seminars, with the same topics and presenters but provide that these are for “Religious Leaders”.  Judges are still free to attend these FREE seminars – but since FREE lists them as for Religious Leaders, there is no requirement to submit reports to the US court system about them…no list of benefactors, topics, presenters, attendees, etc.

George Mason, Northwestern, Liberty Fund all continue to report their judicial seminars to the federal court as required.  FREE is the only one to cease their reporting by now claiming that their seminars are no longer dedicated to judicial education – but the seminars are “still open to judges” that wish to attend.

As with the ALEC model legislation, many of the titles provided for the topics covered in these judicial seminars are worded innocuously so they sound non-partisan and beneficial to the public as a whole.  We learned with ALEC to be suspicious of the wording of their proposed legislation and look instead to the content.  One has to do the same with the titles of the seminars and subjects listed for educating judges.  Below are just a few.  Those in bold are known ALEC/Koch affiliates:

Center for the Constitution at Montpelier June and December 2010 (Funder: Robert H. Smith)The Future of Executive Authority
Historical Context of the Constitution Related to Modern Technology
Future of the Fourth Amendment
Bioengineering and the Future of 14th Amendment Personhood

Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment August 2011 (funded by MJ Murdock Charitable Trust)
Taking the Long View of Progress

Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment July 2010 (funded byMJ Murdock Charitable Trust)

George Sack (John Hopkins University)
Addiction: A Disease of the Brain or a Disorder of Choice?

Sally Satel (American Enterprise Institute)
Delusions and Dreams vs. Consumer Driven Health Care

Regina Herzlinger (Harvard Business School)
Foundations for Understanding Health Care Policy

Regina Herzlinger (Harvard Business School)
Genetics and the Future of Medicine

Raymond Gesteland (University of Utah)
Genetics and the Future of Medicine

George Sack (John Hopkins University)
Information, Incentives & Health Care Decision Making

John Goodman (National Center for Policy Analysis)
Perspecives from a Medical Entrepreneur

George Herzlinger (Belmont Instrument Corporation)
Potentials for Policy Reform

John Goodman (National Center for Policy Analysis)
Potentials for Policy Reform

Regina Herzlinger (Harvard Business School)
Practical Problems with Organ Donation

Sally Satel (American Enterprise Institute)
Reflection on Science and Policy

Raymond Gesteland (University of Utah)
Reflection on Science and Policy

Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment August 2010 (funded by MJ Murdock Charitable Trust – Seminar title: Terrorism, Civil Liberty and National Security [08/08/2010 – 08/12/2010] (continued))

James Carafano (The Heritage Foundation)
Cyber-Screwed- Why We Can’t Fight Cyber-terrorism

James Carafano (The Heritage Foundation)
The Unhappy Marriage: Civil-Military Discord in Fighting Terrorism

Charles Fried (Harvard Law School)
Sunni and Shi’a: There Are Differences and Why They Matter

Richard Stearns (United States District Court)
Terrorism and the Allocation of Public Resources

Richard Stearns (United States District Court)
The Limits of Law- The Necessity of Executive Disobedience

Charles Fried (Harvard Law School)
The Limits of Law- The Necessity of Executive Disobedience

George Mason University Law & Economics Center
Seminar title: Economics Institute for Judges, Week 2 [03/10/2012 – 03/16/2012] Funded by xyz corp.

Todd Zywicki (George Mason University School of Law)
Mortgage Markets

Todd Zywicki (George Mason University School of Law)
On the Efficiency of the Common Law

Todd Zywicki (George Mason University School of Law)
The Not-So-Good Old Days of Consumer Credit

Henry N. Butler (George Mason University School of Law)
Economic Thinking

Henry N. Butler (George Mason University School of Law)
Economics of Insurance

Henry N. Butler (George Mason University School of Law)
Law & Economics in the Courts

Henry N. Butler (George Mason University School of Law)
Supply, Demand & Mutually Beneficial Exchange

Northwestern Law Judicial Education Program Seminar title: Advanced Law and Economics Institute: Environmental Economics [09/21/2009 – 09/23/2009]

Funders
American Petroleum Institute
AT&T Inc.
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Exxon Mobil Corporation
LyondellBasell Industries
McDonald’s Corporation
Microsoft Corporation
Pfizer Inc.
Searle Freedom Trust
Shell Oil Company
State Farm Mutual Automobil Insurance Company
The Dow Chemical Company
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Speakers/Topics

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Environmental Federalism

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Externalitites

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Markets in Action

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Review of Economic Concepts: Incentives Matter

Northwestern Law Judicial Education Program
Seminar title: Economics Institute for Judges [10/11/2009 – 10/16/2009]

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Corporate Governance

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Economic Evidence

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Forensic Economics

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Information and Prices, Allocative Efficiency, Equilibrium

