The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label ALEC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ALEC. Show all posts

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The GOP's Kochs At Work

If you need a reminder of the fallacy of GOP politician's frequent comments regarding turning human services and social programs over to the states know it is longstanding strategy akin to the functional spider web of a venous spider.

"The states" to the GOP us tantamount to shepherding policy into the slaughterhouse of GOP policy shaped by the Americans Legsistivaive Exchange Council (ALEC).    (The BackRoom video)

ALEX works its corporate proliferation of model legislation to GOP legislators at the state level.  We ask that you keep that word and that reality of "State" in mind as you read further into this piece.

First a revisit with ALEC.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives who draft and share model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States.[2][3][4]
ALEC provides a forum for state legislators and private sector members to collaborate on model bills—draft legislation that members may customize and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures.[5][6][7] ALEC has produced model bills on a broad range of issues, such as reducing regulation and individual and corporate taxation, combating illegal immigration, loosening environmental regulations, tightening voter identification rules, weakening labor unions, and opposing gun control.[8][9][10][11] Some of these bills dominate legislative agendas in states such as Arizona, Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Maine.[12]  Approximately 200 model bills become law each year.[8][13]ALEC also serves as a networking tool among certain state legislators, allowing them to research conservative policies implemented in other states.[10] Many ALEC legislators say the organization converts campaign rhetoric and nascent policy ideas into legislative language.[5] 
ALEC's activities, while legal,[14] received public scrutiny after being reported by liberal groups in 2011 and after news reports from outlets such as The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek described ALEC as an organization that gave corporate interests outsized influence.[8][9] Resulting public pressure led to a number of legislators and corporations withdrawing from the organization.....

Source Watch 
About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site

Support for ALEC

.....Trade Associations and Foundations

Corporate trade groups and other non-profit groups also make donations to ALEC of undisclosed sums. Examples include the NRA, the American Bail Association, and the American Petroleum Institute. There are also others listed here
Additionally, ALEC has received millions from right-wing foundations created by corporate CEOs or their heirs over the years and which advance a corporate agenda through donations. Here are some of the foundations that are or have been donors to ALEC:
The Charles G. Koch Foundation and Claude R. Lambe Foundation-- both are Koch Family Foundations that Charles Koch is centrally involved in. Charles Koch is the CEO of Koch Industries, the "largest privately owned energy company in the nation."[12] Other groups it has funded include the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Heartland Institute and the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. The Koch Associate program of the Charles G. Koch Foundation also provides ALEC and other groups with “Koch Interns” and “Koch Fellows.” Some Koch Fellows go on to become ALEC staffers, such as Jonathan Williams, Director of ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. Research from CMD and Greenpeace documents that the Koch foundations have given ALEC at least $600,000 in the past decade or so, and Koch Industries has donated an untold amount.
Of course, Source Watch lists many more associations of ALEC funding, but our piece is about the continuing misadventures of the GOP's Koch brothers and their behind the scenes maneuvers of the Wichita "oligarchs."


Read about the Kochs social/legislative engineering.

Crooks & Liars

Missouri's top GOP Senate recruit huddles with Koch network in New York

NEW YORK — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley huddled with influential Republican policymakers and donors at a seminar hosted by the billionaire Koch brothers' advocacy group at a posh New York City hotel on Friday, less than a week after Hawley officially launched his U.S. Senate bid. It was the second time this year that Hawley…

Monday, June 1, 2015

Workers' Compensation Benefits Under Attack And Denied. And An ALEC Outcome?

Do you recall this from the 2012 presidential campaign.  Mitt Romney handed the nation an inner glimpse at a corporatist mindset from the majority of Republicans, and some Democrats: 

"Corporations are people......"

Never ever believe such. The "corporation: is a state charted entity with the sole purpose of earning a profit for its owners and shareholders via providing a product or service.

The Online Dictionary
1. an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law,having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members. 

The conservative mindset of corporations are people, contributed to the dreadful Citizens United ruling via the Roberts Supreme Court. When the corporation is sanctioned via the nation's highest court as an "individual" with free speech rights as the individual, the people suffer. Evidence of our suffering will manifest in two plus billion dollar 2016 elections cycle. The only benefit from over-the-top political spending are the election victors, their oligarch backers and advertising and PR firms.

