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Like most of you I had never heard of the Atlantic Bridge charity.  It was founded and designed to promote the "special relationship" between the UK and the US.  Over the past couple of days the Guardian has been covering a scandal involving Liam Fox, UK's Defence Secretary.  I won't bother you with the detail of this scandal, except to say that it has been discovered that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) backed the Atlantic Bridge Charity along with Hedge Fund millionaire, Michael Hintze.

The story is full of mystery, corruption, corporate manipulation and involves many names (corporate, individual and political) we read about in the paper - including former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Of interesting note is that when stories about ALEC and the Koch's hit the news, ALEC's website goes down for "Maintenance".  In this case it went down yesterday as the Guardian's articles were published, exposing their involvement in the Atlantic Bridge Charity.  I have screen prints of what I find now when trying to access ALEC's site over the past 24 hours below the fold.

ALEC Site down

See what I mean? I have no way of knowing if the periodic coincidence of ALEC's site maintenance merely seems to happen when bothersome stories are published or if it is actually coincidence.

The basic stories in the Guardian; "Liam Fox, his adviser, and an irregular meeting in Dubai | Emails shed light on contentious legal battle as MoD admits MRSA superbug case was raised at meeting" and a previous article titled; "'Adviser' Adam Werritty ran charity from Liam Fox's office | Exclusive: MoD's top civil servant warned defence secretary over links to former flatmate" both name ALEC as funding and supporting the Atlantic Bridge Charity.  Both allude to the influence of ALEC regarding conservative ideology, describing ALEC accurately as to membership of legislators and corporate interests combined.

The latter article was published on Thursday the 6th and reads in part:

"The crisis facing the defence secretary, Liam Fox, over his links to his self-styled adviser and friend, Adam Werritty, has deepened after it emerged that Werritty ran a controversial charity from inside Fox's office in the houses of parliament.

"The Guardian has established that Werritty used Fox's room 341 in the MPs' block at Portcullis House as the official headquarters of a rightwing charity, the Atlantic Bridge, which works in conjunction with a major US business lobby group. The office was provided to Fox at taxpayers' expense while he was in opposition until last year.

Further down in the article the "business lobby group" is identified as ALEC:
"Soon after Fox founded the Atlantic Bridge charity, which was designed to promote the "special relationship" between the UK and the US, he asked Werritty to run the charity as executive director. The charity was backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) and the hedge fund millionaire Michael Hintze.

"The funding of the charity, which was supported by senior Tories and patronised by Lady Thatcher, allowed Werritty and Fox to frequently travel to events in America. In one instance Fox flew back from Washington to the UK in Hintze's private jet, the register of members' interests shows. It has been suggested that Werritty was also present on the jet."

But the foregoing opening of the article sounds familiar enough to those of us here in the U.S. who have become knowledgeable on ALEC and how they are all about diverting taxpayer money to fund their pro-corporate conservative agenda.    

"Fox founded the Atlantic Bridge to strengthen the relationship between the US and UK, and in particular celebrate the Reagan-Thatcher era. He installed Werritty as chief executive, but it has now been wound up following criticism by regulators that it was too political to qualify for charitable status.

"A string of senior Tories, including George Osborne, William Hague and Michael Gove, have served on the advisory board of the charity, and Baroness Thatcher was the honorary patron.

"Fox's parliamentary office was given as the charity's administrative office in UK charity files, and Werritty is listed as UK executive director in accounts filed in the US for the Atlantic Bridge Inc, the entity which controls the organisation's US arm."

"Official records show Werritty collected £90,000 in salary from the charity between 2007 and 2010.

So from 2003 through last week, ALEC had an office and influence right inside Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD).  To me that's similar to ALEC's Alumni having similar positions of power and influence inside both houses of Congress here in the U.S. The difference between the UK and U.S. situation involving ALEC, is that once discovered as being overly political, the Atlantic Bridge Charity was closed down last week on September 31st.
"The charity was finally dissolved last Friday after its remaining trustees – Fox had already resigned from the board – decided to close it down rather than address the Charity Commission's concerns.

Again the major difference is, the UK found the "Charity" was too political to qualify as a charity and was thus closed down.  Here in the U.S. we have no such luck.  Our IRS continues to allow ALEC to enjoy their 501 (c)(3) exemption status as a charity - regardless of the huge amount of lobbying and political pursuits of the organization.

Fortunately for Britain, they only had to put up with ALEC's vast influence for under eight years before they ousted them.  We've had them for forty and can't get rid of them.  In this I believe the current Administration has a lot to learn from our British allies.

In the Guardian article yesterday, the story is about a deal struck between Fox's MoD and another private company that developed something called Acolyte that is claimed to drastically cut the time it takes to identify MRSA infections.  Acolyte was sold to the U.S. company, 3M for £41m.  Somehow this "deal" included a Knighthood for 3M CEO, George Buckley but that that had been put in jeopardy when 3M refused to pay the full price for Acolyte:

"The meeting between the five men was a pleasant and jolly affair, but the disputed conversation turned toxic the next day.

"In the early hours of the following morning Boulter fired off an email to 3M lawyers. "I had a 45-minute meeting with Dr Liam Fox, the British defence minister, on our current favourite topic … As a result of my meeting [with Fox] today you ought to know that David Cameron's cabinet might very shortly be discussing the rather embarrassing situation of George's [George Buckley, 3M's chief executive] knighthood."

"Boulter suggested that a settlement "at a headline of $30m+ will allow MoD to internally save face".

As most of us here in the U.S. know, 3M is a huge supporter and member of ALEC ( and heavily involved with the NCIA in using prison labor for manufacturing), so making it possible for that company to capitalize off of something coming directly out of Fox's Ministry of Defence office - where ALEC's Atlantic Bridge "charity" was conveniently located - was to be predicted.  However the MoD partner in developing Acolyte was British private equity boss Harvey Boulter who owned Porton Capital and he was upset because 3M had determined that Acolyte failed U.S. testing and reneged on the deal, refusing to pay the full £41m.