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Principal-Agent Problems and Contracting

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Risk, Injury, and Liability

Henry Butler (Northwestern University School of Law)
Scarcity, Mutually Beneficial Exchange, Comparative Advantage

George Mason University Law & Economics Center
Seminar title: The Strategic Constitution [10/21/2009 – 10/24/2009]

Robert Cooter (Boalt Hall School of Law, Univ of CA, Berkeley)
The Strategic Constitution

George Mason University Law & Economics Center
Seminar title: Economic Analysis of Law [11/06/2009 – 11/12/2009

Charles Goetz (University of Virginia School of Law)(Member American Family Business Foundation)
Analyzing Human Choice

Henry Manne (George Mason University School of Law (Emeritus)
Corporate Law

William Landes (University of Chicago Law School)
Economic Structure of Tort Law

Charles Goetz (University of Virginia School of Law)
Fairness vs Efficiency

William Landes (University of Chicago Law School)
Intellectual Property

William Landes (University of Chicago Law School)
Negligence, Strict Liability and Causation

Charles Goetz (University of Virginia School of Law)
Rivalrous and Risky Decisions

Charles Goetz was a signatory to Milton Friedman’s letter: “Top Economists Agree: It’s Time to Repeal the Death Tax!” letter sent under the letterhead of the American Family Business Foundation in 2001.  Other signatories included ALEC, Jonathan Williams (ALEC), Art Laffer (ALEC Scholar), Henry N. Butler (review of the US Court’s Seminar reports linked to above, reveals that Butler is a frequent speaker at most of the seminars given to judges).  His credentials vary, sometimes listing him as GMU School of Law, Northwestern U’s School of Law, etc.It is important to know who these people are who are lecturing our judiciary.  Let’s look closer at Henry N. Butler.  As noted above, Butler founded the University of Kansas’ Law and Organizational Economics Center (LOEC) in 1995 with a $1,000,000 grant from the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation.  Here is more on Butler from Wiki:

Henry N. Butler (born c. 1955) is an American professor of law, economics, and public policy. He currently serves as the executive director of the Searle Center at the George Mason University’s School of Law. He formerly served as the Director of the Judicial Education Program at the American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Institution Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. Butler is a conservative and a supporter of free markets with little regulation; he has acted as an expert witness in a legal cases involving antitrust, restrictive covenants, damages, joint ventures, and other issues.Butler ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th congressional district in the 1992 elections; he lost the general election to Democrat Leslie L. Byrne.

Butler received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Richmond in 1977. He then attended Virginia Tech, where he earned a Master of Arts in 1979 and a Ph.D. in 1982. There he studied under Nobel Economics Laureate James M. Buchanan. Butler received his Juris Doctor law degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 1982, where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.

Butler spent three years at Texas A&M as an assistant professor of management before becoming a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School during the 1985-86 academic year. From 1986 to 1993, Butler was a professor at George Mason University School of Law. After 1992 Butler was a Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Distinguished Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Kansas School of Law and School of Business, and for a short time served as dean of the Chapman University, Argyros School of Business and Economics and Chairman of the Chapman University Law and Organizational Economics Center before moving to Chapman in 2001.

Butler has been involved in the political and legal spheres. While at George Mason University, he served as director of the Law and Economics Center at the George Mason University School of Law, which operates the Economics Institutes program for federal judges, which is controversial. In December 1995, Butler introduced the Economics Institute for State Judges at the University of Kansas’ Law and Organizational Economics Center.

Butler has written extensively on law and economics. He has written a casebook, Economic Analysis for Lawyers (with Christopher Drahozal, Carolina Academic Press), used at the Economics Institute for State Judges. Other books by Butler include Unhealthy Alliances: Bureaucrats, Interest Groups, and Politicians in Health (1994,American Entreprise Institute) The Corporation and the Constitution (with Larry E. Ribstein; 1995, American Entreprise Institute); and Using Federalism to Improve Environmental Policy (with Jonathan R. Macey; 1996, American Entreprise Institute).

Butler serves on the Legal Advisory Council of the AEI Legal Center for the Public Interest and the Advisory Board of the Atlantic Legal Foundation.

Butler has been cited (report to the Kansas Insurance Commission) in key reports involving insurance and spoken to the Federal Trade Commission on economic issues.University of Kansas, School of Law…”a Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Distinguished Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Kansas School of Law.  Know who else is now advocating “Excellence in Advocacy” at U of K’s School of Law?  Shook, Hardy and Bacon – the law firm that advances ALEC’s “Tort Reform” model legislation through the Civil Justice Task Force.  The CJTF is directed by Victor Schwartz of SHB, and another SHB attorney sits as the CJTF “Advisor” – Mark Behrens.

