The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
They meet in secret. They write our laws. And they want us silent.
This is one of a series of state diaries with the goal of getting our ELECTED representatives to disclose if they are affilliated with ALEC, and to identify just how much legislation in our 50 state capitols is written by our Unelected Shadow Government of Washington DC Corporate Lobbyists, Washington DC Corporate Lawyers, and over 300 corporate members of ALEC. The end result of this outside interference with the operation of our state governments is to have corporate interests represented over the interest of over 300 million American citizens, to permit the vast cash resources of 50 state budgets be directed to the coffers of ALEC corporate members who exercize veto power over what gets into ALEC "Model Legislation".
A perusal of the ALEC website will find them bragging that in a recent year, 826 ALEC bills were introduced in our 50 legislatures, and that about 100 passed, a "success" rate of 18 per cent. And that was in just one year. One can almost guarantee that their "success" rate has gone up in 2011 because of large gains in legislatures of radical Republcans in the low turnout 2010 election.
As most Kos readers know, Ohio Governor John Kasich has been associated with ALEC almost from the start, and it is clear that ALEC's legislative agenda is John Kasich's legislative agenda as well. They are joined at the wrist and ankle, and there is no space between them. ALEC cannot implement legislation without a compliant legislature, and we have such a legislature in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Utah, Texas, Airzona and other states. We must shine the light on them and their doing the bidding, indeed, getting their marching orders and actual legislation from the Unelected Shadow government in Washington DC. This bothers me, I hope it bothers you enough that you will write some legislators and ask them if they are getting their legislation from outside the state, in contravention of the needs of the people who elected them.
Here is a list, by district of all 99 State Representatives to the Ohio House of Represenatiives:
1 Republican Craig Newbold - 13th Floor
2 Republican Andrew Brenner - 12th Floor
3 Republican Ron Amstutz - 13th Floor
4 Republican Matt Huffman - 14th Floor - Majority Floor Leader
5 Republican Gerald L. Stebelton 13th Floor
6 Republican Randy Gardner - 12th Floor ** Affiliations Lists ALEC
7 Democrat Kenny Yuko - 10th Floor
8 Democrat Armond Budish - 14th Floor - Minority Leader
9 Democrat Barbara Boyd - 10th Floor -
10 Democrat Bill Patmon - 11th Floor
11 Democrat Sandra Williams - 10th Floor
12 Democrat John Barnes, Jr. - 10th Floor
13 Democrat Nickie Antonio - 11th Floor
14 Democrat Mike Foley - 10th Floor
15 Democrat Timothy J. DeGeeter - 10th Floor
16 Republican Nan A. Baker - 12th Floor
17 Republican Marlene Anielski - 12th Floor
18 Republican Mike Dovilla - 12th Floor
19 Republican Anne Gonzales - 13th Floor
20 Democrat Nancy J. Garland - 10th Floor
21 Republican Mike Duffey - 13th Floor
22 Democrat John Patrick Carney - 10th Floor
23 Republican Cheryl L. Grossman - 14th Floor Asst Maj Whip
24 Democrat Ted Celeste - 10th Floor
25 Democrat Michael Stinziano - 11th Floor
26 Democrat Tracy Maxwell Heard - 14th Floor Minority Whip
27 Democrat W. Carlton Weddington - 10th Floor
28 Democrat Connie Pillich - 10th Floor
29 Republican Louis W. Blessing, Jr. - 14th Floor Speaker Pro Tempore
30 Republican Robert P. Mecklenborg - 11th Floor
31 Democrat Denise Driehaus - 10th Floor
