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This isn't something I normally write about. I don't know as much about it as I should. But I saw it today in a mainstream news publication. It is my hope that the Kossacks who know more will take this story and run with it.


CPI: ALEC the power behind the legislation faces tax complaint from Clergy Group.

The story covers a progressive Ohio clergy group that filed the complaint, but also mentions another legal complaint against ALEC by Common Cause.

In its complaint, Clergy VOICE says ALEC has “deliberately and repeatedly failed to comply with some of the most fundamental federal tax requirements applicable to public charities” and that evidence “quite strongly” suggests that the group is violating civil and criminal tax laws.

The clergy’s complaint goes beyond allegations of improper lobbying, claiming that ALEC exists for the “private benefit” of its members rather than for charitable, educational or other exempt purposes that serve the public interest and deserve special tax treatment. MSNBC

What caught my eye:
ALEC was formed in Chicago by a group of state legislators and the late Paul Weyrich, a pioneering conservative activist and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation. Based in Washington, D.C., the group says its mission is to advance “free-market enterprise, limited government and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public.”
Ick! Paul Weyrich. I remember him as a pusher of Dominionist theology, offensive to the extreme, and so I am not surprised that *he would be involved with something as slimy as this.

Old news to many of you, I am sure.

Go read the whole story, not that many of you don't know these things already, it's just nice to see it splashed across a high traffic area of the internet.

Originally posted to GreenMother on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 06:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've reposted this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, Ohiodem1

    to American Legislative Transparency Project. If you're interested in ALEC, this page is a goldmine of information.

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 07:11:05 AM PDT

  •  Marcus Owens, who wrote the complaint is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a VERY credible source, and it is likely that the IRS can't ignore him or his complaint.  And he also gets into the other ripple issues of state by state ethics and criminal jeapordy for the corrupted by ALEC lawmakers (or law transcriptionists), and criminal and civil liabilities for ALEC itself, its officers, and tax clawback by the IRS who, if it finds that ALEC does not deserve 501(c)3 status, may find some corporate supporters who now have federal tax liabilities that must be collected.

    Owens, who previously enforced exactly the law he and the Ohio clergy group are alleging ALEC has violated, has a very strong case, and I hope he wins it.  Maybe this will be the event that causes ALEC to turn into a rotting, stinking carcass, tossed into the cesspool of radical right wing corruption, avarice and crushed arrogance.

    One can hope.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 01:37:57 PM PDT

  •  I'm not aware of any diaries, but here is a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    link to Marcus' actual complaint.  It is very well-documented with lots of original source information.

    Enjoy.  I'm working on a different diary now concerning the radical right's infrastructure of government takeover, while their rhetoric says exactly the opposite.  It's a long term project, and I don't have a lot of time to devote to it, but sooner or later, I will finish it.  My timeline says it will happen in the next month or so, but I have no deadline, other I want it to be done well before the November election.

    Follow Bob Sloan, MNDem999, Hector Solon and Ron1951 for more on this radical right group who seeks to undermine and corrupt our democracy.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 02:54:27 PM PDT

    •  Sounds like a worthy project you are working on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I happen to agree with you and I look forward to seeing it when you are done.

      •  Its grown to the point where I may have to split (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it into 2 or 3 diaries, given the short attention span on the internets.  If it gets too long, it doesn't get read, no matter how good the content is.

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 09:12:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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

          I am glad you noticed that too. That whatever the GOPers say they are going to do, or that they are, or what have you, look for the polar opposite to occur or be embraced.

          I have brought that up several times, and often no one believes me or gives me a funny look--like Why on Earth would they do that?

          Well duh, to lull the rest of us into a false sense of security.

          As for the length of the diary, I get that too. I have had similar problems in the past as a blogger. It can be frustrating, because some forms of information do not fare well when over simplified. So you are stuck between maintaining the integrity of the information vs getting people to read.

        •  Consider making a timeline, which may also have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to be split into multiple diary entries.

          Then you can put it all in chronological order with a little blurb and appropriate hyperlinks/explanations.

          Here is an example: Pollinator/CCD Timeline I

          I haven't made II yet, I just haven't gotten around to it.

          But I thought this might give you ideas.

          •  Thanks for the ideas. In my view, my timeline (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            would begin in 1956, when Milton Friedman gave a series of lectures at a group of mostly Midwestern colleges, and he published these lectures and put flesh on the bones in his book Capitalism and Freedom, published in 1962.  This book is the holy grail of the conservative economic movement.  In it he proposes privatizing Social Security, the "all volunteer military" implemented by Nixon after Vietnam, ending the postal service monopoly on private mail (advocated by ALEC members UPS and FedEx), privatizing toll roads (implemented in Indiana, and pushed by John Kasich in Ohio), privatizing our NATIONAL PARKS!, ending professional licensure, a 23-1/2% flat income tax, and most of the other radical right wing economic program.  Next would be the 1964 wipeout election of LBJ over Barry Goldwater and Gen. Curtis LeMay (aka "the Bombsy Twins"), which motivated radical right wingers like Henry Hyde and Paul Weyrich to found ALEC in 1973.  And it goes on from there.

            Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

            by Ohiodem1 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 09:00:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are local attempts to privatize local (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              parks here in Oklahoma. I have heard there is a desire to make people buy memberships to use the sites.

              We don't really even have sidewalks here, So except for some urban areas, I don't see how many of us, who aren't making 100,000$ a year will be able to afford that.

              50 for a family membership at the zoo, 75 for a family membership at the art museum, 55 for a membership at some area lakes that are private, I cannot recall what the Science Museum charges, it's not cheap.

              Or 18$  a pop for adults, 12 for kids, per singular visit. Then they start charging us access to other parks and lakes.

              It adds up quickly.

              No where to ride your bikes, no shoulders, no sidewalks, nowhere to walk or play, unless you can pay.

              What a wonderful world that looks like. It makes me feel like the Matchgirl or something.

              It's sick.

          •  To follow up on this point about the Milton (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Friedman book, I think that no one can truly understand what the radical republican right wing agenda is really about unless you read this very thin book (Warning, it is heavy with pseudointellectualism, and very difficult to read because of that.  That's what I think anyway.

            Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

            by Ohiodem1 on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 09:20:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am sure I have read stuff that is just as bad (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              in  college, or perhaps material that was much worse.

              But I do get what you are saying.

              •  I didn't read Friedman until well after college, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                but when I read it, it drew lots of lines between the dots.  Good luck down there in OK.

                Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                by Ohiodem1 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 06:02:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you, I intend to find a copy and read it (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You may have to talk me out of clawing my own eyes out with a pencil afterwards, but eventually I might be okay.


                  FYI, for me it was Rushdooney and the Turner Diaries that connected a lot of dots.

                  •  I have seen enough excerpts of the Turner (0+ / 0-)

                    Diaries to know I don't want to read the whole thing.

                    The Friedman book is still in print so you should be able to find a copy easily, including at your local library.  It is full of faux intellectualism and for that reason is difficult to read, but you will recognize much.  For recreation, here is a link to a paper written in 1983, proposing a plan to privatize Social Security, which comes right out of Friedman's idea from 1956.  It is at the Cato Institute website:


                    This will give you some insight into how long term the radical right thinks, and what they do to respond to a setback.  They immediately plan another attack.  They are relentless, they never quit, and they are always looking for another opportunity, or another way to implement the Shock Doctrine.  It's their M.O.

                    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

                    by Ohiodem1 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 10:18:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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