Monday, November 3, 2014

ALEC Is & Should Be A Campaign Issue

Being a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council is and should be a campaign issue.
This past week, a PAC released letters identifying ALEC members in various states, and ALEC HQ blew a gasket and released a presser – that is, as usual full of inaccuracies and misleading statements.

Regardless of whether its dark money or not
THANK YOU to the Patriot Majority for the robocalls and mailers on ALEC legislators.

To ALEC members all I can say is
    Too bad, so sad
    You made your ALEC bed, now lie in it
    Oh, how I hope America will
    And kick your extremist, conservative, pro-corporate ALEC butts out of office

On to the real purpose of this entry,  ALEC’s response to becoming a campaign issue.

This week, robocalls and letters dropped in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and Maine, targeting state lawmakers who are members of ALEC. The attack letters call ALEC a secretive “corporate special interest” group that buys politicians with ”lavish, all-expenses-paid vacations.”

    ALEC information is not secret: financials, policy, draft proposals
       and publications are available online
    Meetings are not closed: anyone can register
    Journalists come to meetings
    ALEC meetings are held in convention center hotels, such as the
         Marriott in Kansas City and Oklahoma City
There are some major issues with these misleading statements made by ALEC.
Best get to it.

ALEC never disputes the statement
            "corporate special interest” group that buys politicians
            with ”lavish, all-expenses-paid vacations.”
Cause it’s true.

It's important for you to realize that only the information that ALEC wants the public to see is on its webpages.
On its webpage you will not find
   The ALEC    Voter ID bill
   The ALEC    Stand Your Ground Bill
There are many horrific pieces of legislation that ALEC has pushed that are intentionally not posted on the ALEC webpage.
Instead of taking credit for the evil they produce – ALEC distances itself from its role in these horrific pieces of legislature by basically saying
“If its not on our webpage, we didn’t do it”,
A blatant lie used against activists that have exposed its legislation.

“Meetings” are not open – “meetings” are closed
The “conference” is open – anyone can register – if you want to give ALEC your money to go to a few lunches with keynote speakers and maybe some parties if ALEC doesn't kick you out first.
The "meetings" are restricted.
From the 2014 ALEC Task Force Operating Procedures
A.  The membership of a Task Force consists of legislators
who are members in good standing of ALEC and
are duly appointed to the Task Force, in accordance with Section VI (A)
and private sector organizations that are full members of ALEC,
contribute to the assessment for the Task Force operating budget,
and are duly appointed to the Task Force, in accordance with
Section VI (B).
AND if you think you will just get a hotel room at the “conference hotel” and just hangout and see who is there – be prepared for ALEC security to kick you out of the hotel – if they don’t like you  

Notice how they state
“Journalists come to meetings.”
"come to meetings.”
No - they come to the "conference"
Journalists do show up at the "conference"– but that does NOT mean they get to go into the “meetings”.
They can go to keynote speeches – but NOT the “meetings”.

In addition – ALEC media rulings state
ALEC does not allow journalists to register as media for the purpose of writing a personal blog, or for persons whose news outlet is funded by an individual; political candidate or party; nonprofit; or activist/lobbying organization.
ALEC staff interprets that ruling very broadly.
  my [media] application would be denied on the grounds that the Center for Media and Democracy was an "advocacy organization." -

Beau Hodai, a staff writer for the print magazine In These Times, was denied credentials after writing stories critical of ALEC.
Olivia Ward, an investigative reporter with the Toronto Star, who was told she could not observe an ALEC meeting about budget policies even though she had press credentials issued by ALEC for the meeting. -
Al Jazeera America was also denied press credentials in New Orleans. –
 “Our business meetings are not open, and so the subcommittee meetings and task force meetings are not open,” explained Bill Meierling,”

There were dozens of press credentials laid out on ALEC conference's check-in table when I arrived Thursday morning. Mother Jones' was not among them. ALEC's board of directors had refused my request for credentials, according to spokesman Bill Meierling.

When asked why I'd been turned away, Meierling pointed to our previous coverage of ALEC and said it's clear that Mother Jones "fundamentally hates" ALEC.

Nuff said
History of not being friendly to press.

Fifth and last.
ALEC meetings are held in convention center hotels
Depends on how you define that.
They push the "Marriott" but don't mention these 

2011 – Annual Meeting Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City's Grand America Hotel, the only AAA Five Diamond hotel in Salt Lake City.

2011 Winter Meeting - Scottsdale

2012 Annual Meeting - Chicago
The Palmer House Hotel is a famous and historic hotel in Chicago in the city's Loop area. It currently operates under the full name Palmer House - A Hilton Hotel.
As written up in Forbes   

2013 Annual Meeting - Dallas
the hotel features a unique Asian-designed atrium lobby complemented by reflecting pools, greenery and comfortable seating areas. Hilton Anatole is home to one of the largest Asian art collections in the world, with more than 1,000 pieces of fine art on display throughout the hotel.

Spend time browsing this Dallas hotel’s valuable collection of over 1,000 fine art pieces and antiques dating back as early as 500 BC


Going back to where we started
ALEC never disputes the statement
            corporate special interest” group that buys politicians
            with ”lavish, all-expenses-paid vacations.”
Cause it’s true.
You have  $3,000 state dinners for legislators paid for by lobbyists.

for stupid people willing to believe.


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