As if it weren't enough that the Republican legislators in Wisconsin are using ALEC as the vehicle to propagate corporatist legislation that funnels public dollars into private pockets.
They're even using our tax dollars to pay for their ALEC memberships!
This news has been out there for a while, but has gained new attention in the wake of the ALEC Exposed project from the Center for Media & Democracy. ALEC Exposed reveals over 800 pieces of "model legislation" written between Republican state legislators and corporate representatives, in service of deregulation and privatization and power-grabbing. The site also, however, has an excellent and growing Wiki page of ALEC politicians.
The full list of ALEC members, both politicians & corporations, remains secret at this point, but quite a bit is known from various sources.
In Wisconsin, one of those sources was an open records request by the organization One Wisconsin Now.
According to records obtained by One Wisconsin Now through an open records request with the Senate Chief Clerk’s office, the following current Republican Senators have used taxpayer dollars to pay for the memberships in ALEC:
Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse): $100 – 2/1/2011(I used the presentation of the table from the ALEC Exposed site).
Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin): $100 – 2/1/2011
Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls): $100 – 2/1/2011
Van Wanggard (R-Racine): $100 – 2/1/2011
Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee): $100- 2/1/2011
Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau): $100 – 1/1/2011
Pam Galloway (R-Wausau): $100 – 1/1/2011
Glenn Grotham (R-West Bend): $100 – 1/1/2011
Frank Lasee (R): $200 – 1/1/2011
Alberta Darling (R-River Hills): $200 – 1/1/2009
Mike Ellis (R-Neenah): $100 – 1/1/2009
Neal Kedzie (R-Neenah): $100 – 1/1/2007
Mike Ellis (R-Neenah): $100 – 1/1/2007
Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau): $200 – 1/1/2007
As One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross put it:
“It is unconscionable Republicans are gutting public education by $1.7 billion, cutting health care and raising taxes by $51 million on the working poor to hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in special interest corporate tax breaks,” said Ross. “But it is outrageous to have taxpayers pay the tab so that one of the nation’s most powerful corporate special interests can have privileged access to Dan Kapanke, Alberta Darling and Republican state Senators. It may not be a fortune, but it is appalling hypocrisy by the Senate Republicans and in the end will cost the middle class its chance at the American Dream.”
Of the twelve state senators on the list, two will be facing recall elections on August 9. According to recent polling, Dan Kapanke is down by double-digits in his race with Jennifer Shilling; Alberta Darling is in a close race against Sandy Pasch.
The fat cats are worried about Darling, and are dumping big dollars into her campaign. Pasch is fighting back -- help her out with a donation of any size at her campaign web site! (How about a nice round $50, the price of Darling's ALEC membership?) We can win this one, but it's coming down to the wire... let's pry Wisconsin back out of the corporatist / ALEC claws!