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View Diary: ALEC Publishes "Enemy" List For OKC Meeting (44 comments)

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  •  MM - not at all (6+ / 0-)

    As a private meeting ALEC has the right to restrict attendance in any manner they wish. I am sure it would not be difficult for some anti-ALEC advocates to gain entrance, but it's not going to the ones ALEC is already aware of.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:00:02 AM PDT

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    •  That's great (29+ / 0-)

      but that's not ALEC's argument.  ALEC is able to avoid lobbying and ethics rules by claiming that they are "educating" elected officials.

      I'd suggest that they have to make a choice.  Either they can be a private organization seeking to influence legislators, and be bound by the laws that govern that behavior.  Or they can "educate" legislators, avoiding these laws, and need to make their meetings open to the public.

      The bottom line is that there has to be some form of transparency.  So long as ALEC clings to the argument that they are only educating legislators, then they need to make their meetings open to the public.

      by ManfromMiddletown on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:53:05 AM PDT

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      •  The bottom line is that there has to be some form (8+ / 0-)

           Sadly, that is not the fact.   ALEC is huge because of the very hard work by some very dedicated people.   Sadly, this group are not alone and it is hard to track all the corporate funding.  
             The good news is that when one finds what appears to be a "new donor" to ALEC, be sure and send an email or FB message to Lisa.    
             In 2010 - my district elected a TPer.  He sent me a mailer about some bogus award by NFIB.   It is a lobbying group that is used by RW and copied by various new groups that focus on "small business", sigh.
             Everytime I read their name, I am compelled to write that their data is essentially scrubbed to benefit the RW.  

        •  Yes (14+ / 0-)

          but their activities are subject to disclosure.  ALEC is unique in that it is able facilitate corporate lobbying without any requirement that disclosure be made.

          Two years ago when the first mass protest at an ALEC convention took place we asked them to do four things:

          First, your organization has not made full disclosure of your donors’ names and amounts given. If our government is to be of the people, it is unfitting for a privileged few to set the public agenda from the shadows. We ask you to make full disclosure of all donors on all amounts given over $200.

          Second, your organization has a number of members who hold elected office. If our government is to be by the people, they deserve to know when their elected representatives are members of groups which provide privileged access to the legislative process. We ask you to call upon your elected membership to make full disclosure of their participation in your organization.

          Third, your organization disseminates and coordinates legislative agendas across state governments through the production of model legislation, the full text of which you fail to disclose to the public. If our government is to be for the people, they deserve access to the full content of public policy discussion. We call upon you to make the full text of your model legislation freely available to the public.

          Finally, there has not been full disclosure of cases in which your model legislation is entered into bills under consideration by state legislatures. We ask you to call upon your members to make full disclosure of the source of the text they enter into consideration when your model legislation is called upon in the writing of state legislative bills.

          It's in the nature of a democratic society that there will be groups that present views that are objectionable.  The problem with ALEC is that they are part and parcel of the echo chamber including the States Policy Network, Americans for Prosperity, and other groups that strive for the appearance of mass support, yet refuse to identify the groups providing them financial support.  With disclosure this trick fails, because it becomes clear that there is no mass movement.... only a few people with a lot of money.

          by ManfromMiddletown on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:38:12 PM PDT

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    •  Ethically, they do not have the right to (10+ / 0-)

      restrict public attendance, because they write the public's laws, which are then rubber-stamped by compliant state legislatures.

      When they stop doing that, the question can be revisited.

      "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

      by Mogolori on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:00:33 PM PDT

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    •  Maybe they have the right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick, Odysseus

      But it does beg the question of what they have to hide.  Especially considering that these are elected officials.

      The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

      by Christian Dem in NC on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:49:49 PM PDT

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      •  CD - they realize that this is an adversarial (3+ / 0-)

        relationship between ALEC and progressives. They are going to do everything they can to limit access to information they think will be used against them and progressives are going to use every means to learn about information that can damage ALEC politically.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:46:57 PM PDT

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        •  None of which makes it right. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, RockyMtnLib, native

          Good policy is good politics.  If their policy is based in sound principles, they should not have to hide it.

          If all they are looking for is insider advantages, that needs to be stopped hard and fast.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:51:49 PM PDT

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    •  I'm skeptical about the private label (0+ / 0-)

      In my state, a meeting with three or more public officials is a public meeting, with some limitations such as meetings concerning personnel issues.  Those ALEC meetings would seem likely to fall within that public requirement.  

      •  Open Meetings don't apply to ALEC (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, DSPS owl, VClib

        Over the course of the past decades (while we weren't watching)  - ALEC state legislators have passed statutes in almost every state that protect ALEC meetings, ALEC dues and the money that legislators receive from ALEC corporations.

        ALEC state legislators have passed statues in almost every state that specifically designates any ALEC meetings as "a caucus" and therefore open meeting requirements do not apply.

        Is that correct - no, it is not.  But because people weren't watching - it happened.

        The only recourse is to change state law - so ALEC meetings  are no longer considered "a caucus" and then, open meeting laws will apply to ALEC.

        Sorry for the bad news - but it really is an important ALEC fact.

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