Well..............today is the last day of the ALEC Annual meeting. The Kiddie Kongress has sufficiently indoctrinated the next generation of ALEC-ers, the cigars have been smoked, the liberal journalists have been kicked around, the protestors have protested (yeah!), and the model legislation has been approved (and from what I've read) or vetoed by the Corporations of the American Legislative Exchange Council. This nasty organization - that claims there is nothing secretive about it - has again completed one of their secret protocol trainings in black ops and advanced techniques on how to destroy American democracy.
Now it's back to business for ALEC staffers - planning the late November States and Nation Summit (an ALEC brainwashing event for new legislators) which - for the first time in many years, is not being held in DC, but in Phoenix (well, Hello Mr. Pearce!). Now it's back to business for ALEC protestors - making plans to be in Phoenix (I hope to be there).
Now it's back to business in the states. We've seen what ALEC "business as usual" has done in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Arizona.
And right now Oklahoma is “living in a powder keg and giving off sparks” (Bonnie Tyler). It may be the next state to blow - unless Oklahomans take action.
We will never know all the members of ALEC from any particular state - cause they are sneaky little bastards and don't readily acknowledge their membership to ALEC. Most don't want to be publicly connected to an organization that subverts American democracy - but they still choose to be associated with ALEC and do ALEC's dirty work (the ALEC pay must be really good, someday that will probably come out also, I imagine). But that's not the point - everybody wanted a list - they were clamoring for a list - "we need to know who is associated with ALEC" - we need a list. Well the lists are out there - but (as I have said in many diairies previous to this one) - a list means absolutely nothing, nothing! It is the action plan that is put together that makes the difference and creates change.
When I was doing my research on ALEC - I actually spent a sleepless night, sleepless in Minnesota - thinking about Oklahoma - worrying about Oklahoma.
And here's why.
The following people have been connected to ALEC through ALEC documentation, the Oklahoma Almanac, or gave ALEC some money as reported at the Oklahoma ethics webpage.
Governor -- Mary Fallin
Lt. Governor -- Todd Lamb
Attorney General -- E Scott Pruit
Secretary of State -- Glenn Coffee
State Treasurer -- Ken Miller
Sen. Pres. Pro Tem -- Bob Bingman
Majority Floor Leader -- Mike Schulz
House Speaker -- Kris Steele
Speaker Pro Tempore -- Jeff Hickman
Director OK Dept of Human Services -- Howard Hendricks
Pretty impressive lineup, eh? Rivals any of the other states that have already blown an ALEC gasket and screwed their citizens in the name of ALEC privatization and non-existent government.
BUT - it doesn't end there.
Then you have the members of the US Congress from Oklahoma.
Oklahoma has 7 representatives in the US Congress
Of those 7 at least 5 or 71% have been listed as ALEC Alumni by ALEC.
In the Oklahoma Senate and House you have the following people who have either signed an ALEC lettter that specifically stated, "The 167 undersigned members from 41 states are state legislators who chose" or gave ALEC some money as reported on the Oklahoma ethics webpage, or were identified by ALEC in an article or through the Oklahoma Almanac or acknowledged their ALEC affiliation on their state webpage bio (which by the way is NOT the norm).
Lets take a look at the Oklahoma Senate
32 of 48 or 66% of Senate is Republican
Of the 32 Republicans at least 14 or 44% have some type of link to ALEC
Of the 16 Democrats at least 1 or 6% has some type of link to ALEC
Of the total 48 members of the Senate 31% have some type of link to ALEC
Cliff Aldridge (R) ; Brian Bingman (R); Cliff Branan (R) ; Bill Brown (R); Brian Crain (R) ; John Ford (R); David Holt (R) ; Rob Johnson (R) ; Clark Jolley (R) ; Bryce Marlatt (R) ; David Myers (R) ; Jonathan Nichols (R) ; Jim Reynolds (R) ; Andrew Rice (D) ; Mike Schulz (R)
Then we go to the Oklahoma House
69 of 100 House Members or 69% of Senate is Republican
Of the 69 Republicans at least 25 or 36% have some type of link to ALEC
Of the 31 Democrats at least 3 or 10% have some type of link to ALEC
Of the total 100 members of the house 28 or 28% have some type of link to ALEC (those 4 dems in OK senate and house need a come to Jesus meeting)
Banz, Gary W.; Billy, Lisa J.; Blackwell, Gus; Denney, Lee; Dorman, Joe; Hickman, Jeffrey W.; Jackson, Mike; Kern, Sally; Kirby, Dan; Liebmann, Guy; Martin, Scott; Martin, Steve; McCullough, Mark; McNiel, Skye; Newell, Tom; Ownbey, Pat; Peters, Ron; Peterson, Pam; Reynolds, Mike; Ritze, Mike; Sanders, Mike; Schwartz, Colby; Shumate, Jabar; Steele, Kris; Sullivan, Daniel; Tibbs, Sue; Watson, Weldon; Williams, Cory T.
And then............. you have this host of folks, either past or present, who have been "outed" by ALEC, or in the Oklahoma Almanac or by the Oklahoma ethics page for giving money to ALEC - sitting on the sidelines waiting to do ALEC's work either by being elected or appointed to a public office. These folks don't really belong anywhere yet - but some of them want to - so you have to keep your eyes on them at all time.
Brogdon Randy; Case Bill; Dunlap Jim; Hiett Todd; Ingmire Terry; Istook Ernest; Jett Shane; Johnson Mike; Jones Tad; Liotta Mark; Miller Doug; Morgan Fred; Nance John; Newport Jim; Price Bruce; Smith Hopper; Taylor Stratton; Thompson Mike; Vaughn Ray; Winchester Susan
Oklahoma is “living in a powder keg and giving off sparks” !
Oklahoma - it's time to put your action plan together.
Its your state and it needs to be your action plan.
Some ideas might be -
Study the legislation on ALEC Exposed – Compare it to legislation introduced by the people noted above, then write letters to the editor – post entries on your blog, send emails to friends about it.
Create a coalition of like minded organizations to put together candidate pools to run against these people with links to ALEC.
Have new candidates sign a NO ALEC pledge – that they do not currently belong and will not ever belong to ALEC and that applies to all their staff members also. They will not be associated with ALEC in any way or means. They will never support ALEC model legislation brought to the floor.
Protest at the capital – tell your officials you want ALEC out of your state.
Read this document or this document or this document or this series of articles and include the links in your blog entries about the legislation, include them in emails to friends or print them and hand them out to everyone and anyone. You don't have to be "the expert" - just use these documents to tell others about the devastation ALEC is causing to our democracy.
Read the entries on the Daily Kos group, Exposing ALEC - to keep up with the action plans that others are putting together and for more things that you can do.
Good luck Oklahoma - I have faith in you.
You can purge your state of this blight on democracy and save your state!
I know you can - no more sleepless nights for me!