(If you don’t know what ALEC is – please see the links at the end of this diary.)
I saw a tweet the other day that said we had to identify all the members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Those of you who follow my writings, know that over the past months I have released lists of names of people who I have found related to ALEC either through ALEC literature, campaign finance documents, states and other miscellaneous webpages and other web-based researching.
Over the past two months ALEC Exposed has been compiling lists of people affiliated with ALEC from citizen researchers and from ALEC documents that they have acquired.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the tweet that we need to keep on top of who is affiliated with ALEC ...
BUT my question is – “When do we have enough names and we start taking action?”
In my opinion – we have enough names - we need to start taking action.
This weekend I took my list and added most of the names that ALEC Exposed had that I did not have on my list and created a new list.
It takes about 10 - 20 seconds for the entire list to load - it's a big document.
My Questions to ALEC Members
We’ve “outed” a lot of ALEC members – a lot of them who have not listed their membership anywhere – a lot of them who are still trying to deny or sidestep their ALEC membership when asked directly (that’s dishonesty, folks – key point to consider when re-election time comes).
So my questions to ALEC members are:
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 – which is now “outed”?
You don’t mention the organization that reaffirms your commitment to free-market philosophy at the expense of representative government?
You don’t mention the organization that you belong to that wants to privatize all government services and turn them over to the ALEC Corporate Sector / Private Enterprise members?
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.
My Request to You the Reader
What will you do with the list?
Having a list of names means nothing – it’s just a list of names. It has no meaning.
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?
Write comments on editorials and articles that are pro-ALEC. Bring out the fact that the ALEC philosophy is not good for the citizens of your state. Try to make sure your reader understands that ALEC is not some nonpartisan organization similar to NCLS - they are not and here's the PR Watch webpage to prove it.
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 members in your state?
If yes, what would you tell them? How would you explain to them what being 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? They probably weren’t even listening and thought you said they were a member of the Elks and really don’t care.
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.
WE HAVE TO REMOVE ALL ALEC MEMBERS!
It is our role to make sure that ALEC state legislators and federal alumni don’t get re-elected.
Now is the time for “boots to the ground” to use the information we have compiled on ALEC members and ALEC “model legislation” to prove to others that ALEC members MUST be removed from public service at any and all levels.
In August, ALEC just completed their four day conference where ALEC Corporations told your legislators what legislation they wanted to have passed and what legislation they did not want to have passed.
ALEC members are not serving the public – they are serving the ALEC corporations. It does not matter how ALEC or their members spin this story over the next couple months it is important for you – to remember and to talk about the following fact:
When was the last time YOU got to sit with your legislator for two or three days and tell your legislator what YOUR needs are and help your legislator write legislation that benefited YOU?
Your ALEC legislator does this multiple times a year with corporations – so when push come to shove – it is evident who your legislator is representing – the ALEC corporations.
Knowing past members are important – because they may try to run again or come up for a state or federal appointment. Past members produce offspring – who run for office with (many times) the sick ALEC philosophy of free markets and privatization of government – that’s what they hear at home – that’s what they heard when they attended the ALEC Kiddie Kongress.
Campaign reports – report "campaigns" – so someone may be on the list above - who filed a campaign report with expenses to ALEC on it. Maybe they did not win - but you can bet your boots they will try again.
Another thing that will be important is watching new candidates and who is endorsing them. If an ALEC member is endorsing them and the candidates webpage touts ALEC philosophies - check your state campaign webpage and see if the candidate has made any payments to ALEC or contributions to known ALEC members from their campaign monies. Write blogs and editorials against this new "ALEC Leaning" candidate.
ALEC members and those affiliated with ALEC in any manner
MUST NOT BE RE-ELECTED.
Without state and federal legislators ALEC will cease to exist and it will implode.
Wait and See
Some of you may be waiting for the Center for Democracy or Common Cause to step forward and give us guidance on what we should do. I really don't think we should wait for them to act. The reason is because doing so could threaten their 501(c)3 status and although they have been tremendously helpful to us - up to this point - I'm not sure how much more they can do. Boots on the ground - is up to us.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.
Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity.
We're it folks - we have to take the actions necessary to get rid of all ALEC members in our state legislatures and the federal ALEC alumni. And I know we can do it!
Keep up on all things ALEC, here at DKos - The Exposing ALEC Group.