Here’s a picture of Victor Schwartz of SHB giving a presentation on Tort Reform to ALEC’s Civil Justice Task Force working group in 2010 in San Diego:

Schwartz at ALEC TF Meeting in SD

Today as yesterday, pictures say a lot…here are three pictures of Henry Butler.  In the first, he’s speaking at ALEC’s 2010 Meeting in San Diego, CA.  In the second he is speaking at a Searle Center judicial seminar in 2010 and in the third are judges sitting in attendance at that seminar…

Henry Butler speaks at ALEC

Henry Butler speaks at Searle Economics Institute seminar

Judges at Searle 2010 Butler Seminar

Another frequently used speaker at these judicial education seminars is Todd Zywiki, professor at GMU.  Here is Zywiki’s bio provided by the FREE Foundation where Zywiki sits upon their Board of Directors:

Todd J. Zywicki is Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law ands Co-Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review.  From 2003-2004, Professor Zywickiserved as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission. He has also taught at Vanderbilt University Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, Boston College Law School, and Mississippi College School of Law.Professor Zywicki clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and worked as an associate at Alston & Bird in Atlanta, Georgia, where he practiced bankruptcy and commercial law. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was executive editor of the Virginia Tax Review and John M. Olin Scholar in Law and Economics. Professor Zywicki also received an M.A. in Economics from Clemson University and an A.B. cum Laude with high honors in his major from Dartmouth College.

Professor Zywicki is a Senior Scholar of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Senior Fellow of the James Buchanan Center, Program on Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, at George Mason University, a Senior Fellow of the Goldwater Institute, and a Fellow of the International Centre for Economic Research in Turin, Italy.  During the Fall 2008 Semester Professor Zywicki was the Searle Fellow of the George Mason University School of Law and was a 2008-09 W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow and the Arch W. Shaw NationalFellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.

Professor Zywicki is the author of more than 60 articles in leading law reviews and peer-reviewed economics journals.  He is one of the Top 50 Most Downloaded Law Authors at the Social Science Research Network, both All Time and during the Past 12 Months.  Heserved as the Editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review from 2001-02.  Hehas testified several times before Congress on issues of consumer bankruptcy law and consumer credit and is a frequent commentator on legal issues in the print and broadcast media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, andThe Laura Ingraham Show.  He is a contributor to the popular legal weblog The Volokh Conspiracy and The Atlantic Business Channel of The Atlanticmagazine.

Professor Zywicki is a member of the Governing Board and the Advisory Council for the Financial Services Research Program at George Washington University School of Business, the Executive Committee for the Federalist Society’s Financial Institutions and E-Commerce Practice Group, the Advisory Council of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Program Advisory Board of the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment.  He is currently the Chair of the Academic Advisory Council for the following organizations: The Bill of Rights Institute, the film “We the People in IMAX,” and the McCormick-Tribune Foundation “Freedom Museum” in Chicago, Illinois.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the Bill of Rights Institute and in 2005 he was elected an Alumni Trustee of the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees.

Federal Judge Jerry E. Smith that Zywiki clerked for, attended many of the GMU and FREE trips and seminars: http://tripsforjudges.org/….  Click on judges, select Jerry E. Smith and look for yourself: trips and seminars from FREE, Liberty Fund, Federalist Society, etc.  Here’s a partial screen shot of some of his attendance:Judge Jerry Smith trips for judges screen shot

The Chairman of FREE is John Baden.  Baden and FREE are not only important as a part of programming our judges, he has shown he has great influence at the SCOTUS level as well (remember I began this with a segment on the use of Amicus briefs used at the federal and SCOTUS levels of our judiciary).  Here is Baden, his wife and FREE’s Associate Director Pete Geddes with Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas at a Heritage Foundation President’s dinner:

SCOTUS Thomas at Heritage Presidential Dinner

Here is a muckety chart showing the connections between Justice Thomas and the Koch cabal…

Harlan R. Crow affiliations

Notice that near the center of this graph, you find beside Thomas: Charles G. Koch foundation, Searle Freedom Trust, American Enterprise Institute, Coors and Castlerock Foundation, Scaife Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and from there it widens out to include most of the cabal organizations, foundations and individuals involved.

In this graph, you’ll find the connections between Justice Thomas’ law clerk, Naomi Rao and other organizations. (RAO was a witness against the confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor – and links to the Bush administration:

Neomi Rao

Much of the policy, legislation and resolutions the seminars provide to judges are based upon pro-corporate pursuit and are/were financially beneficial to not only the Koch brothers (personally), but to ALEC’s corporate membership; ExxonMobil, AT&T, Koch Industries, PhRMA, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, their Insurance company members, etc.  Not only is Koch’s interests and that of the corporate members assisted through this form of judicial influence, but also other Conservative “foundations” which help fund the cabal’s overall “free market” pursuits.

