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ALEC; American Legislative Exchange Council

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    ALEC is one of the best kept secrets in America thanks to its Orwellian World.
      ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council which writes Robber Baron legislation for Republicans in local, state and federal legislatures.
      It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the Robber Barons have been writing their own legislation for a generation so why don't we just close down all these legislatures save a bundle of tax money and let the Robber Barons run the country openly since they have been doing it for years???!!!
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    My newly adopted state of Arizona has a disproportionate share of politicians who have ties
    to ALEC. From what I can tell, the majority of the Senate AND the House have members with ties, and the governor is listed as an "alumni member" of ALEC.

    The full list, by state, is listed below:

    This psst Sunday, I sent a letter to ALL of the members of the Senate about a partisan bill that one of the Senate members is trying to ram through, and I pointed out to them that the majority of the voters in Arizona don't agree with the positions of ALEC.

    ALEC literally wrote ALL of the wording for Arizona's 2010 Arizona law (SB10700, which is currently under review by Federal courts. The law's sponsor, Russell Pearce, was forcibly removed from office last November.

    If I don't get shot by some of the gun crazy folks in "the Grand Canyon state", I might actually be able to make a difference in how the state is run.

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    ALEC is holding its 40th conference this week in Chicago. So far, it appears that the number of protestors is at least equal to the number of conservative lawmakers in attendance:

    In addition to their usual targets (like Obamacare), ALEC is also on a mission to kill clean energy programs across the country. An organization called People's World recently obtained internal documents that provide more details on the program:

    Another one of the hare-brained ideas proposed by ALEC is drug testing for welfare recipients. On the surface, it seems like a good idea. Florida was the first state to pass legislation requiring the testing. So far, 98% of the people tested have passed the test. To date, Florida has spent $178 million on the test. By denying benefits to the 2% that failed the test, Florida saved $60,000.

    Other states are also considering similar legislation:

    Florida's law was recently declared unconstitutional by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    You're also aware of the fact that Florida was the first state (in 2005) to pass a modern day "stand your ground" law (wording was provided by ALEC) and at least 21 other states (including Arizona) now have similar laws on the books. Trayvon Martin, so far, is the best known victim of the new law, but some old history can provide a fuller explanation of the folly of the law:
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    ALEC, as well as the Federalist Society and other aspects of the successful right-wing conspiracy are discussed in the article I cited in my thread:

    Here's my original post:

    Guy Dwyer Wrote: In 1998 when Hillary Clinton mentioned that there was a "vast right-wing conspiracy" at work, it was easy to label her accusation frivolous and erroneous because of the context in which she made the accusation. That is, she accused those who were after Bill Clinton because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and when Bill finally admitted his wrong-doing it made Hillary's accusation seem phoney.

    However, that did not and does not mean that the right-wing conspiracy does not exist. In fact, it does exist, and it is why we are in this state of deep partisan political conflict, economic crises, global crises, wars, and tribulation.

    As an article titled ALEC and The Federalist Society reveals, it began in the 1950s with the John Birch Society and McCarthyism. It was revived and expanded by Reaganism in the 1980s, and it was firmly entrenched during the Bush presidency, to the extent that now the wealthiest few rule completely, regardless of who is in the White House.

    They virtually control all three branches of the U.S. Government, but most importantly they control most state governments one way or another. And the right-wing conspiracy is indeed vast. In includes the "Religious Right," The Federalist Society, The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), The Heritage Society, The Cato Institute, Fox News, Clear Channel, the American Action Network (ANN), and the list of well organized right-wing PACs and think tanks is very long.

