ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your House

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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Firebug » March 13th, 2012, 4:09 am

When I reference the founding fathers, I understand they had their flaws when it came to the non-white non-male parts of the population. A lot of the things they did was rooted in English common law. The bill of rights was the first step in showing us how to amend the constitution. It took years to hammer out the constitution. Things changed or issues arose during that time bringing about the need to define the rights we the people have that the government can't take away.

We need to watch very small children interact with each other. There is no prejudice, no hate, they just want to play. The hate, greed, and alienation are taught habits. I would like us to get back to those times and mentality. In my early years in Detroit, I was in a mixed neighborhood. The kids, could care less but the adults pushed the prejudices.

The few who want to control the country just because they have a ton of money need to be taken down a notch. It's not a vote per dollar, but a vote per person. Organizations like ALEC are buying the legislation that they getting passed. $25,000 per year to be a member? That's how they push their agenda! AARP, NRA, unions, etc are lobbying groups too, but they surely dont get that kind of yearly membership fee. So, they carry less clout? They have large memberships, which are people pooling their limited resources to make their lives better.

Done rambling for tonight :)
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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Widetrack » March 15th, 2012, 4:49 pm

Another great article about ALEC and how they are influencing state law making around the country. Worth it if you are an active and informed voter (the only kind to be, IMO). Lawmakers are not always representing the best interests of the people who elect them. :(


http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... gislation/
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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Firebug » March 16th, 2012, 1:42 am

I like that one :)
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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Horrorshow » March 26th, 2012, 11:30 am

http://www.alternet.org/story/154689/ho ... age=entire

How The Right Wing "ALEC" Teamed Up With The NRA To Get Copycat, "Stand Your Ground" Laws In 21 States
The Florida 'stand-your-ground' law "is the template for an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 'model bill' that has been pushed in other states."

March 25, 2012  |    

There is little doubt that it was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old self-appointed "neighborhood watch vigilante," who shot and killed the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month as he "returned from a trip to 7-11 with an iced tea and a pack of Skittles."

Less known is the relationship between the Florida "stand your ground" law, which may allow the killer of Trayvon Martin to walk free, and a powerful but private, behind-the-scenes organization that has channeled such bills into the legislatures of Florida and other states.

The Florida law that is drawing such sudden attention due to the death of a teenager in Sanford "is the template for an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 'model bill' that has been pushed in other states," PR Watch's Brendan Fischer recently reported.

Fischer says that "Evidence suggests a major reason Zimmerman thought he needed to use deadly force against the unarmed Martin is because the teen was black... Zimmerman has not been charged with any crime."

According to Fischer, "The bill was brought to ALEC by the National Rifle Association (NRA), and fits into a pattern of ALEC bills that disproportionately impact communities of color."

It is no surprise that ALEC is hardly a household name. The American Legislative Exchange Council, (ALEC) prefers to do its business in secret. And since ALEC's founding in 1973 by Paul Weyrich (who co-founded the Heritage Foundation and is widely considered to be one of the Godfathers of the New Right); former Illinois Republican Congressman Henry Hyde; and conservative activist Lou Barnett, the organization has successfully stayed out of the spotlight.

If it weren't for the resolute reporting of a handful of investigative journalists and the extraordinary work of the Center for Media and Democracy's ALEC Exposed Web site, not much would be known about ALEC.

Source Watch, a project of the Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy, described ALEC as a "semi-secretive" organization that "has been highly influential, has operated quietly in the United States for decades, and received remarkably little scrutiny from journalists, media or members of the public during that time." A report by the American Association for Justice, titled "ALEC: Ghostwriting the Law for Corporate America" described the organization as "the ultimate smoke filled back room."

As John Nichols recently pointed out in The Nation, "the shadowy Koch brothers-funded network ... brings together right-wing legislators with corporate interests and pressure groups to craft so-called 'model legislation.'" And while ALEC is predominantly concerned with cutting tax rates for corporations and wealthy individuals, privatization, de-regulation, and weakening, if not eliminating unions, it "also dabbles in electoral and public safety issues. And 'Stand Your Ground' proposals have for seven years been on its agenda."

Last year, when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unleashed an unprecedented attack on public workers in that state, and Republican-controlled state legislatures around the country began its assault on voting rights, ALEC's fingerprints were all over those initiatives.

From the NRA to ALEC to the states

John Nichols recently reported in The Nation that "The National Rifle Association led the advocacy on behalf of the proposal, [which was signed into law by then-Governor Jeb Bush] arguing that it was needed to provide immunity to gunmen who might use deadly force against unarmed individuals who they imagine to be threatening.

Media Matters recently pointed out that the language in "Florida's statute on the use of force in self-defense is virtually identical to Section 1 of ALEC's Castle Doctrine Act model legislation":

The Florida law states:

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

According to Media Matters, "The language is identical to ALEC's Castle Doctrine Act model legislation, which they have been working hand in hand with the NRA to pass across the country":

3. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place [other than their dwelling, residence, or vehicle] where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

"In a 2008 interview with NRA News," Media Matters noted, "ALEC resident fellow Michael Hough explained how his organization works with the NRA to push similar legislation through its network of conservative state legislators:

HOUGH: We are a very pro-Second Amendment organization. In fact, last session, I'll get off-topic here real quick, but some of the things that we were pushing in states was the Castle Doctrine. We worked with the NRA on that, that's one of our model bills that we have states introduce.