Arguments that “we’re only doing what other bi-partisan organizations are doing” is bullshit.  As the above demonstrates, all of this is being done to advance an agenda that is totally partisan and dedicated to the views and positions held by one political group – a minority view.  This is how the conservative faction has become able to successfully pursue their vision of democracy and America over the objections raised by the majority.  We now can clearly see all their activities; the model legislation, resolutions, judicial and legislative influences and the corruption bought through campaign contributions.  It all has a purpose, design and end goal…none of which any of us as true Americans will accept or condone.  One glaring example of their pursuits and influence is demonstrated by looking at the Citizen’s United SCOTUS decision and how that has benefited the GOP party – and in particular the conservative faction of that party owned, operated and controlled by the likes of Grover Norquist and Karl Rove.  Look what has happened in America since that single SCOTUS decision brought to us in part through the cooperation of Thomas, Scalia and Alito – all with ties to the Federalist Society and Koch money.

Between ALEC’s Federal Forum Task Force, their Amicus Project and these seminars, our federal judiciary is continuously “educated” in the ways of the cabal and the pro-corporate positions advanced.  At the core of these efforts are several key players; the Koch brothers (obviously), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, George Mason University, Heritage Foundation and Mackinac Center, etc.  The tools used include not just pro-corporate seminars and filing briefs to the same judges – it also includes placement of key “clerks” and “interns” close to these judges and SCOTUS.  With the constant pressure, influence and being in close proximity to individuals representing the cabal, the trend of our courts to lean to the right in many of their decisions and opinions is not surprising.  What is surprising is the fact that all of this has been ongoing for decades and operating quietly under the radar of us all.  They have been so successful that by 2012 this has become the “norm” for political and judicial reporting.  Too many of our large media outlets are now compromised and for those of us operating in “alternative” media outlets, our audiences simply are not large enough to have a substantial impact.  This all works to the benefit of the cabal – who collectively now own or control more than 85% of the US news outlets.

We can ill afford to allow this status quo to continue.  VLTP and our Abolish ALEC group on DK have worked for months on end to research, compile and prepare these investigative reports for Daily Kos readers and Progressive voters.  It is important to make this material available to all – yes, even Republicans who are blissfully unaware of the corrupt influences such as those described above, being wielded under the GOP banner, should be made aware and forced to make a choice as our country moves forward.

In upcoming segments we’ll introduce many to the cabal’s involvement with foreign government representatives (without the knowledge of those nations) to develop U.S. policies and laws…and we’ll provide a true and accurate comparison between the NCSL and ALEC.

Be sure and visit our website at www.vltp.net for the latest news, articles and opinions on ALEC and the cabal.  If interested in research interning, send us an email through the website.  If you have information, ideas or documents, contact us through the website and let’s all work together to disinfect ALEC and the cabal and remove them from our democracy altogether.

ALEC – Hidden Memberships EXPOSED!

Over the past year, much information about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has come to light.  The public learned of ALEC; model legislation, secret membership lists and denial of media access to ALEC events and meetings.  A complete website dedicated to exposing “everything ALEC” has been created helping to inform about ALEC.

Daily Kos and VLTP Researchers have been continuously digging through thousands of pages of FOIA’s, articles and documents. These efforts have revealed some important facts involving ALEC.

In addition to the standard Legislative and Corporate memberships, ALEC offers several additional “types” of membership; Legacy, Full and Subscription memberships.  Some individuals previously thought of as ALEC “alumni” are in fact important but undisclosed card carrying members –foreign lawmakers may also hold such memberships.

Full Membership

ALEC’s 2009 revised bylaws offer “full” memberships to current or former state, US and foreign lawmakers:

Section 3.03    Qualifications for Membership.
Full Membership shall be open to persons dedicated to the preservation of individual liberty, basic American values and institutions, productive free enterprise, and limited representative government, who support the purposes of ALEC, and who serve, or formerly served as members of a state or territorial legislature, the United States congress, or similar bodies outside the United States of America. (emphasis added) (Source: http://www.scribd.com/…)

Discovering that sitting Congressional members are eligible to maintain full membership in ALEC is more than worrisome, it is outright frightening with 98 known ALEC “alumni” holding seats in Congress today – without our knowing how many of those are actually ALEC members – with another 60+ Tea Party members, elected with Koch money.

Finding that Governors, heads of departments and Congressional members loyal to ALEC may secretly be a lifetime member was unexpected and disturbing.  The very real possibility that foreign politicians also have the ability to hold full memberships in ALEC and discuss and contribute to the development of laws implemented at any level in the U.S., sends my level of concern off the scale.  Most of us have the belief that our U.S. State Department is the agency responsible for foreign policy determinations. We were unaware that ALEC was involved in helping set U.S policy by giving foreign nations a voice in our legislative processes.

