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Monday, May 14, 2012

WTF is ALEC?

In our state it's amazing how many of our legislators are bought and paid for by ALEC.  If you were unaware (as I was not too long ago,) ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group of businesses and legislators.  It has been around since the 1970s, but it has only recently become part of the public consciousness because it is not merely a lobbying group.  They are responsible for actually drafting the legislature that furthers the goals of its corporations and conservative ideals.  It is so insidious because it is a conglomeration of legislators working behind the scenes directly with corporations to draft bills that directly benefit the members of ALEC, not the American people!  Some of their goals include removing environmental protections to benefit corporations, removing early-release programs for model prisoners so that corporations can make more prison-profit, privatizing the school system, encouraging "tort reform" so that corporations receive more protection from lawsuits, and especially influencing voter registration policy and election policy.  They are most interested in gaining control of government on the state level (although they would LOVE to have one of their members for president, as well.)  They keep their meetings and conferences closed to the public, and no media coverage is permitted.  More than that, up until now, their tax-exempt status has remained unquestioned.  

If you consider yourself conservative, consider this: with ALEC in charge, corporations are defining the conservative agenda.  "Small government" is their rallying cry, while they work to take it over.  Do not play into their hands!  Educate yourself!  ALEC is dangerous to the American people, and NONE of their members deserve your votes.  Here are some of their members from our state:

Arizona Representatives:

Cecil Ash
Judy M. Burges
Steve Court
Chester Crandell
Jeff Dial
John Fillmore
Doris Goodale
David M. Gowan, Sr.
Rick Gray
John Kavanagh
Nancy McLain
Javan D. Mesnard
Frank Pratt
Amanda A. Reeve
David Burnell Smith
Kimberly Yee
Michelle Ugenti

Arizona Senators:

Nancy K. Barto
Rich Crandall
Adam Driggs
Gail Griffin
Lori Klein
Albert Anthony Melvin
Don Shooter
Steven B. Yarbrough

Also, our Speaker of the House, Andy M. Tobin, Sr. and our AZ House Majority Whip Debbie Lesko are on that list.


We should certainly be aware of the corporations behind ALEC, as well as the ones who have left it.


Corporations that have left ALEC:


Coca-Cola
Pepsi
Kraft
McDonald's
Wendy's 
Mars
Intuit
Arizona Public Service
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Proctor and Gamble
Kaplan
Reed Elsevier
YUM! Brands
American Traffic Solutions


In addition, shockingly, the Gates Foundation and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards had once had ties to ALEC.  The Gates foundation made a single donation and they vow to never have anything to do with ALEC again.  The NBPTS was a member of ALEC under the previous leadership and they will not renew.


Corporations that are still screwing the American people...I mean, are members/supporters of ALEC (There are TOO many to list here, but I'll list the most household of names.  You can find the rest of the list here:


1-800-CONTACTS
3M
Amazon.com
American Express
Anheuser Busch
AOL 
ARCO
AstraZeneca
Bank of America
Best Buy
Boeing
BP America, Inc.
Bristol Meyers Squibb
CenturyLink
Chevron
Chrysler Corporation
Comcast
Conoco Phillips
CVS
Dell Inc
DirecTV
eBay
Eli Lilly and Company
Farmers Group, Inc
FedEx
Ford Motor Company
Frito-Lay
Fruit of the Loom
GEICO
General Motors Corporation
Gerber 
Hiram Walker and Sons
Hewlett Packard
Honeywell
Humana
IBM
Intel
JC Penney
John Deere
Liberty Mutual
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Merck
Microsoft
MillerCoors
Monsanto
Motorola
Nestle
Outback Steakhouse
Pennzoil
PG&E
Sanofi-Aventis
Sara Lee
Seagram and Sons
Shaklee
Shell Oil Company
Sony
Sprint
State Farm Insurance
T-Mobile
Texaco
Texas Roadhouse
Time Warner Cable
Tropicana
Unilever
United Airlines
United Healthcare
Verizon
VISA
Walgreen's
Waste Management
Yahoo!


These companies have members on ALEC's corporate board:


CenterPoint 360
Bayer
AT&T
American Bail Coalition
Altria Group (formerly PhillipMorris)
Diageo
Energy Future Holdings
ExxonMobile
GlaxoSmithKlein
Johnson & Johnson
Koch Companies Public Sector
Peabody Energy
Pfizer
PhRMA
Reynolds American
Salt River Project
State Farm Insurance
United Parcel Service
Walmart


Non-Profits that are members/supporters of ALEC (again, there are WAY too many to list here.  For a complete list go to this website) Again, think about the goals of ALEC as you look at this list to fully understand the conflicts of interest for some of these organizations:


Americans United for Life
Center for Education Reform
Council for Affordable Health Insurance
Family Research Council
Goldwater Institute
Heritage Foundation
Institute for Energy Research
National Association of Charter School Authorizers
National Rifle Association
National Right to Life Committee
Prison Fellowship Ministries
The Republican Legislative Campaign Committee
RestoringFreedom.org, Inc
State Budget Solutions
State Policy Network


ALEC is too big, and too awful to describe in one blog entry.  Please go to ALECexposed.org/ for the most current and in-depth information.

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