Archive for category ALEC

Bruce Babbitt: Uninformed, Misguided Politicians Are Attempting To Abolish Public Lands

The future of Utah public lands?
The future of Utah public lands?

Speaking Thursday at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, former Arizona Governor and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt slammed Utah’s illegal and unconstitutional attempt to steal 31 million acres of our public lands. The federal government ignored Governor Herbert’s December 31 deadline to close down land management agency offices and turn over control to the state.

Associated Press:

“Our public land heritage really is under attack,” said Babbitt, speaking at a Conservation Alliance event. “We’ve really got a crowd of uninformed, misguided politicians who are attempting to dismantle or abolish public lands and the agencies that administer them.”

Salt Lake Tribune:

“The sponsors of this are fronting for the oil and gas, coal and tar sands industry,” he said…

“Public lands belong to all Americans,” he added. “They are used for energy production right now in a careful, responsible way. But for whatever reason, Utah politicians are saying we have to do it faster and do more, cast off environmental regulations and put all our heritage at risk.”

…Babbitt cautioned Westerners Thursday against dismissing today’s land transfer movement as just another retread of past Sagebrush Rebellions.

“This is different,” Babbitt said. “The money is coming nationally, from the fossil fuel industry, and married to the ideology that is being pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council and others, who are wrapping this into broad-scale attack against the federal government.”

The Utah legislature has appropriated $2 million of OUR money to sue the federal government in support of their insane ALEC-inspired raid on our national forests, national wildlife refuges, and BLM public lands.

Utah is lone cowboy trying to wrangle public lands
Despite numerous invitations from Utah lawmakers, no other states have signed on.


Grover Norquist Absent at ALEC Debate

I don’t know if he got a note from his mother or not, but Grover Norquist was scheduled to be on the “Diane Rehm Show” on Thursday to defend ALEC. If he chickened out, it looks bad because the panel would have been stacked by 2.5 in his favor – two and a half because the American journalist for the Washington Post is only allowed to give lies and truth equal consideration.

It was a hard order for Norquist, because Google had announced it was not going to give funds to ALEC, a week earlier on the Rehm peogram, after an online petition promted the mega-corporation to reconsider it’s association with that organization. Thanks Google!

I’m not so sure it was a bad thing the panel was stacked in favor of ALEC. It would have looked bad to finish off a wounded animal on a forum devoted to friendly, but incisive, discussion.

You have to hand it to the new chief executive officer of ALEC; She didn’t call in sick and proceeded to praise ALEC for passing tons of legislation. All of the legislation that ALEC has passed is pro-business/anti-worker-voter, but heck!

And thanks to NPR and KUER for giving us information instead of just football. There is a place for everything though, and every Wedensday they feature a great sports commentator in the morning who always makes me laugh.

Listen or read the program here. Two important callers involved in this story near the end of the show.


Cost/Benefit ALEC style, or for the people?

Rocky Mountain Power continues to push the ALEC and Koch brothers agenda with a solar tax that has been talked about for several months now.

The fee, proposed by RMP, is aimed either at the 2000 or so customers who are trying to either shrink their power bill, or even add to the power grid, or it is aimed at killing Americas fastest growing method of generating power. Guess what the PR people say? “It’s not a tax on solar. It’s not a disincentive,” said Bramble, ALEC flack and Business As Usual defender, sorry, R-Provo.
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ALEC Gets Off

I haven’t been following it, but I’ve heard the Zimmerman trial has been all over the cable networks, which I canceled years ago when my local outlet decided I needed to get a box in order to get a C-Span channel I already had.

Maybe somebody can tell me, but did the “American Legislative Exchange Council” come up in the trial or on the cable coverage?

Was Zimmerman emboldened to shoot his gun due to legislation passed in multiple states, due to secretive ALEC legislation?

As an American, I believe these are questions that need to be asked.

You don’t need to depend on me. You can get your information from one of the best journalists left in America:

Update: I’ve had a request to provide the transcript to the Bill Moyers program. You can find it here.


So Called, “Voter Fraud” Could Be a Win For Republicans

Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

Voter ID coverage is raging across our corporate, public and liberal information organizations like a tsunami. ALEC got caught pimping ID laws which will successfully disenfranchise Utahn’s and others across the country who have been voting for decades, even though there is no reason to believe that more then a handful of democratic voters have been trying to vote illegally.