Identifying individuals with full membership in addition to current serving state legislators is difficult to obtain.  We are still researching this particular style of membership.  It is suspected foreign members with ALEC memberships include Roger Helmer and/or Liam Fox from the UK (both MP’s with Fox being the former Minister of Defence that resigned due to the ALEC/Atlantic Bridge Charity scandal).  Roger Helmer is a frequent attendee and speaker at ALEC functions.

ALEC has eighteen foreign “delegates” but it is not known if they have full memberships.  Many have attended ALEC conferences and meetings held in the U.S.   The Atlantic Bridge affairexposed ALEC for its relationship with their British counterpart:

“In 2003, Fox and Werritty officially partnered with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to form the Atlantic Bridge nonprofit. The relationship flourished; ALEC supplied staff to the Atlantic Bridge, and Fox and his associates frequently spoke at ALEC events, which are comprised of meetings between American politicians and business lobbyists. But with the implosion of the Atlantic Bridge, which has already ensnared lobbyists for Pfizer and several defense firms, the controversy has brought ALEC into the limelight.

Speaking at a 2008 ALEC conference in Chicago, Secretary Fox said,

We at Atlantic Bridge have been delighted at the success of our partnership with ALEC and we’re excited about what we might achieve together in the future.” “In particular,” he added, “we are patting ourselves on the back at having chosen such adisguised and solid values-based organization to be our partner because the values that you have need to be embedded at every level of government — not just national or federal government.” Given the way Fox exported ALEC’s stealth lobbying agenda to the UK, one must wonder when the Atlantic Bridge corruption scandal will hit the United States.”

“Disguised…organization” was a curious choice of words for Fox, but appropriate.  The discovery that ALEC had an affiliated organization in the UK which had been cleverly hidden and disguised for eight years was unknown to most.  The UK scandal revealed the affiliation between the Atlantic Bridge and ALEC “Charities”.

Legacy Membership

The second less known ALEC membership is called “Legacy” (or lifetime).  This option is also available to current or former ALEC members and at least one former state lawmaker holding a legacy membership is now working on behalf of an ALEC Corporate member (see: Drozda below).
This is the most expensive and prestigious individual membership offered by ALEC.  Cost is $5,000.00 paid in one of three options:
•    One payment of $5,000
•    Two consecutive annual payments of $2,500 ea.
•    Five consecutive annual payments of $1,000 ea.
We’ve begun compiling a list of those holding Legacy memberships and believe Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina holds an ALEC lifetime membership.  In 2008 then a SC State Rep., Haley applied for a Legacy membership by making the first payment of $1,000.00 to ALEC as reported to the S.C. ethics commission.

Haley

We believe the $1,000 payment listed by Haley as an “Annual membership payment” was for the lifetime membership.  The normal annual membership fee to an ALEC state lawmaker is/was $50.00 per year paid every two years in amounts of $100.00.  If Rep. Haley was not paying for a legacy/life membership, she was paying for 20 years of membership.  Other lawmakers paying for a lifetime membership submitted payments in the same manner as Governor Haley did.

To clarify the reason for the expenditure was an installment of a Legacy membership; this author contacted the Governor’s press office and sent an email query to the Governor for explanation or comment.  Both requests went without response or comment from the Governor or her representatives.

Below is the ALEC “Legacy Brochure” :

Legacy Brochure 1

Legacy Brochure 2

Legacy Brochure 3

Legacy Brochure 4
I contacted Kaitlyn Buss, ALEC’s Director of Communications with a list of questions regarding the Legacy Membership program and whether or not Governor Haley had continued her lifetime membership in ALEC and/or had attended ALEC meetings/conferences since becoming governor of S.C.  Ms. Buss also failed to respond to my queries or offer any response.

As noted in the actual application, ALEC Legacy “benefits” begin with the first installment; “Legacy Membership Program and benefits become effective after receipt of the first contribution” stated at the bottom of the application form.  State Rep. Haley was an active and acknowledged lifetime member of ALEC – with all the rights and benefits available – at the time she subsequently announced her candidacy for Governor of South Carolina.  It is unknown which of ALEC’s nine task forces Governor Haley chose to become an advisor to.

South Carolina Rep. Liston Barfield was seen wearing a Legacy member badge at the ALEC Annual Conference in New Orleans in August 2011:

Barfield
Possibly looking at key legislation proposed in SC by Barfield and other known ALEC members and/or signed into law by Governor Haley, will help us answer the question about whether the Governor’s loyalties are to constituents or to ALEC.

