Great Reference for ALEC LegislationPosted: January 1, 2012
The following article appeared in the Daily Kos to explain what ALEC is about and does a great job of making it possible to look up “model” legislation by subject area.
I am quoting it below in its totality. But, please visit the Daily Kos. Yes, it has a liberal leaning but it is NOT rhetoric. They do report FACTS and information in an unbiased way that does not often appear in the Mainstream Media.
First, let me explain the title … I believe the ALEC strategy has been a “smart” strategy in that it has been somewhat successful, as evidenced by multi-state enactment of model bills such as this year’s voter suppression laws. My goal in this diary is to expose the strategy, site an example, and identify the breadth and depth of the currently existing model bills.
ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is a Koch-funded organization with “members” comprised of corporate representatives and state and federal legislators (a list of names is coming soon to a diary near you). The members have been organized into committees which develop the model bills based on input from corporations. Once “passed” by the committee, the proposed model bill must be “adopted” by the committee’s working group and then “approved” by the ALEC Board of Directors. At that point it has earned the title of “Model Bill” and can be disseminated to legislators at ALEC conferences to be introduced at state legislatures around the country (and in Washington as it turns out). This strategy has proven successful in at least one instance … the Voter ID Act … modified versions of which have been enacted in Alabama, Kansas, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin (see Joan McCarter’s Five Million Could Be Disenfranchised).
During the past 40 years ALEC has developed over 800 model bills which were leaked earlier this year and are available at ALEC Exposed. The bills at that site include analyses provided by the Center for Media and Democracy. The model bills are organized by committee and each committee develops model bills on a myriad of topics. In the text below, I have listed the committees and topics, and have included links to diaries already written on some topics (this is a representative sampling only … if you are aware of a particularly informative diary please link to it in the comments).
I know Kossacks are aware of and concerned about the influence of ALEC, as evidenced by the multitude of excellent diaries cited below. My future diaries will focus on the “Democracy” section, starting with the Voter ID Act and followed by the multitude of “states’ rights” bills. With the aid of my fellow Kossacks, I hope to expose the incestuous nature of these bills and craft a way to Out-Smart the ALEC Strategy.
For general information about ALEC, try these sample tags/groups: *TAGS: ALEC, Exposing ALEC, ALEC Exposed, ALEC Alumni, Model Legislation *GROUPS: Exposing ALEC, Abolish ALEC, American Legislative Transparency Project
As mentioned above, ALEC members have been organized into committees which develop the model bills on a variety of topics as listed below (notes link to associated DK diaries):
Tax: *Balanced Budget Amendment *Fiscal Policy *Unfunded Mandates 22
Tort Reform: 23 *Alternative Dispute Resolution *Assumption of Risk *Punitive Damages *Statutes of Limitation *Workers’ Compensation
Part of the brilliance of the ALEC strategy is its obfuscation … bills about teachers and schools were buried in Workers’ Rights (unions), Tort Reform (liability), and Fiscal Policy (cost). Thank you for bearing with me while I try to sort this out. I look forward to your comments and/or corrections.