A 2002 report from Defenders of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Defense Council titled "Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States: The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council," found that "the NRA is a longtime funder of ALEC." "In 1993," the report states, "ALEC adopted a resolution expressing its opposition to a waiting period to buy firearms and a ban on semiautomatic firearms. 'The administration and Congress should take a hard look at ALEC's resolution,' James Baker, the executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, said."

SourceWatch points out that "The NRA was a 'Vice-Chairman' level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $25,000," and that an NRA operative was "the co-chair of ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force for a number of years, until the Spring of 2011.

Despite its modus operandi of secrecy and backroom dealing, every once in a while something so egregious happens that ALEC is forced out of the shadows. Investigations surrounding the cold-blooded killing of Trayvon Martin by a self-styled vigilante, could push ALEC out into the open.

Bill Berkowitz is a freelance writer covering right-wing groups and movements.
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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Horrorshow » March 26th, 2012, 11:45 am

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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Widetrack » March 26th, 2012, 8:30 pm

:D
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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Firebug » March 28th, 2012, 7:40 pm

The Castle Doctrine should only apply to someone's own castle. If someone breaks into your house what are you to do? A. Hide and call the cops who don't show for 30 minutes. B. shoot the intruder. Or C. Have a standoff and wait to see who blinks (shoots) first. Myself, intruders are not welcome so it is B. But, I only remove the threat of harm to me and my family. I don't patrol the streets looking for trouble!

The Travon incident is a mess! There was no reason to kill the kid. If there were fists flying, then fists are returned in self defense. When a weapon appears, someone is clearly at a disadvantage and will probably die. The stand your ground laws are easily construed to allow vigilante justice. The big problem here is you have 2 different races involved. There are young people killing each other in turf wars all the time. When it's the same race, no media attention, no uproar. There are hundreds if not thousands of inner-city kids killed each year. The media just reoorts the numbers if it is same race violence. Jesse and Al poo-poo it as just another day. But let some other race step in, all hells going to break loose.

To say that law opens up a disadvantage to poor and minority citizens is a great falsehood in my book. It gives them the protection from prosecution in turf wars. It gives granny in the ghetto the chance to avoid being raped or murdered by the neighbor kid that wants her heirlooms without paying for them. With the cuts in law enforcement, people need a fighting chance against the criminals. We can't have it both ways. Being prior military, I know that shoot first is effective but not always the smart choice. There are less lethal ways to protect oneself.

Again, just my opinion :)
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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Widetrack » March 28th, 2012, 10:19 pm

Dave, I absolutely agree. My home is my castle. I'm just waitng for some big mean threatening corporation to come crashing through my front door so I can blow some 44 sized holes right through it's person-like exterior. Hah! Take that you psuedo-person. If I really feel threatened, I can also chase a corp. down the street in my car and then shoot it. But hey, its just a corporation, right?

Wait just one second amendment minute. Where did all these stand your ground laws come from? You mean all these gun totin state legislators dreamed up this law at the same time??? Damm! Turns out they are not so psychic, no, they just let ALEC write the bills. That way all the corporations (and the NRA) that pay for ALEC also get all their bills passed around the country. Wow! I'll bet most people thought their representatives were looking out for THEM! Ha Ha. They are just a bunch of corporate stooges.

More info on ALEC:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/28-7
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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Firebug » March 28th, 2012, 10:56 pm

I think you might have misinterpreted my post :) I support a persons right to self defense from criminal activity. I don't support deadly force as a standard defense. Where we need organizational law writing is to create a standard. The NRA wanted the same laws across all states so the folks didn't have to know 50 different versions of self defense laws. When it comes to something that affects all 50 states, it should be federal law. In the case of gun laws, the Feds prefer to leave it to the states. Similar to drivers privileges and licensing. Each state has their own rules and testing for each type of license. But, if you are good to go in Michigan, you can drive in Florida or any other state. That's reciprocity enabled by the Feds.

Now, ALEC being supported by the NRA was a means to the end to have a voice with the wave of folks in the state houses. Just like the UAW and other unions pool resources with move-on.org to pass their legislation. Or you and I teaming up to change a policy in our workplace. It's all the same thing. With career politicians and ones term limited they all look at the cash on the table. The bigger pile of cash will usually win over a moral cause almost every time. It's sad but true.

I don't want anyone in my house but the ones I invite in. And I won't go into someone else's unles invited. If we could all do the same across this great nation, it would be a better place. Corporate America is run by people who think that they are better than everybody else. Because they control the lives of so many by their decisions, they want to extend that to everybody. It's poor thinking, it's greed, it's power hungry, it's wrong! Our union leadership thinks the same way, that they are better than us peons on the shop floor. They know what we need for pay and benefits while they only answer to themselves. We need morals taught somewhere, but everyone has a different set and which one is right?

Glad to be back from vacation and into the debates again :)
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Re: ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, in your Hou

Unread postby Widetrack » March 29th, 2012, 1:40 pm

Dave, I also support anyones right to self defense. Also a firm supporter of 2nd amendment rights. If the law in Florida really gives you the right to chase someone down, shoot them, and then claim self-defense and walk away, well, they might need to change the law. But, we don't know all the facts and they shouldn't try the case in the media. Charge him and let a jury decide what is what.

I do have a problem with this semi-secret organization, ALEC, that seems to be a corporate law factory, writing and promoting laws to all the state governments and getting them enacted. It is not the free and open process I would like to see in Lansing or any other capitol. Money and power are being used to influence lawmakers and pass legislation that benefits the ruling class. When I call my representative in Lansing to discuss local issues, I get blown off. I'll bet the Koch brothers, or Dow, or DeVos family get a better reception. As always, JMHO...
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