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View Diary: Center for Media and Democracy Comes Under Attack For Reporting on ALEC (13 comments)

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  •  Well done bringing this to light. nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GrumpyOldGeek, Just Bob, Siri, bluedust

    Nuance is lost upon those who choose not to look.

    by poliwrangler on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:02:39 PM PDT

    •  Does anyone honestly believe.... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antirove, Siri, Bob Sloan, bluedust, OldGrammy, kurt

      that exposing ALEC to the light of public scrutiny means they are going to go away?

      What they do is far too important to the conservative cause to give up easily and if we have learned anything it is that conservatives do NOT give up....the battles they lose, they regroup and come back again and again.

      Witness Social Security reform, Medicare reform, ANWAR, student loans, Obamacare, etc etc.

      ALEC backers are clearly pis...ed that their cover got blown and on the one hand, they are using big PR guns to try and hammer the messenger.

      At the same time, you are seeing lots of prominent American corporations making big public gestures about withdrawing their support for ALEC as an organization.

      But again, I have absolutely no doubt that ALEC and its backers are working quietly and with the backing of much of the same money and organization, to develop a replacement structure much less visible, but every bit as dangerous to American democracy as their initial one and more dangerous because it will be hidden from public view.

      Citizens United is just one manifestation of how huge amoungs of anonymous money are reshaping the structure of democracy, steadily and insidiously.

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:29:11 PM PDT

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      •  Well said and points out many of the concerns (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GrumpyOldGeek, OldGrammy, aznavy, kurt

        and arguments some have been making for a year now...about the conservative money and corporations merely moving their efforts to a new organization.

        Those of us with years of research under our belts realize that such a shift of agenda and representation would be easily accomplished...because the network already exists and has been working smoothly and quietly alongside ALEC for three plus decades.  Its now a cabal - as I've been calling it for a year and a half - with more than 50 institutes, foundations, centers and organizations.  It is funded through corporate largess from the same companies and corporate owners and boards, with propaganda and disinformation spread through hundreds of media outlets owned by cabal members.

        GM, Ford, Pepsi, McDonald's, General Electric, Walmart, Amgen, Blue Cross, Coke and the others - are all funding the rest of the ALEC/Koch cabal as they have ALEC.

        The one outstanding service ALEC provides that most of the others can't is ownership of 1/3 of all elected state legislators.  Through that huge voting block they are able to introduce the pro-corporate legislation the cabal advances...and use the lawmaker members to lobby their peers for support and votes.

        Though many of us have been actively going after ALEC at every opportunity we've done so due to their partisanship while hiding behind a non-profit facade.  We've reported on Dem's who belong to ALEC, and sought open transparency in all legislation sought by both parties.

        We're keeping a close eye on the other cabal members and especially at those organizations they control that have large memberships of elected officials...such as the Council for National Policy which has many of the same legislative members as ALEC.  Hopefully our vigilance will quickly identify when and where they'll concentrate their issues once ALEC collapses.  

        Yes, I DO believe that ALEC's time is limited.  Citizen's United really helped serve as a death knell for ALEC.  Because of that SCOTUS opinion, the Kochs, DeVos', Scaife's and Gates' can now go out and buy their own congressmen - state AND federal - without the need for a "Middleman" such as ALEC.  They've already begun to realize how much money they can save by "direct" purchase of politicians and their votes...

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

        by Bob Sloan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 07:26:28 PM PDT

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      •  Absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        Do believe that sunshine is an awesome disinfectant.
        Do believe they are not going away.

        They will morph.

        But they can't operate as well when light is shined upon them.  i.e. Target, Carbonite, etc.  When they are exposed to public scrutiny their public trust is damaged.  In a "free" market capitalism, these entities risk a lot by being seen as manipulating our democracy. Customers (who are the real job creators) become informed of their less than noble ambitions and choose competitors.

        Of course that's classroom idealism, but I know I don't spend my money at certain establishments if they are determined to undermine the middle class, committed life partners, workers, teachers, etc.

        As a business owner I can say for certain that most small businesses will absolutely be damaged by being associated with ALEC or it's next reincarnation.

        They only win when we give up.

        Nuance is lost upon those who choose not to look.

        by poliwrangler on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:04:07 PM PDT

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        •  I too have found it necessary to spend my dollars (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          afisher, kurt

          on products and services from companies that are not involved in the tug of war over our democracy.

          Used to be companies were good neighbors, sponsoring high school ball teams, investing in parks and community recreation and contributing small amounts to popular politicians who actually represented their constituents.  No more.

          No "give" in myself and many of the others who have dedicated years of uncompensated activism to stop ALEC and the cabal.  For some reason today many are content to sit back and watch this struggle rather than risk becoming involved and winding up on the losing side.  The GOP ultra-conservatives count on that mentality...plays right into their hands.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

          by Bob Sloan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:57:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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