    There are countless phoney conspiracy theories being floated around on the Internet, but this one is all too real. And it will be stopped only when it is exposed and brought into the light of scrutiny, because until Bill Moyers broke the story in 2012 and updated it recently, it has been very successful at keeping its activity unknown to the public.
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    That ALEC group is definitely too powerful. Some great suggestions, Arizona, in how to combat them, with letters and protests. We all wonder if our little contributions to govt of, by & for the People, will ever have a chance against the Big Bucks, & the right wing lobbyists. But it would feel great to at least TRY, by using the tools you mentioned. Do you write real "letters" with postage? Or do you "email" members of Congress? If we write real letters, we will actually help our struggling Post Office Dept also, since the Repubs have tried to destroy it financially. Since our tax dollars do not support the Post Office, they subsist mainly on sales of stamps and packaging. So I try to buy a lot of stamps every month. There is always a huge supply of beautiful designs, fun to collect. We also should tell off our Congress right-wingers that we LOVE our Post Office, the way it always was.

    The sooner ALEC is dismantled, the better. Of course, the right wing would rather dismantle Obamacare. And perform unnecessary drug tests on the poor who get food stamps. Anything to "waste" all our tax dollars, & do NOTHING to strengthen this government. It is particularly obvious how badly they prefer financial gain, when they deliberately try to dismantle the CLEAN ENERGY programs. This deliberate undermining of Uncle Sam, and destruction of our system of governance, is basically, at the core, a form of treason. The Founders would be clawing their way out of their graves, if they could see all this. The insidious subtle destruction of all they worked & fought for in 1776.
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    eternal flame:

    You've raised a LOT of good points.

    To answer your questions, though, here are a few key points for you:

    1) I've MAILED letters (postage and everything) to various legislators, but communicate more frequently with local, state, and national letters by email, since that is their preferred means of communication. About a week ago, I MAILED a letter to the head of the Department of Agriculture (which I posted on this site) and asked him to cut off Farm Bill benefits to two Congressmen who had received SUBSTANTIAL benefits from the program PERSONALLY, but had voted AGAINST having food stamps (SNAP) in the farm bill. What I've noticed is that local and state elected officials are very responsive to input from their constituents, and I've written to the folks in Phoenix on numerous occasions.

    2_ The Post Office has admittedly suffered due to the fact that most of us use email a lot more than written letters, but the real issue in the profitability of the Post Office is due to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which imposed unrealistic funding requirements on the Post Office. In essence, the organization is required to set aside reserves for future medical and retirement benefits for its employees for either the next 50 or 75 years. The chief villain currently is none other than Representative Darrell Issa of California (the 2nd richest man in Congress) who apparently would profit PERSONALLY if the Post Office business were transferred to private carriers. He's the guy who is also responsible for the "scandals" of Benghazi, the IRS, and Fast and Furious, all of which have since been proven to be groundless accusations to everyone except regular viewers of FOX News.

    3) I came across some notes the other day that mentioned that the House of Representatives has spent $60,000,000 in voting to repeal or defund Obamacare 40 times, but they literally have done NOTHING ELSE to help the country. Mike Lee of Utah ( a member of the Tea Party caucus in Congress) is one of the folks who are threatening to shut the government down in the fall if Obamacare is not defunded. Even many Republicans agree that this would be the dumbest action yet of the 113th Congress, which is already the worst Congress in history.
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    It shouldn't surprise you to know that ALEC is behind all the new voter ID laws.

    North Carolina passed its latest voter ID law yesterday. One of the changes made is that student photo IDs will no longer be accepted as proof of ID. Texas has the same provision, but Texas WILL accept EXPIRED GUN LICENSES from other states.

    So ..

    If you're a liberal college student from out of state, you're not going to be able to vote in either state, but if you're a high school dropout, and a gun owner, from another state, you can.

    The founder of ALEC is a man named Paul Weyrich, who died in 2008. This is what HE had to say about voter ID:

    In addition to founding ALEC (in 1975), he also founded the Heritage Foundation (which provides misleading statistics to conservatives) a year earlier. In 1979, he and Jerry Falwell started the Moral Majority. His other quotes (at the end of the article below) are enlightening:

    Reading the other articles in his bio will confirm the tact that he's a little, um, nuts ........................................