If you actually need any validation of the fallacy of "corporations are people", you might want to come-up to speed on a growing shame in Corporate America: The dismantling of Workers' Compensation benefits for work related injuries. 

Search Results

    1. Workerscompensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence.

"Employees injured in the course of 

What is it about the legal definition of Workers' Compensation would the corporation find objectionable? It shouldn't require much strain on your grey matter to know that corporations are seeking relief from cases of benefits to employees who are injured while in service to the employer. In December 2014, Bloomberg published a piece about "the resurgence of ALEC" after the A:EC friendly GOP took over any legislative seats (both state and federal).


Search Results

    1. “I believe what we've been offering for a number of years is a very business-friendly, job-creating agenda,” he told the Charlestone, W.V., Gazette. “I do not have all of the answers, but I do think we deserve to have an opportunity to advance that legislative agenda.” 

      Those are just the kind of ideas ALEC is ready to help with. A review of the summit agenda shows working groups on pension reform, fiscal policy and workers compensation, among other economic hot topics. There are policy workshops on balancing the budget and stopping welfare fraud. Read more here.

Does it surprise you to see Workers' Compensation on the ALEC Agenda? If it surprised you and you have an employer you are at risk. Rest assured ALEC model legislation has been handed off to subservient and indentured legislators and you will find corporations are not "people." 

An INVESTIGATION by ProPublica and NPR earlier this month detailed how states across the nation have begun to work at dismantling their workers’ compensation systems, with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year.

In some states, the cuts have been so drastic that injured workers have plummeted into poverty, losing their cars and even their homes. In others, workers spend years battling insurance companies for the surgeries, prescriptions and basic help their doctors recommend.

The five case studies below are emblematic of the bewildering labyrinths injured workers have to navigate as a result of these cutbacks. As attorneys for injured workers are fond of noting, it’s no coincidence that Franz Kafka — known for his tales of suffering at the hands of faceless bureaucracies — was once a clerk in the workers’ comp bureau of Bohemia.

22 States Now Set Arbitrary Time Limits on Injured Workers’ Temporary Wage Benefits

Green states cap temporary wage-replacement benefits after a period of time ranging from two years in California, Florida, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas to about 13 ½ years in New Mexico. Some states have had such caps on the books for decades, but several have recently lowered their limits to two years. Explore the full interactive.(Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute)

Gary Fury was working at a Simonton Windows factory in West Virginia in July 2012 when a large two-window unit slipped to the floor. Fury bent to help a coworker slide it back onto a cart.

“When I went to pick it up,” he recalled, “I felt something pop.”

Fury, then 49, had torn his rotator cuff and ruptured his bicep. After trying less invasive treatments, his doctor recommended surgery and warned of poor results if it was delayed.

Instead of approving it, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, an insurance claims administrator hired by Fury’s employer, sent him to its own doctor for a second opinion six weeks later, according to workers’ comp court records. That doctor also said surgery should be authorized immediately and warned that delays could lead to permanent impairment.


Monday, December 16, 2013

ALEC Should Drive You To Vote Democratic in 2014


High information people know of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). We know ALEC is a conservative money funneling organization that hands-off corporation drafted (model) legislation to subservient and obliging state politicians. It is common knowledge ALEC has a membership that has dwindled, but is still has a membership that works against policy that first focuses on US Citizens.  First ALEC focus is policy that benefits the respective members at our expense, to be frank.

While not founded by the Koch brothers, know the organization benefits mega wealthy corporate moguls to a far greater extent than you and me.

We often revisit ALEC as a reminder as we move into the 2014 mid-term elections. Remember, we lost major opportunity for significant nation healing initiatives by staying home for the 2010 mid-terms. Imagine a Barack Obama Administration with no tea party contingent rotting the core of the House of Representatives. How about the loss of $4 billion hit against GDP from the tea party leader and House Leader (from the Senate) Ted Cruz?