"The MoD's innovation unit had teamed up with Boulter's Porton Capital to commercially produce technology called Acolyte that is claimed to drastically cut the time it takes to identify MRSA infections.

"At first it was a major success and the pair sold it to US Post-it note conglomerate 3M in £41m deal. But 3M later claimed the technology failed US tests and refused to pay the full amount.

"Boulter was furious. He wanted to fight 3M all the way, but to do that he needed the might of HM's government. The 41-year-old businessman, who spends most of his life on a boat sailing the Gulf, spent weeks trying to get someone in government to listen.

So 3M's CEO gets a Knighthood promised to him in the U.K. in a deal to buy a joint MoD and Porton Capital pharmaceutical development.  The ALEC story just keeps getting better and better - or worse and worse - depending on which side of the Task Force table one is sitting on.  Many of ALEC's members and supporters were involved with the Atlantic Bridge Conservative think tank; GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Karl Rove, Rudy Giuliani, John Ashcroft, Lindsey Graham, Joe Liberman and others.  In his Presidential campaign, Giuliani boasted of receiving an "Atlantic Bridge" award.  Read more about this UK based ALEC think tank here: feel jealous that Britain is rid of them while we continue to fight them tooth and nail.  Of course it helps that over the decades they've been in existence, they have more than a hundred alumni in Congress and scattered throughout our federal government agencies right now, so throwing their asses out here is much more difficult.

I - and other DK diarists - have written articles about ALEC's International Relations Task Force and how they have exported their brand of Conservatism to many foreign countries over the past decade plus: Canada, China, Korea, Germany, U.K., Poland, Australia and New Zealand.  Many readers did not see the importance of this, even as I wrote about the harsh criminal justice laws being adopted by these countries, with concurrent contracting between those governments and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and Geo Group for privatizing prison facilities.  From the Guardian articles we now see just how corrupt ALEC and their corporate members are, whether on foreign soil or here at home, as they chase every dollar they can eek out of taxpayer's wallets...

In another important development, Former Presidential Counselor, John Dean wrote an article yesterday: "Gaming American Democracy: A Perfect Storm in Which Republicans Disenfranchise Voters While Giving Corporations Unchecked Powers".  In this article he links ALEC's activities to at least a partial reason for the current Occupy Wall Street activism:

"On balance, ALEC has been amazingly successful in accomplishing its never-ending goals on behalf of conservatives, as well as its corporate agenda, at the state level.  It has written thousands of laws that benefit corporate America, and conservative causes—often at the expense of the greater public good, and more often, unknown to most Americans.  Needless to say, this process is certainly not an instance of government’s serving the general public’s interest. Rather, it is an instance of corporate money legally corrupting democracy, with its outsized influence, to obtain its special interests—the public be damned.

"For example, ALEC has been very busy working to change the nature of representative democracy by diminishing the power of the American people at the ballot box.  ALEC seeks to use is funding power to disenfranchise people who are likely to vote against the conservative social agenda or against corporate interests."

Mr. Dean closes this article prophetically with:

"Resolving the legality of the barrage of new election laws will be costly, and will take decades.  Meanwhile, Republicans will have gained and taken their unfair advantage, which will likely only encourage them to further game the system.  It’s the way they now play the game, and while it may be nasty and even un-American, they could care less, as long as they are winning.

"Republicans simply rely on the reality that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not know what is going on; that the well-funded Republican public-relations barrage targeting Americans will keep the American people focused on less than vital issues; and that the corporate underwriters who fund this devious behavior believe they are doing what corporation are suppose to do, which is to make profits, so they simply laugh all the way to their off-shore banks.

"No one knows how this will all play out, but as those who are gathering to occupy Wall Street and other public squares understand, this is not the way it should be.  Conservatives and their corporate backers should understand that democracy is fragile, and if they persist, it will break.

Just as their powerful, influential and well funded corporate members have become international, so has ALEC.  Hand in hand ALEC, Koch and their 300 U.S. corporations have been working for years to increase profits, lower wages, privatize, outsource and insource (prison labor) our jobs, fight union influence and to downgrade our education and social safety net programs.  They want the huge amount of money in our Social Security so they go after it.  They want the huge amount of money in our Medicare and Medicaid program, so they go after it.  They wanted the $2 trillion in home equity held by senior citizens, so they came up with their Reverse Mortgage Act to give them access to that money.  They want a large segment of the $75 billion spent annually on incarceration, so they have gone after that through privatization of everything related to corrections, prison or inmate services.  They want a large share of the money spent on education, so they have begun going after public education to transfer tax dollars away from public education and into the coffers of private companies opening up to provide "education" to our children.  In order to keep their control and influence, they realize that as a minority they must take steps to diminish the votes of those in the majority, so they write voter fraud legislation and dispense it nationwide to disenfranchise enough Democratic voters to keep themselves and their agenda in power.

This has been the blight upon our democracy and taxpayers for nearly 40 years now and counting.  Many of us have finally prevailed in exposing ALEC, their members - corporate and legislative, Alumni, agenda.  More and more notable and also influential journalists, columnists and writers have begun to notice and write about the activities of ALEC.  Suddenly ALEC is being pressured from all sides on a multitude of issues involving their interference with legislation and democracy itself.

This week that exposure broadens, coming from overseas borne out of the immoral export of ALEC's Conservative agenda to other parts of the world.  This British scandal has cracked the door to the relationship between former President GW Bush, former PM's Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher - a recipient of America's Medal of Freedom award from President Bush in 2008 and ALEC's Pioneer award in 2006.

I wish the Brit's Charity Commission would have a discussion with our IRS about the term and definition of "charitable" and how they were able to get rid of their ALEC cancer.  Maybe then we'd all get some relief from these bastards.

Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 10:01 AM PT: Take heart, DK Bloggers.  It was a UK Blogger that undid the Atlantic Bridge scam there in Britain.  It took him two years and we're just approaching the first anniversary of our writing about ALEC here on DK.  We have made great strides in identifying ALEC, their funders, benefactors, members and agenda.  We have accomplished much.  Now if we can just get the assistance of the IRS and government here in the U.S. to finish the job.