Exempting ALEC from the state lobbying laws:

•    SECTION 2-17-5.   Transfer of duties and powers from Secretary of State to State Ethics Commission. This 2011 legislation exempts ALEC from S.C.’s lobbying laws:
SECTION 2-17-90.   Acts prohibited of lobbyists’ principals; acts prohibited of public officials and employees; exceptions; disclosure requirements.,,
“…(1) In addition, invitations may be extended and accepted when the invitation is extended to all members in attendance at (a) national and regional conventions and conferences of organizations for which the General Assembly pays annual dues as a membership requirement and (b) American Legislative Exchange Council conventions and conferences;”

ALEC styled legislation was introduced last year by ALEC member, Senator Rose (in Jan. 2011) titled:

•    “Council on Efficient Government Act”, (S. 177).  This closely resembles ALEC’s model legislation by the same name; “Council on Efficient Government Act”.  This legislation is currently residing in the Senate Committee on Finance.  The bill is described as: “…TO PROVIDE THE REQUIREMENTS OF A STATE AGENCY PROPOSAL TO OUTSOURCE GOODS OR SERVICES, TO PROVIDE FOR AN ACCOUNTING METHOD TO BE USED BY THE COUNCIL, AND TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS”.
•     “Voter ID” legislation of 2011(H-3003) that again closely resembles ALEC’s “Voter ID Act”, was introduced or sponsored by S.C. ALEC members (Clemmons, Barfield, Sandifer, etc.) and was passed and signed into law by Governor Haley.
•     The “EDUCATION FINANCE ACT OF 2011” (H-3002), “Income tax credit” for tutoring expenses (up to $2,000) incurred by the taxpayer in a taxable year for the tutoring of an eligible student.  This also closely resembles ALEC’s “The Family Education Tax Credit Program Act
•    Another Bill “TO PROVIDE THAT A LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT IS EXEMPT FROM STATE STATUTES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE STATE BOARD UPON MEETING CERTAIN CONDITIONS”, and
•    Legislation “RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF “TEACHER”, SO AS TO REVISE THE DEFINITION BY REQUIRING CERTAIN MINIMUM TIME IN THE CLASSROOM AMONG OTHER CRITERIA” (H-3018).
•    ALEC member Rep. Clemmons also introduced “Teacher contracts” legislation (H-3028) extending teacher induction period from one to three years.  This means teachers can be forced to work as an Induction teacher for three years before applying for or receiving a permanent position and contract salary.  Again some of the language and intent is similar to ALEC’s “Career Ladder Opportunities Act.”
•    The legislature (through ALEC members Rep. Smith and Rep. Loftis) proposed legislation establishing the “S.C. College and University Board of Regents” (H-3025).  This proposed legislation would eliminate the South Carolina State Commission on Higher Education and the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, replacing it with a Board of Regents. Not surprisingly, this legislation contains much of the same wording as ALEC’s “Resolution Supporting Training and Continuing Education for Higher Education Governing Boards”.
•    A “Private School Tax Credit” bill to provide a tax credit of $100.00 per child for purchase of books or supplies used for home schooling or attending Charter Schools.
•    A Constitutional Amendment to remove the Superintendent of Education as an elected post, and make that position one of gubernatorial appointment, with duties, compensation and oversight controlled by the General assembly.

Repealing the Patient Affordable Care Act is also a key ALEC pursuit.

•    S.C. ALEC members proposed a “Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act” (H-3011, sponsor Rep. G. Smith) that is titled exactly the same as ALEC’s “Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act.”

From the foregoing it can be determined that the S. C. ALEC state chairmen, Rep. Barfield and Sen. Alexander have been fulfilling their duties under ALEC’s bylaws requiring state chairmen to “ensure introduction of model legislation”:

Section 10.03    Duties:
“State Chairmen duties shall include recruiting new members, working to ensure introduction of model legislation, suggesting task force membership, establishing state steering committees, planning issue events, and working with the Private Enterprise State Chairman to raise and oversee expenditures of legislative scholarship funds.”

If Governor Haley has maintained her lifetime membership, perhaps she’s also been quietly fulfilling her duties as well by quickly signing every piece of ALEC model legislation that lands on her desk?  An even more important concern is how many other ALEC “Alum” now holding key offices are also actually loyal “lifetime” members?  Kasich, Walker and Brewer are all alumni.  How about Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor?  Both are known ALEC “alumni” and with the discovery of the Legacy membership program, one or both could be members while serving in the U.S. Congress.  ALEC’s refusal to release any of their membership lists, forces researchers to spend hours digging out these small bits of evidence – which ALEC will neither deny or provide a “no comment” on.

A second important holder of an ALEC Legacy membership is U.S. Representative Alan Nunnelee (R MS), a Legacy member while serving as a MS Senator (1995 – 2010).  Nunnelee won the race for the U.S. House and is now the current incumbent and up for reelection in November, 2012:
Nunnelee

Rep Nunnelle is currently the only confirmed Legacy member out of 97 ALEC alumni serving in Congress.

