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Investigation: Just Who is Behind Voter ID?

Why would they (ALEC) be writing OUR Laws?

A bill introduced in Nebraska is part of a national trend to require voters to show ID to vote.
Action 3 News, Feb. 24, 2012

Action News Reporter:  Liz Dorland

Link to Video Report

partial transcript:

We're told we need changes own voting laws to make sure nobody cheats on election day. But not only is there no proof of a Voter Fraud problem in either state [NE, IA], there is proof that lawmakers writing both those Laws, are not telling you something important about a group called ALEC.

Nebraska state Senator Charlie Janssen goes on to deny any connection to ALEC in the Voter ID bill. Even though he is a Member of ALEC. Even though the bill he submitted is a near perfect copy to the ALEC Boilerplate template for this issue.

... Later Janssen admits he copied the bill from the Indiana Voter ID bill, which Liz Dorland shows was identical to the ALEC Template, except for 2 minor edits.

Even the chief official in charge of Nebraska Elections says
"There's no real problem here. We've had an aggressive Voter Fraud Unit already. Very few people ever try to cheat here."

In fact there is very little proof of any serious Voter Fraud anywhere, but so far 31 states have jump on the Voter ID bandwagon. Iowa is headed there too, with little proof of cheating. Many Democrats say it's really all about this man [Barack Obama at podium]. That Voter ID rules will probably keep a lot of young and poor from voting. Both groups big Obama-backer last round.

Opponents say that this secretive group of powerful conservatives comes in [ALEC]. ...

The watchdog group [Center for Media and Democracy -- who publish ALEC] says that

Almost every Voter ID Law in the nation, shares common elements to a Template provided by American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC for short.  ...

The watchdog group says that ALEC is writing many of the 'hot bills', that the lawmakers claim as their own.

Brendan Fischer, with Center for Media and Democracy, says:

"This think tank essentially hands state legislatures changes, to our laws that they desire."

Reporter, Liz Dorland goes on to show how the Voter ID Legislation in Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, are all nearly identical to the ALEC Template -- Sixty Minutes style.

Investigative reporter Liz Dorland provides links for her research on the KMTV website  

Iowa's Voter Id Bill can be found here:

Click on this link to find Nebraska's Voter Id Bill:

Indiana's Voter Id Bill:

ALEC Exposed:

ALEC Voter ID Act Template:

American Legislative Exchange Council:

Reported By: Liz Dorland,

If you appreciate Local Media Reporters who do hard hitting stories like this -- then let someone know ...

KMTV Contact Us


    * 10714 Mockingbird Drive
      Omaha, Nebraska  68127
    * 402-592-3333

CBS Audience Feedback      

    * Phone: 212-975-3247
    * Email:

Liz Dorland,

Maybe they'll keep at it.  Goodness knows we need more of this kind of reporting, at the local and national levels.

Enough of the Clown Cars and Political Horse-race stories already.  At least not 24/7.

Reporters really need to stop just "mailing-it-in" -- their craft and trade, that is.

Reporter Dorland shows how it's supposed to be done.  Bravo!  And many thanks.

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM PST.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Tactful Saboteurs.

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Comment Preferences

  •   H/T to cobaltbay (11+ / 0-)

    for giving me the link to the intro story, over at KMTV,

    in my recent post on the link between legislators and ALEC's Model Legislation:

    What happens when an ALEC-assisted Rep forgets to scrub the Watermark?
    by jamess -- Mar 09, 2012

    many thanks cobaltbay, for the lead.

    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 10:47:00 AM PST

  •  Dear lord. Is that an actual journalist?! (13+ / 0-)

    Bravo Ms. Dorland! We need more like her. Many more.

    And we need to let her know how much her good work is appreciated.

    Thanks so much jamess.

    Fair's fair. I don't vote in your church; don't go preaching in my government. - Crashing Vor

    by Onomastic on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 10:50:19 AM PST

  •  for more details on (8+ / 0-)

    on that "secretive but very powerful group"

    that no one seems to know anything about:

    A Redstate Insider-take on ALEC ... and a Progressive-outsider reply
    by jamess -- Mar 09, 2012

    ALEC is harmless really

    -- really NOT.