‘Atlantic Bridge lives on’ warns blogger who secured closure of Liam Fox’s UK charity.

The Manchester based blogger whose two year investigation of the Atlantic Bridge led to the closure last week of a charity established by Dr Liam Fox MP, and managed by his close friend Adam Werritty, has warned that the UK charity’s demise may be a smokescreen that hides far more serious wrongdoing than acknowledged by the Charity Commission.

The Atlantic Bridge was founded in 1997 by Dr Liam Fox MP, who was its chair and a trustee until the 2010 general election, with Adam Werritty acting as UK executive director. Its advisory council included the MPs George Osborne, William Hague, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling, Eleanor Laing and John Whittingdale, together with six US congressmen. Its patron was Baroness Thatcher. It was registered as a charitable think tank in 2003 with a US based non-profit established in the same year, but published no research.
 Fox had been recruited to front the Atlantic Bridge by right-wing US think tank the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC was most seriously exposed in 1998 when the US tobacco industry was forced to release thousands of internal documents as part of a multi-billion dollar settlement of dozens of lawsuits; these documents proved that the tobacco industry used ALEC to lobby US legislators. ALEC continues to be funded by the tobacco industry, but today is also supported by elements of the oil industry keen to promote climate change denial and of the pharmaceutical industry keen to block US health reforms. US members of the Atlantic Bridge led summer 2009’s high profile attacks on the NHS that formed part of their campaign to block President Obama’s healthcare reforms.

Originally posted to Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 01:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Earthship Koch and Exposing ALEC.


Do you believe the activities of ALEC contribute to the problems being protested now in Occupy Wall Street?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (146+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, wade norris, trueblueliberal, 2laneIA, maggiejean, Empower Ink, kevinpdx, BarackStarObama, shantysue, blue jersey mom, howd, beltane, SquirmyRooter, GrumpyOldGeek, One Pissed Off Liberal, jacey, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, badscience, Ckntfld, Lily O Lady, DiegoUK, Major Tom, sunny skies, xynz, jiordan, dle2GA, buckybadger1988, ballerina X, LaughingPlanet, aliasalias, afisher, elziax, philipmerrill, Floande, allensl, Mollydog, Gary J, Garfnobl, allenjo, Sylv, Nailbanger, ej25, LillithMc, Seamus D, madgranny, karmsy, alizard, panicbean, tobendaro, davidincleveland, NMRed, cybersaur, dotsright, zerone, Matt Z, luckylizard, RhodaA, Lujane, aznavy, psnyder, AnnieR, jcrit, WisePiper, bgblcklab1, haremoor, Preston S, means are the ends, Cronesense, rage, zenox, highacidity, where4art, Betty Pinson, defluxion10, plankbob, martini, glitterscale, blueoasis, Minerva, tacet, petulans, Rosaura, bnasley, most peculiar mama, vahana, MNDem999, bronte17, shari, Gowrie Gal, timewarp, politik, TexDem, oldpotsmuggler, antirove, prettygirlxoxoxo, terabytes, jolux, NoMoreLies, Its any one guess, peptabysmal, congenitalefty, mofembot, TexasTwister, Ohiodem1, Lib Dem FoP, OHdog, joan reports, Dianna, Creosote, merrylib, yoduuuh do or do not, Calamity Jean, wonmug, geph, EvieCZ, sabo33, kaliope, MissInformation, Nebraskablue, basquebob, MartyM, jnhobbs, lostinamerica, onionjim, LaFeminista, wasatch, MadRuth, anodnhajo, RustyBrown, NBBooks, frisbee, Emerson, JohnB47, gerard w, marina, RagingGurrl, bunsk, mooshter, fiddlingnero, dagnome, wenchacha, zukesgirl64, liz dexic, Jean Sloan, Marie, Heimyankel

    "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

    by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 01:32:48 PM PDT

  •  excellent coverage (21+ / 0-)

    thanks for the news.

    "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" Henry David Thoreau

    by wade norris on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 01:52:20 PM PDT

    •  Thanks back for participating in the discussion (7+ / 0-)

      about ALEC and the Conservative agenda.  Sadly it isn't just us here in America suffering under their demands for rule by minority.  I almost wish we were, so we'd have somewhere to turn for help...but they're everywhere now.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:54:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  expose - isolate - confine. (16+ / 0-)

        That's the strategy we need to take for ALEC and each and every one of its corporate and individual members:

        Expose them: we're doing that now.

        Isolate them: break their ties to each other, break up their networks: through legislation, court battles ("conspiracy in restraint of trade"? something else?), physical interference and disruption (noisy protests including waves of sit-ins in the locations that are the nexus of power in these organizations; cyber sit-ins), other.  (Serious research is needed to develop cyber sit-in tactics that are less legally high-stakes than the ones presently being used.)

        Confine them: find the ones who can be charged with criminal offenses or subjected to civil law suits, and bombard & barrage them accordingly.  Use whatever information can be found to make these people so publicly toxic that they become a PR nightmare for any organization that tries to have any connection with them.  

        For these tasks to fully succeed, we need an army of lawyers and another army of financial professionals, all of whom are willing to devote a certain amount of volunteer time to these causes until there is money (e.g. from lawsuits) to keep the effort going on a fully paid basis.  At that point it becomes "attrition warfare" to take down the individuals who are involved: keeping them under constant siege, draining their time, attention, efforts, wealth, and various other resources, until they cry "uncle!" and go away.   They will not go away easily, but with sufficient effort, they can be made to go away, whether of their own free will or not.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:34:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We also need new laws (6+ / 0-)

          that REQUIRE legislators to be transparent about their connections with these groups and that require groups like ALEC to be transparent about their goals.

          But it seems to me that RICO could be invoked since there was a conspiracy to keep this push for anti democratic legislation secret.

          Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain

          by glitterscale on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 06:29:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Like this: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ohiodem1, glitterscale

            First of all, yes, we could try to push through legislation that requires legislators to disclose all of their organizational affiliations, for example, each year:

            Every organization that they or their spouse or any person in which they have a business partnership with:

            a) have given money to or received money from, including anything having monetary value such as travel and accommodation expenses.

            b) have attended any meeting of, whether physically in person or via telecommunications means such as teleconferences.  

            However, the chances of getting legislators to legislate something that limits their money-connections, are approximately nil, unless we can join forces between OWS and the libertarian wing of the Tea Party.   It would take a seriously reformist-minded administration and key people in Congress to pull this off, aided by mass public pressure.  

            As far as RICO is concerned, you would have to make a credible allegation of criminal conduct and then demonstrate that the participants formed a criminal organization.  That is highly unlikely: it wasn't even done to the Catholic Church when there were thousands of molested children as victims.

            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:25:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We can legislate with initiative petitions. (5+ / 0-)

              I can only speak for Ohio, and each state is different, but we can do legislation through initiative petition, and we can do constitutional amendments through petition as well.

              In Ohio, we have the overturn of SB5 on the ballot this November, and this is actually citizen legislation to overturn an egregious act of our radical republican legislature and signed by our radical republican governor, ALEC alum John Kasich.

              It looks like will have legislation to overturn voter suppression legislation HB194 next November, in the meantime, the radreps can't enforce it until it comes up for the vote, which preserves both the 2011 and 2012 elections and prevents the implementation of radrep voter suppression.

              Getting the sigs is expensive, but we need to fight fire with fire, and squelch radical republicanism advanced in all 50 states by ALEC.

              Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

              by Ohiodem1 on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 09:02:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes and yes; and excellent work. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mrsgoo, peptabysmal, Ohiodem1

                The amount of work needed to fight these people is as if we're dealing with a bubonic plague pandemic.  

                We have an initiative process here in California too, but for the most part it has become thoroughly corrupted by monied interests.  

                However, use every opportunity, use every means, and don't stop until you drop.  

                "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 01:35:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  These initiative efforts pay off imo (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marina, Bob Sloan, peptabysmal, Ohiodem1

                by educating folks.  People don't get  good information and the recall efforts push the awareness up to the people's consciousness.

                Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain

                by glitterscale on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 06:06:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Many of us have tried to accuse them of RICO (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrsgoo, glitterscale

            - civil and criminal due to all the documents we have.  With their alumni and confederates within the DOJ, we can't get anyone to seriously look at their activities.  The IRS has so far ignored Common Cause's complaint to them, so we're still trying.  With the crap going on in the UK maybe we can now convince our AG to get involved.

            "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

            by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 10:07:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It would seem that the IRS is a little busy right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              now going after growers and shops in CA.

              Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

              by mrsgoo on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 01:38:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ain't that a sign of the times? The President (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                says they won't enforce the federal marijuana prohibition in states where it is legal for medical purposes...and a couple of years later, here they are preparing to go after them in a big way from different directions.

                One can only theorize why the change in policy. Obviously somebody got to he or his admin on this and convinced him to rethink his position.

                "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

                by Bob Sloan on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:31:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely and accurately stated! n/t (0+ / 0-)

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

          by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 10:05:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Where is ALEC's main HQ's located? (6+ / 0-)

         I think that as the Movement begun on Wall Street grows in this Nation (and wherever else it may go), it would be good to know not only who these people are that are pulling so many strings, but where they are as well.
          Where, for example is NewsCorp headquartered, and Kock Industries, and so on.
          Yes, Wall Street and the too big to fail financial institutions crashed the economy, and are acting as if it never happened, but these guys are even worse because their war on the Middle Class (the 99% really) is quite intentional, and contains a meanness of spirit that goes beyond mere greed all the way to malevelence.
           And these guys are tremendously outnumbered because a lot of the 1% don't much care for them either.
          And a close look at their practices shows how un-American they really are. These are the same people who were in the Fifth Column back in the 1930's.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:47:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Key line from John Dean... (44+ / 0-)
    "Republicans simply rely on the reality that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not know what is going on"

    That is the GOP's entire platform, people voting against their own self-interests.  

    "Congress has not been able to fix these flaws so far, so I will." - President Obama, 9/23/11

    by BarackStarObama on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 01:59:32 PM PDT

    •  Precisely the agenda. They continue to get their (18+ / 0-)

      base to vote against their own interests - and to it gladly and proudly just to be considered a member of the Republican party.  While they help the Republicans continue to hold sway on behalf of corporations robbing all of us, these "voters" on the Republican side willingly turn their money, freedom property and conscience over to them - just to remain a "part" of the perceived elite society.

      Problem is remaining a member of that society from the bed of your pick-up truck, or sitting on a milk crate on your front porch - will keep your ass right there.  You have thus given up all hope of making things better for you or your progeny.

      Sad people voting - and those they vote for.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:45:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the "false believers" strategy: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ohiodem1, OHdog, Calamity Jean, mooshter

        It works like this:

        The grassroots religious right is led by "true believers" such as all the names we see associated with dominionist ideology: C.Peter Wagner, the megachurch dominionist leaders, the various "family values" and suchlike organizations.

        Those "true believer" leaders get their MONEY from somewhere, and that "somewhere" is only partially from their flocks.

        Where they get the bulk of it is from their alliance with corporate feudalists such as a bunch of other familiar names.

        However! the corporate feudalists are for the most part false believers.   These are people who feign piety in public but whose true nature and motives are the purely reptilian ones of amassing money and power without limit.  In a very real way they are Mammon worshipers and should be anathema to anyone who is truly and deeply religious.  

        So the strategy here should be to expose the false believers for what they are.  This could be done through the usual route of journalistic exposes, but it will also take direct outreach to the grassroots of the religious right, from people who are credible with Evangelicals and other constituencies that are involved.  