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    The House of Representatives in both Arizona and Kansas have passed legislation in the last week or so that would allow individuals, groups, or businesses to refuse to provide service, accommodations, or employment to gays or lesbians on "religious grounds". In effect, the laws (if passed by the Senate in each state) would legitimize homophobia. In addition to the two states mentioned, it's currently legal in 27 other states for restaurants to not offer service to gays or lesbians.

    Whenever I see restrictive legislation that is similar in intent get passed in a few states, I generally suspect that the American Legislative Exchange Council is probably involved at some level. Officially, ALEC states that it "does not maintain model policy or take positions on social issues":

    The truth is, though, that ALEC has been involved in anti-gay activities for at least the last 30 years

    Most of us would consider private prisons, restrictions on immigration, voter ID laws, and stand your ground laws to be "social issues" , since minorities of all stripes are disproportionately affected by all of them. ALEC has provide model legislation for all of them, which tells me that they definitely are involved in "social issues".
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    I'm just coming on to ALEC and finding this organized action group is mostly Corporate. So, who? The Corporate's are designing legislation to favor their interests, "fracking" included. I understand that the Obama administration approves of the ALEC views, but I'm not sure how much. Why is our elected officials approving ALEC?...........must be all about the MONEY. So, do we follow the money trail to the Corporate sponsors or have hope that common sense prevails? There appears no concern to damaging the environment or what part of the country gets hurt the worse.

    I found that Senator Durbin is championing the cause to have public information on the Corporate sponsors of ALEC, but Senator Durbin is being obstructed by the same ALEC groups. I read where Senator Durbin is identifying up to 300 corporations. Wow, is this about US against THEM? I'm going to continue monitoring ALEC, because it sure looks like an emerging cancer in America.
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    I'm glad some people get the picture on how this country is governed; I said so in many of my threads that we as voters are just used as a smoke screen for what really is happening. The real rulers are the one's with the money and certain government installations like the Pentagon, NSA etc who make the rules; I doubt that we as measly voters can do anything about it, because the majority of voters are either uneducated or un-interested in government or just vote for a pretty face or promises which are seldom kept. So sorry there are more ALEC like groups who run the show. We are just standing at the sidelines and have to pay up.
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    I did not know too much about ALEC, but I thought the links on this thread were very helpful. I hope I can get all this information typed out, for future reference. But then I wonder: What exactly CAN WE DO? Some people seem to get better responses from their Congressmen. One time, I had a wild idea of writing to all the Congressmen, by email. Then, at the time, I got responses (on their websites) that said, if you do not live within the ZIP CODE of the Congressman involved, your email will be discarded. This puts a curb in your enthusiasm. Since that means you can only reach 2 or 3 Congressmen, that live in YOUR Zip code. So if you want to get a point across to 400+ Congressmen & Senators, how to do it?

    If you sent them a mail letter, it costs over $263.00 postage for each letter sent to ALL members @.49 cents //+ notepapers + envelopes.
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    Please send email in the directions of Representative Joe Heck, 3rd District, NEV. He apparently continues to send me (Missouri) inquiries on American views. Joe Heck will surely enjoy your correspondence from any State. I assume Nevadans do not communicate well with Joe Heck, so he must reach out of state for interest.

    I don't know how he stands on ALEC, but he's Republican and must endorse whatever Republicans want.

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    Although this topic has been covered pretty well, the latest news about the organization is that they just concluded their annual meeting in Dallas on August 1. The focus this year apparently was on environmental regulation.

    It's interesting to note that the ice cream at the ice cream socials sponsored by TransCanada have been melting faster than normal - all due to global warming, of course.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people STILL don't know what ALEC is.
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    Let's energize the base! This is a midterm election and we will have a low voter turnout. The Republican congress is the most dysfunctional, bigoted, partisan, group of animals in history. People don't want to go through another government shut down or see continued obstruction of relevant issues such as minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, income inequality, background checks, immigration reform, food stamps, early education, and collective bargaining, etc. They have ignored these issues in favor of their puppet masters edicts. Let's get out the vote and make them pay! Educate everyone you can as quickly as you can.