The Pardu

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

Friday, July 5, 2013

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and You

The American Legislative Exchange Council
In ALEC's own words, corporations have "VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state.  DO YOU?


Money in politics starts at a level where it is most effective for corporations and recipients of corporate "specials funding for special interests." State Government is the breeding ground for corporate crafted, developed and promulgated legislation.  

Do you believe for one second such efforts by corporations have your and my best interest at the core of their ALEC expenditures. 

State legislation may comprise the major inertia for ALEC, but the organization formed in 1973 reaches far beyond our state borders. 

Source Watch Dot Org maintains a running watch on all things ALEC. The advocacy and monitoring organization maintains an interactive list of ALEC affiliation per state as well as list of "High Profile" Members. Some members are not even US Citizens.  One former world leader and ALEC "High Profiler" recently succumbed to complications from strokes.  We have added parenthetic comment to the list from Source Watch Dot Org.

ALEC Politicians:

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 ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

High-Profile

ALEC Award-Winners
  • President Ronald Reagan (The TPI position on this man spans the life of our site, We posit he started the current income disparity among economic classes in our nation. We know that he administered the most corrupt Administration in US History  and he, along with Lee Atwater were pioneers of the GOP "southern strategy", and it has contributed to a racial divide that is growing, spreading and festering from the East Coast to the West Coast.)
  • Governor Bobby Jindal (Louisiana)[1] (No need to even do a quick Google search)
  • Governor Rick Perry (Texas)[2] (No need to even do a quick Google search)
  • Former Governor Tommy Thompson (Wisconsin) (early  member of ALEC, Viet Nam Vet, past inappropriate remarks about Jews)

(In addition to these politicians, ALEC has given awards to such corporate CEOs as Richard DeVos and Jay VanAndel of Amway (both in 1993) and Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch of Koch Industries (both in 1994). See ALEC Award Winners for more.)
See More linked here. List includes George W. Bush, John Boehner, and a list of ALEC Prominent Alumni that is a 'Walk of Fame" of current members of the GOP (Some currently hold office)

The Source Watch site includes the names of Democrats, but rest assured the site list so many republicans it could be used as an archive of GOP History. 

Additional resource information related to ALEC.

ALEC 101 Exposed 1.png
Click Image or Larger view
Bill Moyers and Company ALEC Exposed: 

Bill Moyers: United States of ALEC — A Viewers Guide


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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

PAC Checks Make Legislating Easy!


 


Do you ever wonder why our federal and state legislators expend energy, effort, and time on bills that appear as wasteful legislation?


From CISPA (an alleged Internet security bill) through the current manifestation and deliberation on the Internet sales taxes, some legislators appear to have no other driven focus.  How many jobs related bills have we gotten from either House of Congress? I recall a bill to level the volume of television commercials between television networks for channel surfers: Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation, or CALM, Act in 2010.

According to CNN the legislation was one of the Federal Communication Commission's most sought after bills over a period of many years.
.....the Federal Communications Commission is barring broadcasters and pay TV providers from airing excessively loud commercials, saying ads must maintain the "same average volume" as the programs they accompany. 
The move -- which undoubtedly will make many TV viewers happier, and save countless marriages -- addresses a problem that, regulators say, is almost as old as television itself. 
Loud commercials have been a leading source of complaints to the FCC since its consumer call center began reporting top complaints in 2002. 
Since January 2008, the FCC has received about 1,000 complaints and about 5,000 inquiries, the commission said.
Really?  

Is it possible to expect more from a Congress that is orbiting around the 13% approval rating? Orbiting at an increasingly accelerated pace much like human fecal waste tracking around the sides of a restroom privy towards its ultimate location: the drain (Tried hard to keep that sentence image free!).

So, sales taxes on the Internet is a pressing issue for you and me?  Sales taxes are a pressing issues for all small businesses, maybe? Small business are suffering severe loses from Internet sales by not collecting state and local taxes on sales to consumers?  Any of the previous, all of the previous or actually 'little' of the previous.

OpenSecrets Dot Org has a different take on the imminent legislation. The "follow the money around congress" website uses a perfect example of legislative impetus via a congressman from Missouri  the "Show me State:", as in show me the money.  OpenSecrets uses Blunt as an entry to comment related to a number of 'contribution hungry" legislators.
 
 Excerpt 
Supporters of the proposed Internet sales tax like to make it sound as though they just care about the little guy, the shopkeeper still intrepid enough to keep the doors open at her bricks-and-mortar store on Main Street. And in fact, the matching bills in the House and Senate -- which would require online retailers to collect sales tax on all transactions and hand the money over to state and local governments -- are called the Marketplace Fairness Act. 
keyboard cash money.bmp
But, like many things in Washington, especially those that suddenly start to move through Congress quickly, very big business has thrown its weight behind the proposal.
 Excerpt 
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told the Times he was motivated to support the Internet sales tax in part by the owners of a local bridal shop, who complained to him that many customers browse in the store, then buy online for a better deal. 
“They use the parking lot. They use the sidewalk. They benefit from police protection, and then the local merchant who pays for all of that doesn’t get the sale,” he told the Times.  
Blunt didn't tell the Times that three other supporters of the Internet sales tax with much deeper pockets than the bridal shop -- PACs run by Home Depot, Walmart and Target -- each gave $5,000 to his leadership PAC, Rely On Your Beliefs, earlier this year. And Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) who told the Times about a local shop in his state that lost customers looking for better deals on rifle scopes, took $5,000 from Home Depot on March 31. 
Excerpt

The legislation's sponsor in the House, Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) told the Times that his constituents have reminded him that Norquist didn't elect him, and "Members that come to Washington and kowtow to special interests end up contributing to this very polarized government. These are tough decisions we have to make up here." 
In the first three months of 2013, Womack received $10,000 from Walmart's PAC, $2,000 from the PAC run by Best Buy and $1,000 from the PAC run by Lowe's, the home improvement big box store. All of those companies are supporters of the Internet sales tax. 
Read More



A few points. I was once marveled by the news of a California politician who contributed $100 million of her one money to fund her campaign for office in the House or the Senate (memory failed me there).  Well, if we pay close attention to websites like OpenSecrets, we may find rationale for the willingness to spend copious amounts to win a congressional seat. Paying close attention also will also yield possible motivating factors for the votes of many who sit in congress. Money clearly buys votes and often against the wishes of congressional constituents and the nation. But, of course businesses are constituents also, right? According to Mitt Romney they surely are "people."  But, does the business as an entity literally vote, or are there other considerations from businesses? (Hint, Hint).

Internet sales tax to help the brick and mortar businesses?  Sure, considering Home Depot sells brick and mortar.
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