        Grassroots Evangelicals and religious conservatives need to understand that they are being manipulated and treated as the "useful idiots" of people whose motives are reptilian and whose morals are nonexistent.  Once they understand that they and their children and their futures are being sacrificed on the altar of Mammon, they will stop chasing the convenient squirrels of women and gays, and put the bite on the people who have kept them on a leash.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:45:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe they have already been exposed due to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the morality demonstrated by the false believers.

          Tom DeLay - ALEC alum headed to prison, the ones who committed adultery - too many to mention by name, the ones who are closet homosexuals, etc.  The Ministers, preachers and TV  wannabe "Evangelicals" exposed as adulterers, homosexuals, etc.  The true religious conservatives keep giving them a pass.  They have little choice for they are an ultra-minority and depend upon the Republican Conservative faction to lend them more of a vote on key issues.  As long as that continues, the true Evangelicals will abide their sinning in order to keep the order afloat.

          Shows how truly disingenuous both the Conservatives and the Evangelicals are.  Each feeding off of and depending upon the other to maintain an existence...and the corporations smile and continue to throw money at them to keep their agenda supported by both.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

          by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 10:18:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  there is that. (0+ / 0-)

            The Evangelicals who look the other way when religious right leaders get outed as gay.  Alternate hypothesis: Evangelicals don't care as much about sexuality as religious rightie spokespeople would want us to believe.  

            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 01:30:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Also the platform of neo-liberal Dems (3+ / 0-)

      Who are rapidly trying to make over our party into a carbon copy of the GoP, with a phony veneer of "compassion".

      Seriously, about 2/3 of our Dem leaders in DC are following the same agenda.

      "When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Betty Pinson on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 06:06:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They do this because it is the only game in DC. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They are being so railroaded on policy and issues that in order to stay politically competitive they have to use similar tactics or get left at the polls.  With the vast resources of the Koch's, Scaife's and DeVos' money pouring into the pockets of the likes of Boehner and Cantor, the financial deck is stacked and whatever scraps fall from that table are sought after by weak Dems.

        "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

        by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 10:21:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (23+ / 0-)

    Thanks for all your hard work in exposing and shining a light on ALEC.  I had never heard of them until your diaries and now I am educating all my friends and family about ALEC.  

    A point you bring home in one of your last paragraphs is how the conservative "small government" is just a scheme to privatize public institutions, i.e. education, Social Security, etc.  and take all that money for themselves.  I had been pretty naive and didn't put the pieces together as to why they were against public education and Social Security.  

    Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

    by howd on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:14:58 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for staying up on these issues and helping (8+ / 0-)

      educate others about ALEC.  They really and truly are the worst thing possible for a democratic society, howd.  We have been under their thumb and that of their alumni in Congress for decades, and simply didn't know it.  Now that they have been exposed it's important we convince others that they must vote out every legislator who are members or alumni of ALEC.  Only in that way can we begin to turn the tide...and must keep in mind to watch those we put in office from here on out.  Without supervision they could easily fall into the same pattern and we'd have to start over again time after time.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:49:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. It looks to me that these guys are not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        supporters of democracy, and the kind of Rights and Freedoms that ALL Americans should enjoy.

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:49:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely. They are about profits at all costs. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          onionjim, marina

          They are going after the EPA and trying to impose their will upon society by the pollution, contamination and protection of those who would harm animals.

          As they say the "proof is in the pudding"...and when you look to the attacks upon education and unnecessary voter legislation that does nothing to thwart a nonexistent  national voter "Fraud" claim, we can easily ascertain that they are totally non-democratic - across the board.  They want fewer to vote, the electoral college to stay as it is and screw the popular vote.

          There is absolutely nothing democratic about any of their procedures, legislation or activities - with the exception that they use democracy as a shield against discovery and being outed.  They even try and hide the names of their members, for Christ's sake.

          "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

          by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 10:26:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Werritty (6+ / 0-)

    You should read the links to the UK papers quite carefully bearing in mind the British libel laws. You may note the continued references to the "close friendship" between Werritty and Fox, Werritty being a "former flatmate" and the best man at Fox's wedding in June 2005.  (Fpx announced a bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party in September 2005)

    Fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:47:07 PM PDT

    •  I caught those inferences, Lib Dem, but left (6+ / 0-)

      them alone.  Not knowing specifically whether the insinuations were genuine or merely politically motivated, I thought to not bring that out.  They sound overly "friendly" to me - flats, close relationship and working out of the same office leaves a certain impression - but I'll leave that for others more knowledgeable about British politics.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:52:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In this case (6+ / 0-)

        I think it goes to the question of the motivation behind the very generous treatment that the younger man has received. Also bear in mind that the flat that was being shared was being purchased by Fox on a mortgage that was paid for by his Parliamentary "Second Home" allowance at the time.

        Fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 03:38:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Im undecided (0+ / 0-)

          as to whether these "close friendship" allegations are something I'm reading into things, or whether it's a power play by the left in the party. Fox is one of the most politically right wing in the party. so it may mean some severs shuffling

          Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

          by ceebs on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 04:37:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Likely not given the Guardian (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bob Sloan

            More likely Labour who, despite their "gay credentials" have done similar things in the past to force the resignation of a gay minister.

            That is not to say that a culling of the gaff prone right wing members of the Cabinet would not be a good thing.

            Fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur.

            by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 07:33:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  work with the folks who are doing Murdoch. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, Bob Sloan

        There are a bunch of British folks here on dKos who have been active in bringing us the news about the fall of the Murdoch empire, and explaining to us the ins & outs of British journalism, politics, culture, and so on.

        Those people are your natural allies for doing the ALEC topic in detail.

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:48:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  as long as you understand (3+ / 0-)

          that we are still going to be restrained by UK libel laws ourselves. and will similarly have to talk around the subject that is being discussed here

          Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

          by ceebs on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:58:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  WE in the US restrained by UK libel laws? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Or are you in the UK and you're speaking of people in the UK?

