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ALEC Exposed: A Nationwide Blueprint for the Rightwing Takeover

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: government, corruption, republicans, Koch, teaparty, politics, ethics )

- 2896 days ago -
ALEC's model legislation reflects long-term goals: downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations and making it harder to hold the economically and politically powerful to account....TeaParty, Koch brothers...


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Kit H (173)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 5:25 pm
Published on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 by The Nation ALEC Exposed: A Nationwide Blueprint for the Rightwing Takeover
by John Nichols
“Never has the time been so right,” Louisiana State Representative Noble Ellington told conservative legislators gathered in Washington to plan the radical remaking of policies in the states. It was one month after the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans had grabbed 680 legislative seats and secured a power trifecta—control of both legislative chambers and the governorship—in twenty-one states. Ellington was speaking for hundreds of attendees at a “States and Nation Policy Summit,” featuring GOP stars like Texas Governor Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Convened by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—“the nation’s largest, non-partisan, individual public-private membership association of state legislators,” as the spin-savvy group describes itself—the meeting did not intend to draw up an agenda for the upcoming legislative session. That had already been done by ALEC’s elite task forces of lawmakers and corporate representatives. The new legislators were there to grab their weapons: carefully crafted model bills seeking to impose a one-size-fits-all agenda on the states.
Founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and other conservative activists frustrated by recent electoral setbacks, ALEC is a critical arm of the right-wing network of policy shops that, with infusions of corporate cash, has evolved to shape American politics. Inspired by Milton Friedman’s call for conservatives to “develop alternatives to existing policies [and] keep them alive and available,” ALEC’s model legislation reflects long-term goals: downsizing government, removing regulations on corporations and making it harder to hold the economically and politically powerful to account. Corporate donors retain veto power over the language, which is developed by the secretive task forces. The task forces cover issues from education to health policy. ALEC’s priorities for the 2011 session included bills to privatize education, break unions, deregulate major industries, pass voter ID laws and more. In states across the country they succeeded, with stacks of new laws signed by GOP governors like Ohio’s John Kasich and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, both ALEC alums.

The details of ALEC’s model bills have been available only to the group’s 2,000 legislative and 300 corporate members. But thanks to a leak to Aliya Rahman, an Ohio-based activist who helped organize protests at ALEC’s Spring Task Force meeting in Cincinnati, The Nation has obtained more than 800 documents representing decades of model legislation. Teaming up with the Center for Media and Democracy, The Nation asked policy experts to analyze this never-before-seen archive.

The articles included below are the first products of that examination. They provide an inside view of the priorities of ALEC’s corporate board and billionaire benefactors (including Tea Party funders Charles and David Koch). “Dozens of corporations are investing millions of dollars a year to write business-friendly legislation that is being made into law in statehouses coast to coast, with no regard for the public interest,” says Bob Edgar of Common Cause. “This is proof positive of the depth and scope of the corporate reach into our democratic processes.” The full archive of ALEC documents is available at a new website,, thanks to the Center for Media and Democracy, which has provided powerful tools for progressives to turn this knowledge into power. The data tell us that the time has come to refocus on the battle to loosen the grip of corporate America and renew democracy in the states.

In coordination with the Center for Media and Democracy and The Nation, Common Dreams will be re-posting many of the articles examining the leaked ALEC files. To see what's already available go here and here. Updates to Common Dreams will be added here.


Kit H (173)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 5:26 pm
Through ALEC, Global Corporations Are Scheming to Rewrite YOUR Rights and Boost THEIR Revenue

Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations. Through ALEC, corporations have "a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU?

Kit H (173)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 5:56 pm

***** Investigation of corruption will be warranted? *****


as s (201)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 6:38 pm
Kit - this was a very interesting article. They need to be exposed for what they are, but with stars like Rick Perry and Newt, maybe they will self destruct.

Edwin M (346)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 6:41 pm
Very scary,but sadly not surprising. Thank you Kit

Henriette Matthijssen (154)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 7:11 pm
It is time to return Democracy back to We the People, corporation never in the first place should of ever got away with this crime! What our forefathers fought for was stolen while we were not paying attention! And it is over. Democracy back to the people where they have a voice on what goes on in their government! Why it got this far out of hand is total INSANITY! Thanks Kit.

Kit H (173)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 7:22 pm

I hope that Eric Holder can prosecute big mastermind criminals instead of the minions!

Kit H (173)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 7:26 pm
With the Gov. Scott Walker thing, it is pretty obvious. So are the several GOP governors. It is only a matter of proof! Remember the plank call of Kosh to Walker?

Past Member (0)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 8:03 pm
Corporate-controlled government that provides corporations with govermental powers and puts all responsibilities for conduct of public policies into the hands of Non-Governmental Organizations.
These "NGOs" are willing to conduct the business of governing in return for being vested with the power of the state making them invincible and dictatorial social powers. e.g. Churches providing 'drug rehab' in return for the ability to coerce citizens into attending Christian churches against their will, regardless of their personal religion.
Please read AND think:

Fascism, is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy. Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum. Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. They claim that culture is created by the collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus they reject individualism. Viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, they see pluralism as a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety. Fascists reject and resist the autonomy of cultural or ethnic groups who are not considered part of the fascists' nation and who refuse to assimilate or are unable to be assimilated. They consider attempts to create such autonomy as an affront and a threat to the nation. Fascist governments forbid and suppress opposition to the fascist state and the fascist movement. They identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality.


Toni C (508)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 8:07 pm
Kit, It seems like I've been hearing about ALEC all day... Reader Supported News, AlterNet and various petition sites. This is very scary business, and as Jed said, I hope they burn out or destroy themselves. I would love to see Eric Holder go after these people, Kit, but I doubt he ever will...