Known Legacy members from Indiana (four) where RTW just passed, school reform including charter schools passed in 2011, the first ALEC voter ID law was passed in 2007-2008 and in 2010 Governor Daniels signed legislation (similar to S.C.’s exempting ALEC from Indiana lobbying laws).  IN. Legacy members include:

•    Rep Dave Frizzell (R IN) became a lifetime member in 2004 (now serving as current ALEC National Chairman) – listing his member payments as operations or contributions:

Frizzell

•    Rep James R. Buck (R IN) became a lifetime ALEC member in 2007 – listing his membership payment(s) for “operations”:

Buck

•    Rep. P. Eric Turner (R IN) became a lifetime ALEC member in 2009 – listing his membership payments as “contributions”:

Turner

•    Senator Jeff Drozda (R IN) became a lifetime member with his initial payment of $2,500 to ALEC on March 20, 2006:

Drozda

•    Rep Ronald Forster (R GA) became a lifetime ALEC member in 2006:

Forster

•    Rep. Harold Brubaker (R NC) (ALEC Public Sector board member) became a lifetime member by paying the full $5,000 on May 24, 2004, listing it as an operations expense:

Brubaker

•    Rep.  Julia Howard (R NC) who paid the first $2,500 lifetime membership installment on January 20, 2010 – again listing her member payments as an Operating expense:

Howard

•    Sen. Jerome Delvin (R WA) became a lifetime member in 2008:

Delvin

•    Rep. William Howell (R VA & Speaker of the VA. House) became a lifetime member in 2005:

Howell

•    Rep John Cosgrove (R VA) became a lifetime member in 2005:

Cosgrove

•    Sen Val Stevens, (R WA) proclaims herself to be an ALEC Legacy member in her official bio:”Leadership: Legacy member and a former National Board Director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization whose mission is to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty among America’s state legislators.”

•    Senator Bob Burns (R-AZ) is a Legacy Member and former Senate President, succeeded by Sen. Russell Pearce as President and defeated in 2011 by Rick Murphy :

Burns
In our research we discovered ALEC made changes to their IRS 990 reporting in regard to Legacy memberships.  They have been doing this since 2005, reducing the amount of accounts receivable and changing funds from legacy memberships back and forth between listing them as contributions and donations.

Below is the 2008 change taken from ALEC’s “Notes to Financial Statements”:
2006-07 Notes to financial statements
This follows earlier changes regarding memberships – specifically Legacy memberships from 2005 through 2007:
2005-06 Notes to financial statements
2008 Notes to financial statements

The foregoing may explain why legacy membership payments over the years are listed differently; as contributions, operating expenses, etc.  What impact, if any this could have in the ongoing IRS complaint for review of ALEC’s tax exempt status is unknown at this time.

In addition to the real possibility Governor Haley’s ALEC membership may be influencing her decisions in South Carolina and Rep Nunnellee’s may be influencing his decisions in Congress; another ALEC Legacy member (Jeff Drozda) has been using his loyalty to ALEC and connections to ALEC corporate members to his – and their – benefit.

After serving one full term, Drozda was reelected in 2006 then resigned midterm in 2008.  While a state Senator he was employed by United Healthcare (UH – a division of the United Health Group, a long time ALEC corporate member/sponsor).  In 2008 Drozda became UH’s Vice President of State Government Affairs and with the promotion Drozda was ordered to relocate to South Carolina.  He immediately resigned his Senate post.

In 2010-2011 Drozda registered with Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi as a lobbyist for United Healthcare.  In February 2012, Drozda was selected as CEO of the Louisiana Association of Health Plans (LAHP), the state trade association for the health benefits industry.  The selection of Drozda was made by J Pegues, CEO of Coventry Health Care of Louisiana and president of the LAHP Board of Directors.  Like UHG, Coventry is also an ALEC corporate member.

UH and LAHP are working to provide privatized Medicaid services to Louisiana and Mississippi, the latter under a program titled “MississippiCAN” and so far this program is failing miserably,while generating large profits for UH and its subsidiary, Golden Rule Insurance.

The foregoing example of coordination and loyalties exhibited by ALEC’s collective membership demonstrates how closely woven their interests and activities are and why ALEC corporations flourish.  Low income families – as in Louisiana – are usually the loser in services when these efforts of privatization are accomplished through legislation.

Subscription Membership

The remaining relatively unknown type of affiliation is termed a “Subscription” membership costing $250.00 annually.  We learned that this is offered to ALEC state lawmaker members who have been selected and appointed to head a state department or agency.

One corroborated case of ALEC offering such a membership to a recently appointed former ALEC member is that of Rep. Todd Snitchler, (R-OH).  He was appointed by Governor Kasich (an ALEC alum) to the position of Chairman of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUCO).

We have no documents showing Snitchler accepted the subscription membership offered by ALEC and or not.  However as in the case with Governor Haley and Drozda we ascertained just how loyal Snitchler remains to ALEC’s corporate members once he became the PUCO Chairman.  He favored the same ALEC member companies that contributed to his election campaignsAmerican Electric Power, Duke Energy.