            As far as the US is concerned, I'd like to see any UK plutocrats try to bring any kind of legal action under UK libel laws, against US persons who published in the US.  Even if the publication was online and readable from within the UK.   That would be a real hoot.  It would get laughed out of court on the first day.

            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:27:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Can you link ALEC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, peptabysmal

    to the Harper government in Canada? From Dictatorship to Democracy, Guide to Non Violent Protests.

    by sdelear on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 02:53:57 PM PDT

  •  Thanks BOB! (5+ / 0-)

      I look forward to your great diaries and the information you share with readers, especially me!

  •  The issue is not winning. And it's not (16+ / 0-)

    money.  The issue is destruction and distress of the body politic.  Self-government is anathema to autocrats.
    The problem ordinary folk have is that they can't figure why someone, to whom they've done no harm, would wish them ill, much less want to destroy them.
    That evil isn't just after the ruination of souls has to be explained. Which is why, IMHO, we should meet the faith community and explain things in their terms.

    by hannah on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 03:13:25 PM PDT

    •  Yes! and yes! (6+ / 0-)

      As for "why these people they don't know are doing them harm," think of tapeworms and other parasites.  They don't "want" to make you sick, they just "want" all the nutrients that go through your guts, and they "want" to grow and reproduce regardless of what happens to you in the process.

      To them, you are FOOD.  

      And any source of potential wealth and power that can be harvested is FOOD.  

      Or in simpler terms, the guy who robs you on the street doesn't know you and could care less about you: all he wants is your money.  

      Same thing.  

      And the religious strategy should be to point out that these people - ALEC and the rest - are, at root, Mammon worshipers whose only desire is for worldly wealth and power in unlimited quantity.  The "gays and women" stuff is just a diversion being used to manipulate religious conservatives into "chasing squirrels" rather than putting the bite on those who hold their leashes.  

      Once they realize that and truly get it, they will turn 180 degrees with a fury that will have to be seen to be believed.

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:54:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Food? "To Serve Man" ;-) n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        prettygirlxoxoxo, Calamity Jean
        •  Yes, exactly. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, hannah

          Someone needs to do a remake of that short film, sticking as close to the original material as possible, but changing it just enough to make the point.  

          There is probably a way to do this within copyright law, for example "satire" is 100% protected speech.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:28:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Re:religion, won't ALEC 'appeal' to the Calvinists (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog, Bob Sloan, wonmug, hannah, fiddlingnero

        and the Dominionists types. The fundamentalists hold the belief 'if someone is poor, sick, disabled, or other life hardship a person may undergo or can't control, it is their fault, they have sinned and God is punishing them, they are responsible for bringing upon themselves. The true believers wouldn't 'stand in the way' of something they consider to be 'Divine retribution', and thus would not feel obligated to support the 'least of us' in any way.

        The other side of the coin is, anyone who has reached even a modicum of success, is truly blessed, and is one of Gods 'Chosen People'. It doesn't matter how reprehensible they are there are no repercussions- they can act with a clear conscience. That is a sense of entitlement.

        The Randbots', to the fundies, are probably seen as the 'lesser evil'-and are accepted, seen as people who can be saved if 'we just pray for them'. All along the poor or working class fundies just see themselves as 'temporarily embarrassed millionaires', and will go along w/the program. Their ideologies are too similar for one group to disaffect another. Psychologically they can't allow themselves to see a problem w/this, it would be disastrous. Major denial.

        Sorry about the length, I hope it wasn't too incomprehensible.The religious angle is fascinating, and have been doing some reading up to try and gain some insight on this, and why/how those two groups haven't come to blows over this one, maybe I misunderstand.

        •  you're quite right about that. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Sloan, fiddlingnero, peptabysmal

          The self-justification of wealth and power, and the deliberate cruelty toward the poor and powerless: truly vicious, immoral, downright evil, and unfortunately becoming pervasive.

          I think the root of this is as a rationalization for competition for resources in an overpopulated world that has overshot its ecological limits.  

          In which case we have only just seen the beginning of something that could in the end become truly Hitlerian.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 01:32:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If we could get more people to understand this- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bob Sloan

            stuff -without being looked @ like a ct ?..Why the 'polite' pressure to not use the 'F' word, just use the term  corporatism-it has the same meaning. No, corporatism does not produce the same gut level reaction, impact and sense of urgency that is inherent in the word 'fascism'.

            We should be able to call it what it truly is,fascism and not be dismissed 'out of hand' when we do. Instead, we have to just hint and hope people understand the severity of what we are facing, and the looming dystopia ahead-that is if people will pay attention to this in the first place.

            I understand the manipulation of our language has become a cash cow for certain groups.. Frank Luntz etc....I'm hoping we can regain the ability to 'call a spade a spade', when it's appropriate, Godwin not withstanding.

            Thanks for keeping this ALEC issue front and center.

            •  For some reason American's simply hate it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              when one uses the term "fascism" to describe what is going on with our politics, government and corporate control.  They understand what fascism is, but wish to remain in denial that such a thing could happen here in the U.S....that's something they believe happens elsewhere but not here "at home."

              The word has a meaning that makes people shudder, knowing how fascism has turned out in every instance in the past.  People understand that in order to defeat such an agenda real work and much effort is required - and Americans for the most part are so pressed by the current lack of work, finances, food, housing and healthcare, that they can't imagine how they could possibly find time to take on defending democracy on top of everything else.

              Many of us are tired of being "politically correct" and have begun calling it what it is.  I began using corporatocracy last year because as soon as fascism is used, the conversation concludes, with listeners and readers alike refusing to discuss "that" with someone who is obviously a conspiracy theorist.  No matter how you phrase the conversation or how accurate your description of the evidence, others are put off by the single word "fascism."  For some reason Americans today would fight a lot of things - if they're called something else.  They refuse to believe we still have a racial problem - yet they will accept we have an "equality" disparity...when I bring up prisoners or inmates in a discussion, I see the same film come over the eyes of most I'm speaking with.  This is another topic nobody wants to consider, discuss or address.