Kit H (173)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 8:13 pm

Holder so far has gone after the small flies! No criminal bankers have yet even been prosecuted. May need a special task team of prosecutors? We need to shout out LOUD I guess!


H Nick H (1826)
Wednesday July 13, 2011, 9:13 pm
Thanks Kit. Welcome to the UNITED CORPORATIONS OF AMERICA; another facists organization.

Now you must learn to bow down to your corporate overlords !

Kit H (173)
Thursday July 14, 2011, 2:05 am
Inside ALEC, The Koch-Funded Group Behind Right-Wing State Laws

How ALEC, the Koch brothers and their corporate allies plan to privatize government.

Robert S. (0)
Thursday July 14, 2011, 8:08 am
As a member of the Daily Kos "Exposing ALEC" activist group, I have to respond that much of what was released yesterday by Nation and CMD did not include the segment on Prison, Privatization of facilities or Prison Labor. The calls for AG Holder to investigate and prosecute are futile. When the segment on prison industries is released you will find out he is deeply supportive of the "continued growth of the federal prison population" and has asked for all federal departments to buy products from the FPI produced by inmates so more factories can be built. ALEC has a Prison Industries Act that is now in place in several states.
Bob Sloan
Prison Industry Investigative Consultant and Author

Kit H (173)
Thursday July 14, 2011, 12:38 pm
Robert, Holder has not yet demonstrated any big job intension. What can be done if not by him?

Kit H (173)
Thursday July 14, 2011, 12:50 pm
ALEC Exposed: Now Tell the IRS to Investigate

ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council – is a secretive and powerful front group of corporations that are investing millions of dollars a year to write business-friendly legislation at the expense of the middle class.

A new website ( reveals that ALEC has drafted more than 800 model bills for state legislators – including bills to make it more difficult for citizens to vote, and even a resolution in support of the horrendous Citizens United decision, which opened the floodgates for corporate money in our elections.

Worse, they are lobbying in state capitals across the country, all while claiming to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that they are a charitable organization that does NO lobbying – and therefore receiving certain tax benefits.

Join Common Cause in telling the IRS to launch an immediate investigation into whether ALEC should have its tax-exempt status revoked!


Robert S (111)
Thursday July 14, 2011, 4:46 pm

"The data tell us that the time has come to refocus on the battle to loosen the grip of corporate America and renew democracy in the states." Damn straight. Thanks Kit,

Since Prison has been brought up and the post languishes unread...

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

Akin Adelakun (21)
Friday July 15, 2011, 4:02 am

Lin Penrose (92)
Friday July 15, 2011, 3:04 pm
Thanks Kit. Reads as though this country has been divided up as a resource for those belonging and supporting this ALEC organization. Much like countries who have been invaded by others are. Sound familiar? This invasion and resource taking of we citizens, and this U.S.A, is Not from one another country, in another part of the world, but by Many countries represented by corporations throughout. It is being done all over the world - Now. Indeed, we lowly citizens have contributed to this by being, in Much smaller terms, the same as our would-be masters and by being the market that drives the actions of the corporations.

As for criminals/prisoners (non-free humans legally) as several potential money resources is not new. We humans have used slaves in the same capacity for many thousands of years, in nearly every civilization, reaping & raping valuables through that use. ALEC is a new face on a very old body using some new & old tricks.

Sure wish I could think of a quick way to deflate them (ALEC and friends) but they outmanuvered and with monitary controls (make a list), overpowered we little people, using Our own desires and money. Using our own energy for their control/power and against ours. Think there are some martial arts that teach actions like this. Must work on the mental levels of billions as well.

Kit H (173)
Friday July 15, 2011, 4:48 pm

Madison Avenue Declares ‘Mass Affluence’ Over
The American middle class, concludes a new white paper from the ad industry’s top trade journal, has essentially become irrelevant.

Full article @


The chain-smoking ad agency account execs of Mad Men, the hit cable TV series set in the early 1960s, all want to be rich some day. But these execs, professionally, couldn’t care less about the rich. They spend their nine-to-fives marketing to average Americans, not rich ones.

Mad Men’s real-life ad agency brethren, 50 years ago, behaved the exact same way — for an eminently common-sense reason: In mid-20th century America, the entire U.S. economy revolved around middle class households. The vast bulk of U.S. income sat in middle class pockets.

The rich back then, for ad execs, constituted an afterthought, a niche market.

Not anymore. Madison Avenue has now come full circle. The rich no longer rate as a niche. Marketing to the rich — and those about to gain that status — has become the only game that really counts.

“Mass affluence,” as a new white paper from Ad Age, the advertising industry’s top trade journal, has just declared, “is over" .....................

“As the very rich become even richer,” as Ad Age observes, “they amass greater purchasing power, creating an increasingly concentrated market for luxury goods and services as well as consumer goods overall.”

In the future, if current trends continue, no one else but the rich will essentially matter — to Madison Avenue.

“More than ever before,” the new Ad Age paper bluntly sums up, “the wealthiest households will be the households with significant disposable income to spend.”

Kit H (173)
Friday July 15, 2011, 5:10 pm
Pie chart: Allocation of tax distribution in 2009

44.4% Military Spending
10.9% Interest on Non-Military Share of Federal Debt
19.7% Health Care
11.8% Resoonses to Poverty
6.9% Government Operations
2.5% Science, Energy, & Environment
2.2% Education &jobs
1.5% Diplomacy and Needs Aborad

On the same link there is another chart: US Military Spending vs The Word, 2008

US $711Trillion, 48%.

*** Is this responsible budgeting? ??***

Why do troops not come home ???
Why in time of war no taxes have ever increased but reduced ???
Why has there no drafting ???
Who will pay for it ???
Is this suicide of a nation ???
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