32 Democrat Dale Mallory 10th Floor
33 Democrat Alicia Reece 10th Floor
34 Republican Peter Stautberg - 11th Floor
35 Republican Ron Maag 13th Floor
36 Republican Michael Henne - 13th Floor
37 Republican Jim Butler - 13th Floor
38 Republican Terry Blair - 13th Floor
39 Democrat Clayton R. Luckie - 10th Floor
40 Democrat Roland Winburn - 10th Floor
41 Republican Lynn Slaby - 11th Floor
42 Republican Kristina Roegner - 11th Floor
43 Republican Todd McKenney - 11th Floor
44 Democrat Vernon Sykes - 10th Floor
45 Democrat Zack Milkovich - 11th Floor
46 Republican Barbara R. Sears - 14th Floor - Assistant Majority Floor Leader
47 Democrat Teresa Fedor - 10th Floor
48 Democrat Mike Ashford - 11th Floor
49 Democrat Matt Szollosi - 14th Floor - Assistant Minority Leader
50 Republican Christina Hagan - 13th Floor
51 Republican Kirk Schuring - 11th Floor
52 Democrat Stephen Slesnick - 10th Floor
53 Republican Timothy Derickson - 11th Floor
54 Republican Courtney Combs - 13th Floor
55 Republican Vacant
56 Democrat Dan Ramos - 10th Floor
57 Democrat Matt Lundy - 10th Floor
58 Republican Terry Boose - 12th Floor
59 Democrat Ronald V. Gerberry - 10th Floor
60 Democrat Robert F. Hagan - 10th Floor
61 Democrat Mark D. Okey - 10th Floor
62 Democrat Lorraine M. Fende - 10th Floor
63 Republican Ron Young - 11th Floor
64 Democrat Tom Letson - 11th Floor
65 Democrat Sean O'Brien - 11th Floor
66 Republican Joseph W. Uecker - 12th Floor
67 Republican Peter Beck - 11th Floor
68 Democrat Kathleen Clyde - 11th Floor
69 Republican William G. Batchelder - 14th Floor - Speaker of the House
70 Republican Jarrod B. Martin - 13th Floor
71 Republican Jay Hottinger - 12th Floor
72 Republican Ross W. McGregor - 11th Floor
73 Democrat Jay P. Goyal - 10th Floor
74 Republican Bruce W. Goodwin - 13th Floor
75 Republican Lynn R. Wachtmann - 13th Floor - ** ALEC member "Legislator of the Year Award"
76 Republican Robert Sprague - 13th Floor
77 Republican Jim Buchy - 13th Floor
78 Republican John Adams - 14th Floor - Majority Whip - ALEC Member "Legislator of the Year Award"
79 Republican Richard N. Adams - 13th Floor
80 Democrat Dennis E. Murray - 10th Floor
81 Republican Rex Damschroder - 11th Floor
82 Republican Jeffrey A. McClain - 11th Floor
83 Republican David E. Burke - 12th Floor
84 Republican Bob D. Hackett - 11th Floor
85 Republican Bob Peterson - 13th Floor
86 Republican Cliff Rosenberger -13th Floor
87 Republican John Carey - 13th Floor
88 Republican Danny R. Bubp - 13th Floor
89 Republican Terry Johnson - 13th Floor
90 Republican Margaret Ann Ruhl - 11th Floor
91 Republican Bill Hayes - 11th Floor
92 Democrat Debbie Phillips - 14th Floor - Assistant Minority Whip
93 Republican Andy Thompson - 11th Floor
94 Republican Troy Balderson - 11th Floor
95 Democrat Lou Gentile - 11th Floor
96 Republican Al Landis - 11th Floor
97 Republican David Hall - 11th Floor
98 Republican Richard Hollington - 13th Floor
99 Republican Casey Kozlowski - 13th Floor
Here is a link to the list at the Ohio House of Representatives web site. Click on the legislator's link for their phone number and othe information.
Each Representative's address is:
77 S. High St
Floor number here
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
The letter is here:
Honorable XXXXX XXXXXXX,Instructions for the letter. Open your word processor program. Copy the letter from this diary onto your clipboard. Paste the letter in the word processing program. Put the legislator's name, district number and Floor number into the spaces provded. At the end, put your personal information so your legislator can reply to you. Then mail it.
