Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mission Creep (ALEC Exposed!!)

This used to be a fun blog...I used to write hillarious posts about my past experiences and the lessons they taught me....(Like the post I wrote Monday about Sparkle) I've been looking at the posts I write now and they aren't as fun and probably aren't as interesting....but...these are things people need to know.

Some of you aren't going to read a newspaper...Some of you aren't going to buy Newsweek or Time and some of you aren't going to watch CNN... But if you're going to read a blog...If you're going to read this might as well know the truth...
I would be remis if I wrote other wise. I owe it to my grandparents and all of the people who have come and gone on who's shoulders I stood on to tell the truth that they couldn't.

So with that disclaimer...I want to continue yesterday's conversation about the secret right wing think tank that is lobbying and deciding your future without you getting a vote or a chance for dissent...

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington, D.C., tax-exempt organization. IE- Right wing think tank filled with Republican-Tea Party-Ultra Conservative lawmakers and funded by corporations who products we all use at some point!

Yesterday I stated that ALEC has nearly 2,000 state legislator members who pay $100 in dues every two years. Most of ALEC’s money comes from nonprofits and corporations — from AT&T to Bank of America to Chevron to eBay — which pay thousands of dollars in dues each year.


Common Cause staff counsel Nick Surgey said the documents his group sent to the IRS provide “a snapshot of what ALEC’s been doing” from 2010 to 2012, but the group has not come across any ALEC issue alerts related to the Voter ID Act.
ALEC, whose staff declined to discuss the group’s role in advocating for voter ID bills throughout a seven-month News21 investigation, will not disclose which corporations voted for the model voter ID bill nor whether issue alerts were sent to states considering such legislation.

“It is vitally important to protect the integrity of our voting system in the United States and such protection must come from the state level,” a July 2009 ALEC newsletter said. “That is why ALEC members are actively working on these issues.
“Election reform is both critical and complex, with multiple possible solutions for different states. Therefore, ALEC is uniquely positioned to raise awareness and provide effective solutions to ensure a legal, fair and open election system,” the newsletter continued.

Andy Jones (a former intern) and Jonathan Moody (still an ALEC staff member) wrote that article. Andy Jones declined to comment and  Jonathan Moody did not respond to any interview requests from independent media.( It seems like the the three bigs, ABC,NBC,CBS and of course FOX don't want to touch this!)

Sean Parnell worked with state legislators Greenberg, Pearce and Ruppel when they drafted the ALEC model voter ID bill (Pearce did not respond to multiple interview requests). Parnell was then the president of the Center for Competitive Politics, an Alexandria, Va., organization that opposes campaign contribution limits.

“A number of organizations — on all sides — are a little too paranoid about talking,” said Parnell, who now runs a consulting firm, Impact Policy Management. “But you have to understand, as private entities, they have every right to say, ‘You know what? This is not something for public consumption.’”

“But I can tell you, ALEC private-sector members really didn’t care one way or the other when we discussed voter ID,” Parnell said. They must have cared enough to get some of the legislation passed across the country. Do these people think that everybody is stupid? Apparently so.

Ruppel said about 50 legislators and private-sector members voted on the bill, with a wide majority voting yes. “The private sector was a little quiet on it, but they were the ones who said people need IDs for everything these days. It’s common sense.”

Attempts were made  by several  independent news organizations to contact each of the 115 ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force members listed on a 2010 document that Common Cause published.

The majority did not return phone calls. Is anyone still reading this surprized? Former Michigan state Rep. Kim Meltzer, one of 108 Republicans on the task force, said she didn’t know voter ID was an ALEC initiative.  Really? You didn't? Yeah,Okayyyyyy and I've got a bridge to sell you...No really! I do!

Georgia legislator Edward Lindsey said ALEC gradually developed “mission creep” and strayed from its economic-centered purpose. ALEC, facing intense media attention and corporate dropouts, disbanded the Public Safety and Elections Task Force in April of this year! Shocked?? Surprised?? (The American Public leads the world in being shocked and surprised...We read and research so little that we are often the last to know about things that really matter. )

“That should help them focus on core economic policies instead of on the machinations of democracy,” said Keesha Gaskins, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, a group that opposes strict photo ID laws.

Legislator interest in voter ID....
It is difficult to find exact matches between ALEC’s Voter ID Act and strict photo ID bills that appeared nationwide in the past two years. Much of the minutiae of the bills’ language differs, which Greenberg said is the objective.

“That’s the way ALEC works. We don’t give people an ironclad law to propose,” he said.
And because Greenberg’s bill was modeled on the Indiana and Georgia laws, many legislators said their proposals were also based on those laws, not ALEC’s model bill.

Still, the Center for Media and Democracy’s Brendan Fischer said his group sees “pretty strong evidence” of the influence of the Voter ID Act: “We identified numerous instances where legislation introduced in state legislatures contained ‘ALEC DNA’ — meaning the state legislation and the ALEC models shared similar or identical language or provisions.”

State bill sponsors, including Republican state Rep. Cathrynn Brown of New Mexico  said their motivation did not come from ALEC, but from reports about the now-defunct liberal voter registration group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).Remember them? Remember the Republican-Right Wing furor over ACORN??

“We had groups like them going around doing registrations and discarding the ones they didn’t like,” Brown said. This is a lie...But I must go on..

ACORN, which endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, became the target of conservative activist James O’Keefe’s deceptively edited videos that purported to show employees encouraging criminal behavior.

ACORN folded in 2010 after Congress and private donors pulled its funding. New Hampshire state Rep. Jordan Ulery blamed the group for increasing partisan fighting about election fraud. These Republicans will stop at nothing..Nothing to hoist their warped viewpoint unto the world.  

Tell a lie long enough and loud enough and it becomes the truth or at least people believe it is the truth!

Chew on this folks...if all of this voter fraud nonsense is getting to you...Since 1978, there has only been 10...TEN actual cases of voter fraud reported in the United States...
That's all I'm going to say...Ask yourself...After the 2000 election that was stolen from Al Gore...shouldn't it be the Democrats that should be shouting Voter Fraud??? Hmmmm!

So now you see How government actually works and how you and I are manipulated.
Pay very close attention to who gets elected, how they vote(It's public record) and what kinds of lobbyist are behind them....Think about the companies who you buy from and what their CEO's are really about....You'd be very surprised....Chick Fil A let is just the surface.

Informed Voting and Economic boycotting sends a very powerful message....Sounds so hard doesn't it?  Really..It's not.. These people are counting on your apathy and your laziness..

Mission Creep!!!!...Mission Creeps is more like it!

1 comment:

Arlene said...

Nice reporting, Keith. The Inquirer could use your thoughtful voice. These voter id laws and those "stand your ground" laws are direct from ALEC. We in PA have the so-called castle doctrine straight out of ALEC's playbook. Any surprise who the targets are supposed to be!!
I've been voting with my "pocketbook" for a long while. I do believe that my little bit of money speaks for me and I won't give one red cent to a Rmoney or Koch brother. I don't care if copybooks are 1 penny. I'll pay the cost somewhere else. It "hurts" me to skip Chik-fil-a. I like that sandwich and those waffle fries but I won't spend where the proceeds injure others.
Thanks for the info. Knowledge is the best disinfectant!


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