www.communityforchange.com is owned and operated by the members of community for change
December, 2008 All Rights Reserved
As more is uncovered about ALEC and it's secret collaboration between "big business" and "conservative" politicians, journalists and citizens have begun to question their motives and the reason why their business is conducted behind closed doors.
Our local legislators have reacted to questions about their alliance to ALEC with a mixture of nonchalance or misinformation.
When Journal Sentinel columnist, Daniel Bice questioned Rep. Robin Vos his answer was "It is a made-up issue." Mount Pleasant Patch writer, Denise Lockwood asked a press secretary for Sen. Van Wanggaard about it who replied:
"...ALEC meetings aren’t secret,” he said. “It’s no different than being a member of the National Conference of State Legislators.”
ALEC Meetings may be the only aspect of ALEC which are not secret since legislators must account for their time. Everything else certainly has been a secret.
Sen. Wanggaard's staff dismissal of his participation by comparing it to the NCSL has been a common talking point by legislators, so much that the PRWatch put out a comprehensive article listing all the ways they are different and making the comparison misinformed at best.
How You Can Expose ALEC & Share What You Learn
SPREAD THE WORD. Share information about ALEC through Facebook, e-mail and Twitter. Concerned groups and people in every state need this to investigate how ALEC corporations are rewriting laws for their own advantage. And, please join the conversation on Facebook!
EXPOSE ALEC LEGISLATORS. Demand the truth about which politicians in your state are in ALEC. Uncover whether YOUR tax dollars are paying ALEC "dues." Expose politicians who accept “scholarships” from ALEC's corporate-funded coffers for fancy trips.
EXPOSE ALEC'S ROLE IN YOUR STATE HOUSE. Read these corporate-backed "model bills" NOW and cross-check them with bills in your state legislature. Ask your local media to report on what you have found and write your local newspaper.
SHARE YOUR DISCOVERIES. Tell us what you uncovered! Tweet what you learn to the hashtag #ALECexposed, join a discussion on this site or email a confidential tip via editor AT ALECexposed.org. And, follow their tweets on Twitter!
Write a letter to the Editor of local newspapers
Racine Journal Times
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Union Grove/Waterford Editor
Mount Pleasant Patch
Letters to the editor should be not more than 200 words.
Be consise and to the point. Use facts rather than anecdotes.
Choose whether you wish to comment on a policy, disagree on a specific action or make a more general observation. Don't try and do all three in one letter.
Most newspapers will verify the author, so expect to be contacted. Give a daytime phone number.
Generally, newspapers will not accept more than one letter from you every 30 days. Encourage your friends and spread your thoughts to other news sources.
Write A Letter To Your Legislator
Legislators need to know constituents will continue ask questions and demand answers about ALEC in spite of their desire to stay in the shadows. The following letter is template you can use to ask direct and reasonable questions of your legislators.
Honorable XXXXX XXXXXXX,
City, State Zip
Dear Sen (or Rep) XXXXXXX,
It has come to my attention that there is an organization known as The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that has gained enormous power in American politics, specifically at the state level. This organization is known to work behind the scenes, will not disclose its rank and file membership, will not disclose its funders, and will not disclose the principal product of its work, which is Model Legislation. I see this as a dangerous practice because such failure to disclose who writes and sponsors legislation in our 50 state capitols is a serious breach of transparency which our laws and constitution demands of all legislators. Every voter in our state deserves to be advised of who is writing our laws, the interests behind the laws, and whether they favor special interests at the expense of the residents, voters and taxpayers of our state.
• My first question is; Are you a member of ALEC, yes or no?
• If Yes, when did you join?
• Have you ever sponsored, or co-sponsored legislation written or partially written by ALEC?
• Please identify all ALEC written legislation you have sponsored or co-sponsored.
• ALEC has a series of conferences and workshops throughout the year. The next event is the Annual Meeting which is to be held in New Orleans, LA August 3-6, 2011. Do you intend to attend this event?
• If you attend this event, will you be traveling at Taxpayer expense, Yes or No?
• If you will be traveling at ALEC expense, please identify how much this is costing ALEC for your travel, lodging, meals and other considerations (golf outings and the like).
• If you are not traveling to the New Orleans conference, do you intend to join via teleconference or video link?
• Please explain how legislation written by Washington DC Lawyers, Washington DC Lobbyists, and Corporate interests, some of which do not do business in our state, represents the interests of the residents, voters and Taxpayers of our state better than legislation written by our elected legislators.
• If you are a member of ALEC or any other organization which has a hand in writing the laws of our state, please verify that your listing in the legislative website correctly states this affiliation. Legislative transparency demands this. I want to know who is writing the laws of my state, and I want to know why outsiders think they know more about our problems than our elected representatives do.
In closing, I am very serious about wanting to know who is writing and influencing the legislation that is enacted in our state. Please respond seriously.
email if desired