Representative, District XX,
77 S. High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Dear Sen (or Rep) XXXXXXX,
It has come to my attention that there is an organization known as The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that has gained enormous power in American politics, specifically at the state level. This organization is known to work behind the scenes, will not disclose its rank and file membership, will not disclose its funders, and will not disclose the principal product of its work, which is Model Legislation. I see this as a dangerous practice because such failure to disclose who writes and sponsors legislation in our 50 state capitols is a serious breach of transparency which our laws and constitution demands of all legislators. Every voter in our state deserves to be advised of who is writing our laws, the interests behind the laws, and whether they favor special interests at the expense of the residents, voters and taxpayers of our state.
• My first question is; Are you a member of ALEC, yes or no?
• If Yes, when did you join?
• Have you ever sponsored, or co-sponsored legislation written or partially written by ALEC?
• Please identify all ALEC written legislation you have sponsored or co-sponsored.
• ALEC has a series of conferences and workshops throughout the year. The next event is the Annual Meeting which is to be held in New Orleans, LA August 3-6, 2011. Do you intend to attend this event?
• If you attend this event, will you be traveling at Taxpayer expense, Yes or No?
• If you will be traveling at ALEC expense, please identify how much this is costing ALEC for your travel, lodging, meals and other considerations (golf outings and the like).
• If you are not traveling to the New Orleans conference, do you intend to join via teleconference or video link?
• Please explain how legislation written by Washington DC Lawyers, Washington DC Lobbyists, and Corporate interests, some of which do not do business in our state, represents the interests of the residents, voters and Taxpayers of our state better than legislation written by our elected legislators.
• If you are a member of ALEC or any other organization which has a hand in writing the laws of our state, please verify that your listing in the legislative website correctly states this affiliation. Legislative transparency demands this. I want to know who is writing the laws of my state, and I want to know why outsiders think they know more about our problems than our elected representatives do.
In closing, I am very serious about wanting to know who is writing and influencing the legislation that is enacted in our state. Please respond seriously.
email if desired
Recognizing that mailing 99 letters is a significant cost, there is another option. Go to the link for the House members, click on the legislator's name, open the "Contact me" link, fill in your information so you can get a response, then copy the letter to your clipboard, drop the letter in this diary into the "Comments" field (I tested it, it will fit), click the Opt out of furher correspondence if you wish, type the security word at the bottom of the link, then submit.
Tomorrow I will do a diary for the Ohio Senate, which thankfully, only has 33 members. The Senate site is not nearly as comprehensive as the House site, but you do have the contact information for each senator on only one page (Name, District, Address, Phone, and actual email address, which is more convenient.
So there you have it. A means to contact all Ohio legislators and a "cut and paste" letter to find out if your legislators are "cut and paste legislators" as well.
It is the strong opinion that ALEC cannot operate effectively if their nefarious corporate political agenda is under the spotlight of public scrutiny. Toward that end, our group Exposing ALEC is seeking to shine that spotlight on the over 2000 state legislators whom the organization claims to be in their membership, the over 300 corporate sponsors who pay between $5,000 and $25,000 to join the various committes and Legislation Writing Work Groups consisting of powerful corporate lawyers, corporate lobbyists, and corporate executives who exercize veto power over what gets into ALEC's "Model Legislation". Click on diaries in Exposing ALEC for far more information about their process and why they need secrecy to maintain their grip on our 50 state legislatures. We want to blow up that secrecy, and force our legislators of either party to once again be OUR representatives, not representatives to an Unelected Shadow Government made up of $500 per hour corporate lawyers, corporate lobbyists from Washington DC.
Thanks for reading and sending letters to your representatives. Please comment below about which reps you have sent letters to. And finally, please send at least one copy to your local newspaper (Ohio List here). Thanks again for visiting and reading.
Don't forget, a major rally to demonstrate the ALEC Annual Meeting in New Orleans, August 3 through 6 is being planned. Watch Exposing ALEC for more information soon.