Just ask Pennsylvania [emphasis mine]:

As the Justice Department investigates Pennsylvania’s voter ID law on the federal level, a coalition of civil rights groups is gearing up for a state trial starting Wednesday examining whether the law is allowable under Pennsylvania’s constitution.

In that case, Pennsylvania might have handed those groups and their clients (including 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite) a bit of an advantage: They’ve formally acknowledged that there’s been no reported in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania and there isn’t likely to be in November.

Or Texas (from TPM):

When Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division appears before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) will likely press him for using a Democratic-leaning firm to analyze data in the Texas voter ID case.

Smith wrote a letter earlier this month which stated that DOJ choosing the “left-leaning” Catalist to review Texas’ voter ID data was “a disturbing misuse of taxpayer dollars and undermines the credibility of the Department’s challenge to the law.”

Chairman Lamar goes on [emphasis mine]:

“Imagine the outrage if a Republican administration intervened to block a New York City election law on the basis of data provided by a firm run by Karl Rove,” Smith wrote.

As it turns out, Smith doesn’t really have to imagine much: The expert Texas used to defend their law used to work for Karl Rove.

University of Texas Professor Daron Shaw, who testified that Texas’ voter ID law “will not have an impact on turnout,” worked for both of President George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, the RNC, Fox News’ election desk and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who signed the voter ID bill into law.

Well, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez did, indeed, appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday and The Chairman opened the hearing by saying he reserved the right to end the hearing at any time. He probably should have done that before the hearing began because the Republican dudes didn’t come out looking too good.

I turned on the TV, just in time to see Representative Steve King make a total ass out of himself – something he’s really good at – by interrupting Perez, just as Perez starts to reiterate what everybody should know about the absence of voter fraud in the US. You can see the exchange starting at about 48 minutes in on this C-Span video, but the whole video is incredible.

The Chairman thinks that any true American plurality would obviously vote Republican, if only given the chance, for once. Funny thing; I thought they’d been telling us we were a divided country. I don’t know why Mr. King is worried about ACORN. It no longer exists because the Republican party got rid of it months ago with almost complete backing from the Democrats.

All this nonsense aside – and in reference to the title of this post; my real fear is that all this voter ID hoopla will help the Republicans take over the country. When the exit polls mysteriously flip at the midnight hour – literally -, the “conservatives” won’t have to thank the soccer moms, NASCAR dads, or the religious masses; they only need say they “won” because of the oh-so-clever voter ID laws they pushed through. Let’s face it, they haven’t exactly been hiding the fact these laws are out there and, in fact, the Governor of Florida, recently, shoved voter disenfranchisement in our faces. These guys are good, aren’t they?

Since the corporate voting machines are NEVER brought up ANYWHERE or ANYTIME by ANYBODY, and have been proven to be hackable, the Republicans can, once again, claim to be the “winners” they always are. Let’s face it, they got everything they wanted, even when the Democrats had all three branches of government after the 2006 midterms [please refer to mia-culpa below].

My hope is that the small-d democrats can hack the machines using only names like Mickey Mouse, George Jetson, Lassie ect… and win the house, senate, and the White House. Maybe we could then, FINALLY, have a debate about, and get rid of these pieces of garbage and have a multi-party system that makes sense.

Update: Seems as though Rep. Lamar Smith must have become ill or had some other pressing concern which forced me to edit my post. As all these opulent white men look the same to me, I didn’t catch it until after I completed the post. The man, henceforth, referred to as The Chairman in the post is actually Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), I think.

Mia-Culpa: Damn staff! Of course the Democrats only held the three branches after 2008. They’ll never see a job in this precinct again!


A Grand Farewell to ALEC

Was Alec Baldwin in Salt Lake? I didn’t hear anything on the news. :)

He/she/it wouldn’t give a single interview to the press and prefer to remain unknown. How many freedoms did we lose this week?


Quintessential Coverage of Wisconsin Loss

No doubt about it!

There is no better man to tell you about what might have happened in the recent Wisconsin election:

Nobody will ever know if the people of Wisconsin were stupid enough to be swayed by months of television advertising, religious indoctrination, (which always tells them to vote Republican), scary unions, which will never come close to making the kind of money that some were able to pour into this “election” from who-knows-where, people who got phony robo-calls, telling them they wouldn’t need to vote if they signed a recall petition which only needed 100,000 signatures, but got 900,000 signatures, or something else.

You tell me.

Brad’s archive of mischievous election going-ons is someday going to be as large as the Mormon genealogical archive if we don’t get rid of these voting machines.


