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Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:43 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:... I don't think that means we need to hear everything that goes on in those meetings unless they are part of their official duties.

Writing laws is certainly part of their official duties. When groups such as ALEC ghost write those laws, the public should know about it.


Henry, can you please define "groups such as ALEC". Maybe give some examples of other groups like ALEC?

The NRA and the Tavern League for examples. And in the past, Big Tobacco.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby rabble » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:51 pm

ALEC and the NRA are examples of groups who have staff just to write the laws for the politicians they "work with."

There are also organizations set up to do that for other groups who are a little more splintered and choose not to keep such staff on hand, like big Pharma and corporate agriculture.

The end result is that the politicians are too busy fundraising to actually write the laws, so the people who give them funds write the laws for them. It all balances out.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:52 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:Henry, can you please define "groups such as ALEC". Maybe give some examples of other groups like ALEC?

The NRA and the Tavern League for examples. And in the past, Big Tobacco.


So the Sierra Club, MADD or the Brady Campaign can submit proposed legislation and you're cool with that?
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:55 pm

I'm not cool with any lobbyists who write our laws to also say their communications with lawmakers must remain secret.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:36 pm

It's no longer a secret. The Guardian of London got a hold of their documents.

Inner workings of influential pro-business group ALEC revealed

One-third of Wisconsin’s lawmakers are members of a controversial pro-business group that champions free-market policies and helps write state legislation, newly revealed documents show.
...
An ALEC spokeswoman didn’t respond Wednesday to detailed questions about the organization and its role in influencing legislation.

The staff of state Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, state chairman for ALEC, said he was unavailable for comment Wednesday. The Washington, D.C.-based ALEC claims 1,800 state lawmakers as members and a roughly $7 million a year budget.

The group also has support in Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. Among the speakers at this week’s ALEC winter meeting in Washington, D.C., are U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby snoqueen » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:41 pm

So we have Edward Snowden to thank, once again?
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Mad Howler » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:51 pm

snoqueen wrote:So we have Edward Snowden to thank, once again?

Come on Sno!
Think.
This came from muckrakers who are much nearer.
I am so proud of the efforts of these 'local' players.
These efforts will have repercussions,
Best to pick sides now 'citizen soldier'.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Michael Patrick » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:07 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:Henry, can you please define "groups such as ALEC". Maybe give some examples of other groups like ALEC?

The NRA and the Tavern League for examples. And in the past, Big Tobacco.


So the Sierra Club, MADD or the Brady Campaign can submit proposed legislation and you're cool with that?


Sierra Club, MADD, and Brady Campaign have all registered as lobbyists. Which is the exact opposite of ALEC, who insist what they do isn't lobbying. A claim that is, on its face, laughable.

I watched a state Senate education committee meeting where an ALEC bill for special needs vouchers was being discussed. The bill was an almost word for word copy of an ALEC "model legislation." The WI senator who was listed as the "author" of the bill couldn't even explain some of the provisions in the bill they had supposedly authored.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby DCB » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:56 am

I thought this part was revealing:
The proposal called for all state chairmen to sign a three-page agreement pledging, among other things, “I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first.”


Said Fuhs: “The proposed state chair agreement was not adopted; no such agreement exists. ALEC would never suggest a state legislator hold its interest above those of their constituents.”


Fuhs is just lying here ALEC did suggest it. And put it up for a vote. But it was too outrageous even for these toadies.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby DCB » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:03 am

The WSJ reports
a state-by-state list that says 43 of Wisconsin’s 133 lawmakers are members of the group. The document doesn’t name the lawmakers.

but nowhere in the article does it mention that ALEC is entirely focused on recruiting Republicans.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby snoqueen » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:01 am

Mark Pocan was an aboveground "mole" at ALEC for years. Chris Taylor attended their last big meeting, as well. Both are solidly liberal.

I don't think there are too many others who choose to check it out from a liberal perspective, because it can't be pleasant. I always liked both our legislators for taking the trouble to go in person.

It's curious how the WSJ fails to acknowledge ALEC's political alignment. Maybe they think everyone already knows. More likely, they hope no one will notice.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Zoti Bemba » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:03 pm

DCB wrote:I thought this part was revealing:
The proposal called for all state chairmen to sign a three-page agreement pledging, among other things, “I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first.”


Said Fuhs: “The proposed state chair agreement was not adopted; no such agreement exists. ALEC would never suggest a state legislator hold its interest above those of their constituents.”


Fuhs is just lying here ALEC did suggest it. And put it up for a vote. But it was too outrageous even for these toadies.


Nothing is too outrageous for for those toadies -- this is ALEC we're talking about! Fuhs is clearly lying about the result of the vote. Heck, they probably took a second vote about whether or not they should all lie about the first vote. There's no ethically challenged state chair agreement to see here; just move along, gullible voters, move along.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:20 pm

How ALEC's attack on clean energy affects Wisconsin

Wisconsin was once considered something of a Midwestern leader in the development of renewable energy like solar and wind power.

Those efforts have been largely on hold, however, since Republicans took control of the statehouse in 2011.

In fact, Gov. Scott Walker’s first budget deleted most references to energy efficiency or conservation, lifting rules that had been in place requiring the state to purchase high mileage vehicles or equipment that uses less electricity.

Those moves left some scratching their heads, given that Wisconsin has no fossil fuel reserves of its own and spends an estimated $12 billion annually to import coal, oil and natural gas.

But recently released documents from the American Legislative Exchange Council — which counts one-third of the Wisconsin Legislature as members — might shed some light on the situation.

The Guardian is reporting that ALEC is pushing to block clean energy initiatives nationwide, from penalizing homeowners who install rooftop solar panels or small scale wind farms to weakening state renewable portfolio standards (RPS).


The present state government says screw Wisconsinites, as we are beholding to out-of-state interests.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:39 pm

WI GOP Marches in Lockstep with ALEC Agenda, Voting Records Show

- Sixty-one legislators, all Republicans, voted with the ALEC agenda 100 percent of the time, according to Stampen's analysis. This amounts to 46 percent of Wisconsin's 133 lawmakers.

- Fourteen more legislators (also all Republicans) voted with ALEC 94 percent of the time, meaning they declined to support just one of the 17 ALEC bills in the analysis.

"The implication is that legislators are serving ALEC more than the people of the state," he says of his recent findings. "The people aren't the source of the ideas that are going into the state. It is super lobbyists like ALEC."

Also included in this article are a few of the ALEC-born bills coming up in this session.
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:44 am

ALEC is getting a lot of bad press (and not just in Wisconsin), so they need what to rebrand and get a new name. Any suggestions?

“You may have noticed we are limiting the use of the acronym, ‘ALEC,’" reads the March 21, 2013, American Legislative Exchange Council newsletter. “Over the last year, the word ‘ALEC’ has been used to conjure up images of a distant, mysterious, Washington alphabet organization of unknown intentions. This misrepresentation could not be further from the truth, but that ship has sailed.”
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