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(If you don’t know what ALEC is – you can probably skip this diary.)

I’ve done a lot of research over the past 4 months trying to find out who are ALEC members.  I have visited blogs and diaries, searched ALEC documents, searched the web, search documents that have nothing to do with ALEC - but have names I recognize in them.  I spend hours and hours looking for ALEC member information.

And last night when I was updating my list of past and present ALEC members – I had to ask the question.

So what – what if people had a list – what does that accomplish?  
What would happen if people had a list - what will it accomplish?  
Does it really hurt ALEC if a list were available or would ALEC just go on – business as usual?
How would this information be used in a constructive way?

Having a list of names means nothing – it’s just a list of names.  It has no meaning.
The lists will always be incomplete – ‘cause the only place that has the full list is ALEC and new members join every session – every ALEC meeting.

It’s also  important to acknowledge that other non-ALEC legislators KNOW who the members of ALEC are and yet they have chosen not to use that information in their campaigns.  So we have to ask the question, “Why not?”

One of the things I have found during my research is that in general ALEC members are embarrassed to acknowledge their membership in ALEC.

The ALEC member bios will show that they are a member of the NRA, the VFW, AARP, their place of worship, the PTO, the Legion, the “Y” – organizations that have little or nothing to do with their legislative work – nothing!  But very seldom do they acknowledge that they belong to ALEC.

So my question to ALEC members is:
Hey, ALEC members – why don’t you mention ALEC?
    You don’t mention the organization that puts pre-written legislation in your grubby little hand just by visiting the ALEC “Members Only” webpage?
    You don’t mention the organization that reaffirms your commitment to free-market philosophy at the expense of representative government?
    You don’t mention your membership in an organization whose corporate sponsors wine and dine you at all the ALEC meetings and help you write legislation – legislation / government by the corporations and for the corporations?

Are you embarrassed to acknowledge you relationship with ALEC?

I would be –
but then, I wouldn’t be a member of an organization
that in my opinion subverts democracy in the United States.

Well what would you do if you had a list?
Having a list of names means nothing – it’s just a list of names.  It has no meaning.
 

Would you confront them and ask them “Are you a Member of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council?
  If they said yes – what would you do with that information?
  How would you educate people about what that means and why it’s
  an important question to ask?
  If they said, no.  How would you respond??

Would you write editorials about their membership in ALEC?
  If yes, how would you phrase it so people would understand what that means and
  why it’s important that they know that information?

Would you write about the ALEC member in a diary or a blog?  What would you write?  It has to be more than their name and that they are an ALEC member – some people already know that and don’t care.

If a journalist contacted you – what would you tell them?  What does it mean, can you provide proof, do you have local examples you can give them?

Would you tell others about the ALEC member?  
  If yes, what would you tell them?  How would you explain to them what being an
  an ALEC member means and if their response was  ‘That sounds okay, doesn’t really
  seem like a big thing.” - could you explain to them why being an ALEC member is
  really important?
Would you have materials ready to give them, to further educate them or web pages
  that you could refer them to?

What would you do if you found out one of your favorite legislators was an ALEC member?  Would that make a difference?  Would it be okay for that legislator to be a member – because you like them?

It’s important to remember that other non-ALEC legislators KNOW who the members of ALEC are and yet they have chosen not to use that information in their campaigns.  How can we make a difference?

So we have to ask the question – as we move forward –
How can I make a difference?  
How can I share this information in a way that is meaningful and will
    truly make a difference in the next election?

The only way that we can be assured that ALEC will fold
is if they no longer have legislators as members –
which means that current ALEC members and
ALEC Alumni members in the US Congress
can not be re-elected.

THAT is the only reason to want to know a list of names.
But, elections take time -  this will be a long process - it won’t happen overnight – it will take time and energy.  Are you in it for the long haul?

So what?  What if people had a list – what does that accomplish?  
What would happen if people had a list - what will it accomplish?  
Does it really hurt ALEC if a list were available?

How can that information be used in a constructive way?
What will I do with an ALEC member list?

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