    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 11:04:03 AM PST

  •  Thanks (6+ / 0-)

    Great diary,

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 11:15:40 AM PST

  •  IMHO, these voter id laws (8+ / 0-)

    are the worst things happening to our democracy.  Here in Florida, the law is so stringent that it, in effect, prohibits third party voter registration drives.  

    Because of the new restrictions on groups that organize voter registration drives, Rock the Vote and the League of Women Voters have suspended their operations in Florida.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 11:20:35 AM PST

  •  They have another way (7+ / 0-)

    to keep some from voting.  Every so often they send each registered voter a new card.  

    My daughter moved to another state.  She came back before the vote so she assumed she was still registered here until she went through the line and found that they had canceled her because she had moved out of state. She had not registered in the other state so she assumed she would still be registered here.

    She didn't get to vote.  

    There wasn't anything about your registration being canceled if you moved out of state in the newspapers or on our local news.   They didn't send her a notice of cancellation even though she had left a forwarding address.

    My husband and I got a new registration card again yesterday.

    They should have to send a notice when they cancel a registration.  

  •  Ari Berman wrote about the GOP war on voting for.. (7+ / 0-)

    ..  Rolling Stone - (August 30, 2011 7:40 PM ET) that references a GWB, yes the Bush justice dept.  investigation into the alleged "voter fraud" sweeping the country. He makes the connection to the Koch bros. as a primary supporter of voter suppression laws which actually are sweeping the country:

    In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.
    Karl Rove knew that Bush had lost the popular vote so investigations must happen!!! so they investigated:
    To hear Republicans tell it, they are waging a virtuous campaign to crack down on rampant voter fraud – a curious position for a party that managed to seize control of the White House in 2000 despite having lost the popular vote. After taking power, the Bush administration declared war on voter fraud, making it a "top priority" for federal prosecutors
    And  found this:
    A major probe by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 failed to prosecute a single person for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter, which the anti-fraud laws are supposedly designed to stop. Out of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. A much-hyped investigation in Wisconsin, meanwhile, led to the prosecution of only .0007 percent of the local electorate for alleged voter fraud. - emphasis added
    I'm pretty sure this has been covered but I couldn't help myself. Koch ties with ALEC. Virtually zero fraud. Done by republicans themselves. It's all coming to the surface piece by exposed piece

    Thx jamess  getting the word out

  •  It looks like they did follow ups (7+ / 0-)

    The one you've posted was 2/24

    On 2/27:

    Email after email after email!  Immediately after the story aired Friday night, Liz's inbox filled with thankful and angry voters. Some wanting to know why we would "find it necessary to attack State Senator Janssen".  

    We even heard the story was the talk of the Nebraska Legislature on Monday.  Liz went to Lincoln to catch-up with Senator Janssen and get his take on it.  "A lot of my collegues were surprised that you're attacking ALEC," stated Charlie Janssen.

    The investigation by-and-large received overwhelming support.  One woman wrote: "this is a very important story and I'm thrilled to see folks in media beginning to investigate ALEC."

    Even the progressive blog site Daily Kos is sounding off.

    3/2  Following the money

    These meetings allow lawmakers to bring their families, too.  A National Public Radio investigation points to tax records showing ALEC spent $138,000 in one week to keep legislators' children entertained.  None of it has to be declared as corporate gifts so voters don't know.

    "The idea is to get those senators into a position where they can influence them and so it's a truly a lobbying effort," Gould concludes.

    But ALEC officials disagree.  "We do not lobby," states Buss.

    If they did lobby, it would change what ALEC would have to reveal, by law, the millions that corporations pour into ALEC for meetings, scholarships, and babysitting, to help lawmakers come up with bills.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 01:32:07 PM PST

    •  thanks Catte Nappe (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, Eric Nelson, Onomastic

      for digging even deeper

      into this important below-the-radar subject.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 02:05:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not as under the radar as they were (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, Onomastic, peptabysmal, IreGyre

        And I'm sure they enjoy being in the limelight as much as the Kochs do.