              I agree that today we have come to the point where most have to not only be awakened to what is happening to them and democracy - they have to be shaken out of their reverie like children day dreaming.  Strong and specific terminology and  language is what is needed to break the spell invoked by ALEC and their Koch cabal.  Maybe when enough call it what it is, others will begin to understand how serious our plight is.

              "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

              by Bob Sloan on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 07:38:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if FCPA violations are in here ? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, Stude Dude, highacidity

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

    by pickandshovel on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 04:06:03 PM PDT

  •  Proofreader's nitpick: "September 31st"? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 04:43:59 PM PDT

  •  Website (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jcrit, Betty Pinson, martini

    ALEC Exposed

    Thank you for this Diary.

  •  apparently the Atlantic Bridge (5+ / 0-)

    charity got in trouble when a blogger complained that it wasn't opperating within charity law in the UK. Carities here are not allowed to support political parties. heres his article explaining the organisation and its situation

    The Atlantic Bridge: Think Tank or sham? Top Tories face Charity Commission investigation

    Following a complaint from this blogger, the Charity Commission has launched an inquiry into the status of theAtlantic Bridge, a charity whose main activity appears to be the sponsorship of predominantly private events at which senior Conservatives – including shadow cabinet ministers – and their US allies may bond behind closed doors.

    Now the Atlantic Bridge has cancelled its reception at this year’s Conservative Party conference where, ‘members of the Shadow Cabinet [were to] be joined by a prominent American leader.’ This is a bitter blow to the organisation, which has been denied the chance to defy health secretaryAndy Burnam’s call to ban anti-NHS Tories from the Manchester event.

    A charitymust never endorse a political party or play any part in party politics, so the Atlantic Bridge achieved charitable status in 2003 by claiming to be an education and research scheme orthink tank.

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:24:26 PM PDT

    •  Daniel (4+ / 0-)

      Hannan, the  Conservative MEP, is one of ALEC's international partners.

      I do believe there is a whole mess waiting to be dug out here on both sides of the Atlantic.  I tipped off some other folks involved in the fight against ALEC over here in the US about the international factor a while ago.

      As I said then, violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act were probably happening given what we know of ALEC's behavior at home. And that this could be used to bring ALEC down.  Like Al Capone was brought down on tax evasion charges.

      by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:33:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hannan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ManfromMiddletown, OHdog

        the idiot who showed up on Fox to say how evil the NHS is....

        and more from the site above


        The Atlantic Bridge case shows what happens when this policy it taken so far the commission forgets its other statutory obligations; to ensure charities comply with the law and to enhance their accountability. The case raises serious questions around how much discretion the Charity Commission should have to pick and choose the complaints it investigates. So last week my solicitor,Mark Lewis of Taylor Hampton, who is alsoat the centre of the current News of the World phone hacking scandal, wrote to the commission topropose a judicial review.

        We are prepared to ask the court to declare that the Charity Commission has a statutory duty to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and to do its utmost to recover charitable assets that have been misapplied, regardless of any damage that might be done to the reputations of those involved.

        But we hope it won’t come to that and that over the next week or so the commission — or maybe even the trustees of the Atlantic Bridge themselves — will agree to take action to ensure that charity money that everyone agrees has been used to promote the Conservative Party is recovered and spent on charitable activities.

        Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

        by ceebs on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:39:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          martini, OHdog, Calamity Jean
          the idiot who showed up on Fox to say how evil the NHS is

          Who benefits if the NHS is dismantled?  I would think a number of the firms that fund ALEC would.

          Look through their private board members:

          As of 2011:[1]
          CenterPoint 360, W. Preston Baldwin - Chairman
          Altria Group, Daniel Smith
          American Bail Coalition, William Carmichael, Jerry Watson
          AT&T, William Leahy
          Bayer Corp., Sandy Oliver
          Coca-Cola Company, Gene Rackley
          Diageo, Kenneth Lane
          Energy Future Holdings, Sano Blocker
          ExxonMobil Corporation, Randall Smith
          GlaxoSmithKline, John Del Giorno
          Intuit, Inc., Bernie McKay
          Johnson & Johnson, Don Bohn
          Koch Companies Public Sector, Mike Morgan
          Kraft Food, Inc., Derek Crawford
          Peabody Energy, Kelly Mader
          Pfizer Inc., Michael Hubert
          PhRMA, Jeff Bond
          Reed Elsevier, Inc., Teresa Jennings
          Reynolds American, David Powers
          Salt River Project, Russell Smoldon
          State Farm Insurance Co., Roland Spies
          United Parcel Service (UPS)[2], Richard McArdle
          Wal-Mart Stores, Maggie Sans

          This doesn't even touch the hundreds of other companies connected to ALEC.  How many of these firms would benefit from the total privatization of the NHS?

          There's so much here. I'd like to find UK press leads that we could guide to the story about ALEC on the US end.

          by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:46:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I saw something earlier today (0+ / 0-)

            but was in the middle of knocking tonights Salon together, so didn't think it covered that much ground that the other stories on the Fox situation, and didn't note it down, and then couldn't find it later when I was looking that explicitly said that the main activity that the Atlantic Bridge had been active in recently was activity  to bring about Lansleys NHS reorganisation/privatisation

            Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

            by ceebs on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:53:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you suppose that the UK reporters working on (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              plankbob, OHdog, Calamity Jean, Bob Sloan

              British end of this story have any clue what ALEC is and the full extent of its influence in the United States?

              Also, I find the release of this information in the UK a week after news comes out the Koch Industries, one of ALEC's main funders, is under indictment for FCPA violations telling.  It can't just be a coincidence.


              by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 06:16:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bob Sloan

                that this is whats happening, the main trigger here appears to be the Charity commission putting out its report last week, and Parliament getting back into full swing starting on Monday. The last three weeks having been the Anual UK party conference season, where each of the Three major parties have had week long conferences with set piece speaches from major figures, various members gathering to honk and clap like seals, and lots of networking and small scale meetings. (The Atlantic Bridge was meant to be holding one meeting  in a side room off the main conference hall that had promised a major US political figure (read senator or congressman of a neo-lib stripe) to come and be on a pannel or give a speach. Hire of these halls  runs to the tune of about £4,000 minimum (Thats how much one of the parties was asking a poverty charity to put together for a small room) and is a way of funding the whole extravaganza.

