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Please begin with an informative title:

The web of deceit that is perpetrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council continues to develop as their infrastructure continues to crumble.

Following a year of "ALEC" state legislators leaving the extremist organization and a year of "ALEC" corporate funders pulling their money because of extremist policies such as stand your ground - kill at will or Voter ID, the American Legislative Exchange Council is attempting to enact new public relations momentum to try and manipulate the public's perception of "ALEC"

Their newest PR move is basically to take a 40 year icon of the American Legislative Exchange Council - "ALEC" and pitch it into the gutter (where it belongs).

A publicity stunt – that started a year ago - so "ALEC" can try to run and hide - from "ALEC".
But - in real life - a sign of what determined and on-going citizen activism can accomplish.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

In May of 2012 the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) hired a firm to whitewash their image.

Under-fire advocacy group ALEC works with Edelman
WASHINGTON: The American Legislative Exchange Council has brought on Edelman to help it deal with recent corporate fallout and opposition to its legislative positions, numerous sources familiar with the relationship told PRWeek.
If you go onto Edelman’s Crisis & Issues Management webpage you will find:
We're the company that…
    •  Pioneered the practice of litigation communications representing
    CBS in the historic Westmoreland v. 60 Minutes case (1983)
    •  Introduced StarKist Dolphin-Safe Tuna to transform Heinz from
    an ecological pariah to an environmental leader (1991)
    •  First used the Internet as a crisis response tool in the Odwalla
    E. coli outbreak (1996)
    •  Directed all key stakeholder communications for two of the largest
    food recalls in the history of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (2002)

All of the items listed above are consumer protection items that ALEC corporate profit sector hate so much.
All of the items listed above are consumer protection items that ALEC corporate profit sector members pay ALEC so much money for - to help corporations write and advance legislation to protect corporations.

And how did that high-buck PR move work for them?
Well - - - - - - at the end of 2012

Top Brand Failure of 2012: Lance Armstrong and a Legacy of Deception
By Mark V. Serrano • December 18, 2012 •
Mark Serrano is a leading political and policy strategist, public affairs and digital PR expert

Many high profile brands have suffered damage in 2012. This would certainly include American Airlines, the Chevy Volt, and Apple, Inc. in the business world, and the American Legislative Exchange Council and the National Rifle Association in the political arena.

How did that move work for them?
Evidently, not so well.

Then fast forward to January 2013
In January 2013 ALEC hired a new PR spokesperson.

Communications and Public Affairs
Bill Meierling
Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
202-466-3800

Here’s a little bit about their new Senior Director:
Bill Meierling
     Prior to this position, Bill served as Director of Media and Public Relations
     at United Way Worldwide.
     Previously, Bill held positions at
     Senior Account Supervisor Edelman,
This is the company ALEC hired about 9 months ago to whitewash their image.

     Partner at OpinionMakers International,
     Advocacy Account Executive The Washington Times, and
     Grassroots Coordinator The Leadership Institute.

Google any of these with his name and you get maybe two hits on each

     Throughout his career, Bill has directed local and national political
     campaigns in Argentina, Democratic Republic of Congo,
     Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the United States.

     2013 ALOC Class - Leaders of Change - National Urban Fellows
You have to admit – there isn’t much of interest in those snips.

BUT – this bio is much more interesting.

     Bill Meierling
     Grassroots Coordinator
     The Leadership Institute

     Bill Meierling got his political start with Congressman Dan Burton (IN-5)
     where he worked for the House subcommittee on Human Rights and
     Wellness. While with Congressman Burton, he worked specifically on
     the human rights issues of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Dan Burton – ALEC member

     Bill's willingness to work on Hispanic issues dates back to 1996
     when he first became involved in Arnoldo Aleman's presidential
     race in Nicaragua where he helped develop a network of contacts
     in the United States that were supporters of the Aleman campaign.
hmmmmmmmm

From the NY Times

Nicaragua: 20-Year Sentence For Ex-President
Published: December 9, 2003
Former President Arnoldo Alemán, charged with embezzling $100 million during his tenure, 1997 to 2002, was convicted on corruption charges on Sunday and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment.

The American authorities have seized $700,000 that former President Arnoldo Aleman left, who was convicted of money laundering and embezzlement here in 2003, had hidden in American banks. Mr. Aleman said he would appeal the federal court decision from Miami, saying the money belongs to the Nicaraguan government.

Oh my .........  

     In 2002 and 2003, Bill worked for the Centers for Medicare
     and Medicaid services  where he dealt with the Hispanic Media
     for the public affairs department. He also translated all of
     Director Ruben King-Shaw's speeches into Spanish.

Funny how the US HHS doesn’t show up in the stuff above.

     During the 2004 election cycle Bill was able to join Larry Diedrich
     for Congress  for both the special and general elections where he worked
     in grassroots  conducting and coordinating GOTV efforts throughout
     southwest South Dakota.

Larry Diedrich – ALEC Member

     With over ten years of graphics experience, Bill also does consulting
     work on graphic and web design for numerous campaigns and issue groups

So – there you have it – he did whatever needed to be done - for whoever needed it done.

ALEC gets a new PR firm
ALEC gets a new PR Director

So what has happened since then?

Let look at some of the great PR coming out of ALEC, from Mr. Meierling.
It is evident from what he is realeasing - that (a)  he's a loser when it comes to PR, (b) he doesn't know what ALEC does oo (c) he is a really convincing liar.

ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling notedthat most of the group’s members are state lawmakers — and that legislators customize ALEC bills to meet the needs of their constituents.
Customize ALEC bills – really – then why is the ALEC “model legislation” found verbatim across the United States, when introduced by ALEC state legislators.  That doesn’t sound like customization.  It appears to be more like pushing a set __ of ALEC corporate and state legislator member generated policy.
“It’s exciting that ALEC model legislation is having this impact,” Meierling said. “That’s really part and parcel of the American experience, to have citizen activism in government.”
“Citizen activism” is exciting to him.
I really hope there is some serious "citizen activism" at the OKC ALEC meeting in May and at ALEC's 40th anniversary annual meeting in August.
Democrats say bills such as HB 2023, are meant to destroy public-sector unions

ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling said tagging the model bills that way is unfair.

"It presupposes our bills are actually anti-union bills," Meierling said. "They might be pro-growth bills.”
So now, ALEC “right to work for less” “model legislation” is now being  “pro-growth”?

Right-to-work for less legislation is not anti-union?  Really???
Growth for whom/what?  Corporate revenues?
ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling dismissed Fisher’s and Williams’ criticisms.

This is kind of a battle of the Ph.D.’s,” he said. “They believe that raising taxes and larger government is better, and we believe that lowering taxes and creating jobs is better.

You'd really have a hard time convincing me that there are many PHD's that are connected to ALEC.  Mostly legislators from ho-bunk towns in nowhere US - that are mules for corporate legislation, making believe they are part of the big boy club.
It's the same process by which Oklahoma legislators have proposed deregulating environmental protection programs and a bill that requires drug testing for people who subscribe to welfare assistance.

More eyes on a bill makes for better legislation,” said Bill Meierling, the council's senior director of public affairs. “Just because a model policy has been adopted by (the council) doesn't mean that policy is taken at large and pushed upon the people of Oklahoma. Instead, a legislator may find a piece, a ‘whereas clause' in our model policy, and say that makes sense.”

More eyes on the bill  ...  
They want us to keep track of what they are doing.
They want "citizen activism"
And as most people who have done research on ALEC legislation will tell you - the "model legislation" that ALEC state legislator mules bring back to your state to enact for ALEC corporate members - - - -is enacted (for the most part) exactly as ALEC corporation wr]rote it.
In an interview, Bill Meierling, ALEC's spokesman,  "People want to know what's happening, why we're making the decisions," he said. "Further, in that same vein of transparency, we really believe that (having) more eyes on the process makes better policy.    

….   did say that ALEC has no plans to reveal its corporate and legislative members, identify individuals representing corporations within ALEC, or open up their model bill task force meetings.

Well that says it all
We are going to continue
being secretive
and
meeting behind closed doors.
ALEC promotes state-based solutions and pro-growth economic policies to create opportunity for all Americans through the academic exchange of ideas,” said ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling. “Council members participate in regular taskforce meetings to study and discuss public policy trends and relevant research to identify opportunities for model policy creation. Democracy is a participatory process where ideas are shared and the best ideas are advanced.”

“No person or group has a monopoly on good ideas,” Meierling said. “We welcome the participation of our detractors. We would rather they join in the conversation than levy baseless and inaccurate claims that focus on false political intrigue instead of proactive discussion about policy solutions.”

No person or group has a monopoly on good ideas
And that is definitely true about ALEC - but they would be hard pressed to admit it - they think they are the legislative gods of the United States.
It’s exciting that ALEC model legislation is having this impact,” Meierling said. “That’s really part and parcel of the American experience, to have citizen activism in government.”

"We really believe in transparency," ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling told The Huffington Post. "We believe that more eyes on our model policies will create better policies. We are hoping to engage with the public."

Transparency - HAH!
"That’s really part and parcel of the American experience, to have citizen activism in government "- - PLEASE FOLKS - let's have more serious citizen activism against ALEC.

THEN
Reported last week at PRWAtch

You may have noticed we are limiting the use of the acronym 'ALEC,'” wrote Bill Meierling, ALEC's recently-hired Senior Director of Public Affairs in a March 13 email sent to ALEC members and obtained through an open records request.

“Over the past year, the word 'ALEC' has been used to conjure up images of a distant, mysterious, Washington alphabet organization of unknown intentions,” he continued. “The organization has refocused on the words 'Exchange' and 'Council' to emphasize our goal of a broad exchange of ideas to make government work better and more efficiently.”

“Over the past year, the word 'ALEC' has been used to conjure up images of a distant, mysterious, Washington alphabet organization of unknown intentions,”
Secretive
Behind Closed Doors Meetings
Out of the public eye
There is nothing “conjured up” about this

And think about it folks (not literally, I don't want 50 examples) - when was the last time a company ditched a 40 year old symbol/icon - because they had to.
This is evidence that every piece of citizen activism is chipping away at this horrendous organization.

In Meierling’s own words:

“Over the past year, the word 'ALEC' has been used to conjure up images of a distant, mysterious, Washington alphabet organization of unknown intentions,” he continued
In an interview, Bill Meierling, ALEC's spokesman,    ….   did say that ALEC has no plans to reveal its corporate and legislative members, identify individuals representing corporations within ALEC, or open up their model bill task force meetings.
Secretive
Behind Closed Doors Meetings
Out of the public eye

ALEC
Distant,
mysterious,
with known intentions.

“You may have noticed we are limiting the use of the acronym 'ALEC,'
A publicity stunt – that started a year ago - so "ALEC" can try to run and hide - from "ALEC".
But - in real life - a sign of what determined citizen activism can accomplish.

Another act of deception perpetrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to hide their “intentions” from the US public.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to MNDem999 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 09:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

Poll

Is ALEC's New PR Director

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