        A controversial regulatory takings bill was dealt a significant setback Thursday when lawmakers moved to replace it with a standing committee to address onerous land-use regulations.
        Similar takings bills have been advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national group funded by corporations that drafts model legislation.
        Republican legislators in Utah and Arizona are leading the charge to force the federal government to hand over control of public territory that makes up much of the West, insisting local leaders could manage it better.
        Lawmakers in Utah and Arizona have said the legislation is endorsed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that advocates conservative ideals, and they expect it to eventually be introduced in other Western states.

        But legal experts say the challenges won't get far because any attempt by state legislatures to claim federal land is unconstitutional.
        The Parent Empowerment in Education bill, also known as the “Parent Trigger” bill, which opponents have called a push to privatize public schools, was defeated in the Florida Senate on Friday.
        The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative group that promotes “free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, and the federal government,” wrote a model Parent Trigger bill, which includes language promoting parent empowerment, turnaround models or options for failing public schools.

        Parent Revolution has said that ALEC had no hand in writing the Florida bill.


        Check out the links (above) to the six bills, and you will find that four of Southern Arizona’s Republican legislators are sponsors of these anti-worker bills– Frank Antenori, Terri Proud, Al Melvin, and David Gowan. (None of the Democratic Party legislators have voted to move these bills forward.)

        If you’re represented by Republicans in the Legislature, call them and tell them that you’re tired of them representing ALEC and the Goldwater Institute, instead of  Arizona residents.

        Of course, not all references are unfavorable.

        From 2001 to 2010, these nine states saw employment increase by 5.4 percent when the rest of the country remained stagnant. And these nine states, which had represented one-fifth of the country’s population, can take credit for 35 percent of the population growth in America over the last decade, according to a recent study by the nonpartisan American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

        What do these states have in common that allows them to grow jobs during horrific economic times?

        No income tax.

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 02:22:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I had to write my own papers in school, why can't (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, rubyr, Catte Nappe, jamess, IreGyre

    These clowns at least write their own bills. Show some creativity in the war they are waging against the franchise, women's rights, workers rights or whatever the latest freedom the party of individual freedom wants to restrict. They won't let you regulate a corporation, but they will regulate the hell out of you in the name of freedom.

    I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. (Adlai Stevenson)

    by ProgressMoShuffle on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 01:35:20 PM PST

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

      I strikes me a "cheating" ...

      and worse yet, cheating to rollback our rights.

      I suspect some of them don't even realize the ultimate impacts of their "copy and paste" actions

      -- they're just looking to get an Eazy-A!

      thanks for the comments, ProgressMoShuffle

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 02:09:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a huge degradation of our democracy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The idea is that local and state representatives address issues that are of unique concern to their local constituents. It's not like residents all across the land have suddenly begun clamoring for regulations about voter ID. I bet if one did a survey in each of the states they would be interested in doing something about a whole variety of other issues.

      from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 02:37:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  PA State Senator Daylin Leach said it best (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, jamess, peptabysmal, IreGyre

        In response to the claim of rampant voter impersonations and protecting the integrity of elections. Senator Leach tried to plea with these Alecuplicans by saying comparing it to lightening strikes. Something like 300 people are struck by lightning before one cause of voter impersonation is discovered.

         It's flawed logic and it's frustrating to see the line was actually sold quite easily.

        I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. (Adlai Stevenson)

        by ProgressMoShuffle on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 03:09:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It looks like Georgia beat ALEC to the punch with our voter ID laws by about four years.
    I think it was 2005.

    Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act. - Al Gore

    by Burned on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 01:48:35 PM PST

  •  Another home run, jamess. I wrote to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, jamess, wayoutinthestix

    her to thank her for her courage.

    You should send her this diary.


    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 01:53:06 PM PST

  •  Thanks, it's part of a long term plan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peptabysmal, wayoutinthestix

    Of evil regressive GOPer & evil 1% rule. Govt 4 us, nope, we get moldy crumbs. Hate them, hate their voters.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat Mar 10, 2012 at 04:32:54 PM PST

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