One last question. why do you think the LEFT has no organization comparable to ALEC? You know the answer.

Published on Apr 30, 2012DISCLAIMER: As far as I know, the ALEC scholarship fund has not paid for any legislator to tan - that said, the fund has been used for sporting events, gun shows, cigar tours, and other "junket" type activities. My apologies for the mixup. 
ALEC is a 501 c3 non-profit organization. According to the group: "It is the nation's largest nonpartisan (sic) individual membership association of state legislators (sic), with nearly 2,000 members across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress."
What ALEC does is criminal, and it needs to be stopped. Please click on the links below for more information on how you can help:

Visit AlecExposed to view the model legislation and learn more about ALEC:

Sign a petition to get corporations out of ALEC:

Read here why ALEC should have its 501 c3 tax status revoked:

Go here for regular ALEC-related updates:


Ritz Carlton meeting -

Stand Your Ground law-

The ALEC scholarhip fund (an example):

ALEC corporate PAC spending:

CCA, Russell Pearce, SB 1070 and ALEC:

Fracking fluids, XTO, disclosure requirements and ALEC:

Voter ID laws, other methods of disenfranchisement, the 5 million Americans and ALEC:

Music By:

Professor Kliq
Leg Twitch

Monday, September 30, 2013

Raising The Minimum Wage Is A Job Killer! And, Sarah Palin Can See Russia From Her House!
Well, here I go. I should avoid reading information that points a finger at conservative paradigms as deleterious to the good of the greater society. 

The GOP as functionary operatives of "all things" business is as reliable as the 24 hour clock. Does it surprise anyone conservative leaders of the US House resists any consideration of raising the national minimum wage? If that surprises you, you should stop reading here and now; save the time.

We also shouldn't be alarmed with House Leader Cantor's personal mission as killer of Over-time Pay. Imagine a wealthy political leader as a proponent and driver of taking Over-Time Pay away from the American worker? As is typical Cantor reasons that the quality of family life has suffered from working mothers being outside the home. Really!!! He proposes supplanting pay for hours worked over 40 hours per week with "Comp-time" (compensatory time-off). Really!!! The proposal seems written by corporation in the American Legislative Exchange Council and handed off to the House Leader.  If the legislation originated in the Koch brothers sponsored ALEC, I cannot help be wonder if the instructions included behavioral suggestion like:

 "When you speak of this piece of legislation always appear empathetic to the family, have ample numbers of mothers standing nearby and do not use humor."  

How crass and in-your face are GOP efforts to support their major constituents: Big business? 

The reoccurring kerfuffle surrounding the minimum wage since President Obama mentioned the need to increase the wage to $9.00 per hour has a led to conservative and GOP "derangement" second only to Obama 2008 election win. 

Raising the Minimum Wage is a jobs killer!

In February of this year, Adam Ozimek, writing for Forbes published a detailed piece about conservative visceral considerations regarding the minimum wage. 

To start, let me use two very broad, definitely overly generalized views of the poor that nevertheless would loosely apply to many. Conservatives view poverty as a problem of the poor not working hard enough. Or perhaps they view them as having too high of a discount rate. In either case they think poverty at least in part reflects the choices of the poor to use lower effort than they could, and their low pay reflects a fair return on their effort. 
Liberals in contrast view those in poverty as generally working hard, but having some combination of low marginal product and perhaps having their wages held down by monopsonists, or “too much” labor market competition, or something giving employers “too much” power. Or perhaps liberals recognize that some of poverty is because of low effort, but that low effort is endogenous to a lack of opportunities or resources at a young age, or perhaps facing too low of market rewards. 
These different frameworks imply different optimal welfare policies. For liberals, the best policies are simply transfers. For conservatives, optimal welfare incentizes “better” behavior. While a liberal would be willing to give an unconditional weekly transfer as welfare, a conservative would prefer that the worker be incentivized to work harder and actually earn the transfer with more labor productivity. 
So given that conservatives want the poor to work harder and earn their welfare, there are a few ways to achieve this. EITC provides higher marginal pay which incentives more hours of work. But surely for many workers it would be more optimal to “work harder” or “smarter” with hours of work unchanged. This is supported by the fact that for a given worker most of their lifetime increase in wages comes via higher productivity per hour rather than just more hours. Better to incentivize a form of earnings growth is sustainable over the long-run.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bill Moyers: Conservative Lawmaker Defies Open-Records Law to Keep ALEC Dealings Secret

Re-Post from Bill Moyers Dot Com.