                So now thats out of the way we're back to bare knuckle politics, and Dr Fox is seen as being dead in the water, and very unlikely to survive till Wednesday lunchtime when Prime Ministers questions comes back into schedule.

                Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

                by ceebs on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 06:39:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Will I suppose (0+ / 0-)

                  when it rains it pours, because the Koch story broke over here last week.  

                  I suppose this also means that our UK friends have little idea what ALEC is then......


                  by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 06:43:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well for one (0+ / 0-)

                    it had passed me by completely, too many details im trying to keep straight in my head about phone hacking, computer hacking, and various Murdoch based conspiracies, so this one the non UK bits were just flying past me

                    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

                    by ceebs on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 06:56:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Just got off the phone with (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      OHdog, ceebs

                      a producer from one of the cable TV networks about something different they are on with ALEC. They didn't know about the scandal in the UK.  Maybe someone at that network will pick up the story.  There's a rumor that story on the group is brewing at another major US news outlet.


                      by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:23:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Or Monday (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OHdog, ManfromMiddletown

                  Fox is due to answer Ministerial Questions on Monday. Cameron has asked for the initial results of the Permanant Secretary's investigation into the access given to Werritty. Given that she had already warned Fox about this, it does not look good.

                  I am surprised Fox had not formally engaged his close friend as a Special Adviser. He is clearly talented as he appears to have set up a company with medical interests when Fox was Shadow Health Secretary and then developed expertise in military matters:

                  His business interests have mirrored Dr Fox’s political career. When Dr Fox was the Tory spokesman on health, Werritty ran a health consultancies, UK Health Ltd and UK Health Supply Services. Company House records show Dr Fox was an investor in UK Health, with a 2.3 per cent stake, alongside Mr Werritty, who owned 11.5 per cent of the firm.

                  After Dr Fox took over the shadow defence portfolio Mr Werritty began offering businesses defence and security expertise, setting up Security Futures.

                  M'learned friends would no doubt point out that Fox's 2005 marriage to his long term girlfriend is clear evidence that the relationship between him and Werritty is no more than friendship. There is therefore no suggestion that Fox would have had to make entries relating to "spouses or partners" on his Declaration of Members' Interests under the recently revised rules.

                  Fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur.

                  by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:54:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                    they may point that out, as he himself did in 2005 any suggestion at that time though was part of the fight for the leadership of the party, and may have been just an attempt to counterbalance rumours of Camerons taste for exotic chemicals, which i'm sure are equally untrue.

                    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

                    by ceebs on Sun Oct 09, 2011 at 02:40:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  How about Bob Abeshouse with Al Jazeera (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ballerina X

            America that we spoke to in NOLA in August?  He is chaffing at the bit for more on ALEC.  This kind of international unraveling scandal should be right up his alley for the People and Power section of their news.

            "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

            by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 10:53:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              sent a message off to the main reporter on this at the Guardian. I'm not sure whether they are thinking to look at ALEC donors as possible beneficiaries of Atlantic Bridge actions.

              As for Al Jazeera, I'm under the impression that that crew was tied up producing the documentary.  I don't think it has  come out yet. There's a rumor that the NYT has a big piece on the back burner about something involving ALEC.


              by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 11:21:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kewl. I Hope the NYT has gotten over their (0+ / 0-)

                fascination with the lies put out by Reagan when this all began months ago, MFM.  If they turn around and dump a large expose now, it will help convince readers that there was something there all along.  Maybe push their members to resign quicker :).

                I haven't heard back from Abeshouse in a couple of months.  I'll send him an email and find out what's going on with the story.  He told me it would be out the last of September, so maybe it's close.

                "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

                by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 11:36:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Ditto! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean
    I wish the Brit's Charity Commission would have a discussion with our IRS about the term and definition of "charitable" and how they were able to get rid of their ALEC cancer.  Maybe then we'd all get some relief from these bastards.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 05:46:11 PM PDT

  •  Excellent find and diary! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ohiodem1, OHdog, Bob Sloan, Jean Sloan

    Could be they are scrubbing for things like this press release

    Washington, DC—The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is pleased to announce the launch of The Atlantic Bridge Project as the latest component of its International Relations Program. The project aims to foster positive relationships between conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic, so that they may further the ideals exemplified by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

    Thatcher is an excellent partner with them - sending ALEC a note in 2008 stating

    Lady Margaret Thatcher also sent ALEC members a letter in which she wrote, “you have achieved an enormous amount already but our task never ends. So steel yourselves for the struggles ahead and draw strength once more from that undaunted spirit of freedom which underpins your great nation.”

    Like you I wish our government  - both federal and the states that give ALEC "charity" status would wake up.  We can only hope.

    Thanks Bob! Reporting this is important - cause it shines more light on ALEC's misdeeds both nationally and internationally.

    •  Wonder if she wrote that (0+ / 0-)

      I've been calling her Lady Ga-Ga for years (and before the singer) and she has not been allowed out without minders for a good three.

      Fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 07:52:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks back MnDem999 for your invaluable (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MNDem999, Ohiodem1, peptabysmal

      research and input.  We know much more about their secretive membership now due to your plodding research.

      More light to come - shortly...maybe the spotlight that really brings more of their really repugnant activities into the light of day.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled"

      by Bob Sloan on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 10:58:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for your work on this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, Bob Sloan, peptabysmal

    Appalling, appalling, appalling. But not surprising —no, not in the least.

    Just because it's made up doesn't mean it isn't true.—Plan 10 from Outer Space

    by mofembot on Sat Oct 08, 2011 at 08:48:00 PM PDT

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