In an email from ALEC’s Board liaison and Donor Relations Coordinator, Briana Mulder offered Snitchler a subscription membership:
SnitchlerMulder’s discussion about subscription memberships, provisions and benefits was provided so matter-of-factly, ALEC has obviously provided similar memberships before this offer was made.

Again, due to secrecy surrounding ALEC memberships it is difficult to ascertain which “alumni” are instead still active ALEC subscription members – serving as directors or chairmen of important state and/or federal agencies or departments –serving in some capacity.

With regard to AEP and Duke Energy we discovered in December 2011 PUCO approved a new energy security plan submitted by AEP.

Simultaneously Snitchler and the PUCO Board worked with Duke Energy on another ESPfor an auction system that would determine energy – and ultimately the cost of that energy to consumers – through 2015.  The Duke ESP was approved by the PUCO the same month as the AEP plan.

The rate increases authorized for American Electric Power under the December ESP resulted in double digit increases in energy costs to private consumers and as high as 50% to public school customers.

On February 29, 2012 Chairman Snitchler revoked the AEP energy plan by a unanimous vote of the Commission.

In November 2011, ALEC members, Sen. Kris Jordan (R OH) and Sen. Seitz (R OH) sponsoredS.B. 216 that would repeal S.B. 121 requiring electric distribution utilities and electric services companies provide 25% of their retail power supplies from advanced and renewable energy resources by 2025.  Governor Kasich proposed a legislative measure (S.B. 315) this past April that would allow cogeneration systems in the definition of “renewable energy resource” under Ohio’s renewable portfolio standard.  Critics of the proposal have warned that the inclusion of cogeneration in the RPS could harm the development of other renewable energy systems, particularly wind.

This past February, PJM filed two measures with the Federal Regulatory Commission(FERC) arising from their stakeholder process.  These are designed to reform the generation interconnection process and include public policy requirements in regional transmission planning.

In May, Chairman Snitchler was a speaker at the 2012 PJM Interconnection Member Meeting.  PJM is a regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, serving 60 million customers.  Duke Energy and AEP are both members of PJM Interconnections and PJM is a client of Shook, Hardy and Bacon (operating ALEC’s Civil Justice Task Force through Victor Schwartz as Director and Mark Behrens as Advisor).

PJM, Duke and AEP have keen interests in reducing government regulations on energy, and object to the new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s focus on renewable energy and environment.

In Ohio, an ALEC Alum Governor, ALEC influenced General Assembly and ALEC alum Chair of PUCO coordinated legislation and policies beneficial to ALEC member companies.  Their actions cost customers of AEP and Duke Energy huge increases in energy costs, while generating higher profits to the ALEC companies.  Whether similar manipulations are ongoing in other states, enabled by hidden ALEC members placed in key positions, is unknown at this time.  But this one exposure in Ohio demonstrates exactly how ALEC members are able to impact energy pricing and regulations over an entire state – to the benefit of the corporate members of the cabal.  I’m hopeful that other researchers will take the time to delve into their state records and determine whether or not this is happening in their locales.

CONCLUSION

The foregoing interconnections are shown to demonstrate a paradigm operating within all levels of government; state, federal and international.  All funded by major U.S. and multi-national corporations, utilizing current and former lawmakers in diverse ways to implement policies that enrich and empower.  True competing small businesses, taxpayers and consumers collectively provide that enrichment and fall prey to the legislative and financial power generated through this agenda.

This insight into previously unknown activities and influence through ALEC presents a clearer picture of how democracy in America is compromised through a well planned, comprehensive and highly organized and coordinated manner.  With ALEC members in our legislatures, sitting as Governors, Congressmen and as heads of key state departments – such as education and energy – critical systems and services are completely compromised.

When corporations have lawmakers writing favorable legislation, governors signing those into law and heads of government departments and regulatory agencies all serving under the ALEC “flag”, consumers are continuously at risk of exploitation – as we’re now experiencing in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and several other states with GOP “Super majorities”.

There are certainly many more Legacy and Subscription members yet to be identified and reported.  The foregoing list combined with the actual Legacy brochure and ALEC documents, establishes for a certainty the existence of these types of memberships within ALEC.  The legislation presented, passed and signed into law by GOP Governors demonstrates clearly the power and influence wielded by ALEC members nationwide – used to advance a pro-corporate agenda.

I want to include the great work of other DK Abolish ALEC members who participated in the research used to compile this expose; MNDem999, Ron1951, Hector Solon and the cooperative efforts of the Center for Media and Democracy.  We tried to provide the tax information to a member of Common Cause in DC so it could be looked at in regard to their IRS complaint about ALEC’s tax exempt status.  Our phone call was not returned.