Conservative Lawmaker Defies Open-Records Law to Keep ALEC Dealings Secret (via Moyers & Company)
This Article originally appeared at The Nation. In the two years since the ALEC Exposed project revealed the role that the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council plays in shaping the laws of states across the nation, the group has had a…


Saturday, September 14, 2013

ALEC’s Attempts to Thwart Obamacare

Re-Blogged Free Range Content (FRC) and Bill Moyers Dot Com

ALEC’s Attempts to Thwart Obamacare (via Moyers & Company)
As part of our ongoing focus on the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, we checked in with health insurance executive turned industry whistleblower Wendell Potter to learn about ALEC’s efforts to influence the health care debate and undermine…


Friday, August 23, 2013

North Carolina...And The Devloping Battles For Human And Voting Rights

North Carolina Confederate Flag
In July of this year the conservative (well stacked) US Supreme Court performed the ultimate act of judicial activism. The SCOTUS struck-down Section Four of the 1965 Voting Tights Act, thus effectively killing Section Five of the act. 

WIKI Voting Rights Act 1965;  Section 4 and Section 5 (brief summary
Section 4(b) contains a formula for determining which jurisdictions will be subject to the preclearance conditions of Section 5. 
Section 5 of the Act [28] requires that the United States Department of Justice, through an administrative procedure, or a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, through a declaratory judgment action, "preclear" any attempt to change “any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting..." in any "covered jurisdiction," which are jurisdictions that fall within the Section 4(b) coverage formula.[6]

A SCOTUS that is well "stacked" from Ronald Reagan (Scalia) through George H.W. Bush (Thomas) and so on, is paying dividends for conservative America beyond any expectation the early 1980s. If you think the father of modern conservatism did not inseminate our society with the full blown authoritarianism and growing disparities plus developing plutocracy we see today, you should call or text PT Barnum. Within days of the landmark reversal from the Court, the GOP and RNC jumped into action. The following images show which states were apparently chopping at the bit to enact voting laws developed to severely restrict the votes of historic democratic voting blocs. 

First, a meme message regarding a conservative organization that funnels drafted legislation to state governments and we can only assume money moves from ALEC to the very 'stooge' officials who move ALEC's edicts forward. 


North Carolina's ongoing and overwhelming steps to restrict the votes of non-Republican voting blocs is cause for battles.
  "Battle Ground" North Carolina. Rachel Maddow (below) will provide a comprehensive electronic summary of the following images.

CBS News July, 2013. (Linked..good read)

In 2012 most North Carolina votes - 61 percent - were cast early, before Election Day. Registered Democrats cast a lot more of them (443,000) than registered Republicans. In percentage terms, Democrats cast 47 percent of the early votes and Republicans cast 32 percent. (The rest, 21 percent, were independents.)

If you want to see authoritarian voter suppression at its most blatant and bodacious, you must watch the Maddow segment below.  If you want to see plutocracy creep across a state, view this one a watch. Unfortunately, the segment is as long as the problem is serious. As you watch, think of the possible ease of the very same creep in "border/swing'' states that went for Obama in 2012. 

We will not posit after the segment due to its length. We will take a position now: "This is a damned shame and it is as UnAmerican as any action I have witnessed since poll taxes, literacy tests and outright threats against voting!" 

Some in America will tolerate any oppressive act as long as the act does not affect their lives.  Well, if you think these acts (as exemplified in North Carolina) will not affect your life, you should call the PT Barnum ticket office for front row tickets.

"Then they came for me..."

According to the Martin-Niemöller-Foundation the text is as follows:[2]                                                                                              
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Rachel Maddow from North Carolina

MSNBC August 22, 2013, Rachel Maddow 20:37 minutes.