Recently I wrote a blog calling for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to be investigated by the Department of Justice for violating their 501c3 tax status across state lines. It is a violation of the RICO Act to commit and/or conspire to commit illegal acts across state lines. That very reason is why Newt Gingrich threatened to pursue RICO action against me personally for leading demonstrations against him, and urging folks to continue the demonstrations in other states and against Newt’s allies.

    - ALEC has written, pursued, and lobbied for — in violation of their tax status — some
       of the most odious, dangerous, and undemocratic state legislation in the history of

    - ALEC has pursued voter suppression, voter intimidation, and voter
      disenfranchisement in state after state. Is that harmful to democracy? I think so.

    - ALEC has tried to pass laws in state after state to destroy unions or weaken them.
      It has also threatened the people who organize them. Is that good for the
      economy? Only if you want all the benefits of the economy and growth to go to the
      few at the top.

    - ALEC doesn’t just lobby at the edges of its existence. ALEC exists to lobby and to
      pass some of the most harmful legislation to our democracy and to our economy.

I admit I am not a lawyer, but I’m not a fool. If one of the organizations most destructive to popular democracy and shared prosperity is violating federal law to spread their hateful and malevolent state legislation they should be stopped legally.

All of us should call on the Department of Justice to investigate ALEC for racketeering violations. Some lawyers will tell us we are wrong. They will talk down to us. They will act as if life started when they entered law school.

We can no longer blindly follow any political professionals. It is time we stood up, raised hell, spoke out, called for the lawyers to get outta the damn way, and we started leading. Politicians and political pros — much as I love them — cannot lead on our values and our principles. We must lead and if we do, the best of them will follow us.

Image source: DonkeyHotey on Flickr via Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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Originally posted to StewartAcuff on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 04:39 AM PST.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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