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View Diary: Koch, ALEC and giant utility company about to derail Arizona's private solar industry (184 comments)

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  •  does populism write test legislation? (6+ / 0-)

    and then pass that test legislation along to legislators?

    our counter to ALEC should be our own ALEC, fueled by populism, perhaps.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

    by terrypinder on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:15:26 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Writing legislation isn't that hard. (12+ / 0-)

      its getting people to pass and adopt that legislation that is the challenge.  ALEC's ability to write legislation isn't what has made them so successful.  

      If you go to the any number of progressive organization websites, they have many, many reams of prospective legislation.  They just don't have the persuasive powers (money) to see that legislation enacted.  

      •  perhaps they should combine into one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, radical simplicity

        organization. I can afford to donate time an effort to only one organization, not the alphabet soup of progressive non-profits.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

        by terrypinder on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:20:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Beg to differ (12+ / 0-)
        Writing legislation isn't that hard.
        Actually writing legislation is hard. Which is why many, if not most state legislators, don't write the text of legislation themselves.  

        Since at least the 1820s, most state legislatures have codified state law which means that the text of bills is actually not very intuitive.

        Almost all new laws will require editing existing state code, which means that you have to specify which sections of the existing code is being retained, and what is new.  This can get quite technical. Do it wrong, and you new law has an unintended effect.

        http://www.economicpopulist.org

        by ManfromMiddletown on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:38:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yep. (5+ / 0-)

          all the more for progressives to get behind an effort to develop their own ALEC. Many states are simply not hiring more legislative assistants, and they don't pay them all that well too.

          I've written my share of bill analyses in my day job for higher-ups. It's not intuitive; this is 100% correct.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility (not an original but rather apt)

          by terrypinder on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:50:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I remember an incident (5+ / 0-)

            where the write-up was a real cock-up on a bill.  It's a huge shock when you realize that for the most part laws don't refer to counties or cities by name.  They specify them as cities between such and such population and such and such population.  Long story made short.  One of the other interns had a typo when writing up the bill.  So a county got a judge it wasn't meant to get.  This would be the sort of thing we're talking about.

            The point about legislative assistants is a very good one.  If we really want to fight the influence of ALEC on public policy, one of the more effective ways might be to press state legislatures, and legislative service agencies, to beef up their staff.

            http://www.economicpopulist.org

            by ManfromMiddletown on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:21:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  well there are ways to do that. (0+ / 0-)

          Complex.

          Edit the bill language that created the statutes.
          Most people can never figure out what's going on
          this way.

          Hard

          Edit the statutes, saying "Replace Line 57 with these lines
          until Line 72".

          Straightforward

          Replace  Section 72 of Chapter X with This with changes highlighted only for legislative purposes.

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