Walmart Dumps ALEC!

This could mean different theoretical things…

1. Walmart and other VERY LARGE corporations have already got everything they ever dreamed of. Amazon just bolted recently. You’ve already heard about McDonalds and the others.

2. ALEC is about to change it’s name which would allow our complicit congresspeople to pretend to stand for working peoples interests too, instead of only the shareholders, while continuing to peruse the same aims.

3. Corporations and the congresspeople, who have bolted, are feeling bad about what they’ve done to the country and have decided we should have the right to vote, have a good environment, collectively bargain in our workplace, not be killed by cowards with guns, not be put in jails for profit, have healthcare that doesn’t send us to the poorhouse and numerous other liberal ideas that bring people joy and comfort.

I’m not saying which different theoretical thing this might mean, but I’ve been pretty skeptical over the last decade.

I KNOW, I KNOW! Corporate leaders could be put in jail for not maximizing their shareholder’s profits. Where in the hell did that law come from: most certainly NOT from the people!

Maybe ALEC could work on that one before they disband.


John Fund Embraces ALEC In Public

The right-wing Guru promoting fake claims of “voter fraud” has taken his effort to a new level and, has actually mentioned ALEC online. Athough it’s, probably, only online at this point; the usual tactic of prominent American pundits is to ignore obvious truths. Fund’s article is actually called “Left-Wing Pressure Causes ALEC to Retreat“.

Left-Wing Pressure?

KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Mars, Snickers, M&M’s, Milky Way, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, Intuit, Microsoft?

Have I missed any subsidiaries? Who knew that the middle class had so many allies?

According to Fund, all of that “Left-Wing Pressure” came from former Obama White House aide Van Jones and The Nation magazine. :) He names John Engler, Tommy Thompson and Rick Perry as distinguished governors that “have come from the ranks of ALEC”, and even adds: (Disclosure: I have spoken at several ALEC events over the last 20 years without receiving any compensation.)

I’m not going to dispute that Mr. Fund didn’t receive any direct compensation for his strenuous speaking efforts at such events, but he’s not exactly living in a tent without a place to poop for his political theater either. Perhaps an air-conditioned bus? :(


A Novel And Movie That Are Too Big To Fail

To Kill A Mockingbird is – in my opinion – a perfect description of Americas struggle to end inequality.

I think Gregory Peck knew he was portraying a man greater then himself, but the result caused people to think about themselves in a different way.

I watched this movie and read the novel when I was very young, but when I saw it again last night, I was stunned by the relevance to recent events.

Poor Black people, Hispanics, Whites and others in our country can only be seen as dealing with oppression in a peaceful way, but poor is a relative word.


COKE Bolts From ALEC!

This is a BIG news story, but don’t expect to see any coverage on the alphabet channels you can receive on “the public airwaves” :) or the cable “news” networks. It won’t be on the front page of “The New York Times” or “The Wall Street Journal”. I’d be ecstatic to be proved wrong on that, but I’m not holding my breath. Instead, this story will probably remain an opinion piece from the left which can be read here.

Since I don’t want to spend time here telling people who ALEC is, I’ll refer you to an earlier post I did on it, here, which includes a list of the usual suspects, an important video involving voter suppression by one of their leaders and a link to a humorous interview with the national chairman of ALEC; which I’m sure he didn’t find humorous.

Voting suppression via ALEC seems to be a driving force here, but doesn’t come up in the official statement from Coke:

The Coca-Cola Company has elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry.

Interestingly, although it has not pledged to withdraw support of ALEC, voting suppression does come up in a Walmart statement:

Our membership in any organization does not affirm our agreement with each policy created by the broader group. Wal-Mart has a long history of supporting voter rights, and we continue to be a strong proponent of this issue. In fact, Wal-Mart was an active supporter in 2006 of the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of… One of Wal-Mart’s basic beliefs is respect for the individual, and Wal-Mart will continue to stand with all Americans in ensuring our right to vote.

The murder of Trayvon Martin wasn’t a turning point for democracy: it was a 180 helped along by the occupy movement in this country.

Stay tuned!

Update: Well now I can say that something called CBS News “politicalhotsheet” – on the internet – beat me to the draw on this story. That’s their job and I have another one because I don’t make any money here, so I’m not so embarrassed. It’s a good compilation too, but we’ll see if this makes it to the “public airwaves” with the importance it deserves.

Pepsi beat Coke by months, but was only reported by NPR today. Makes your head spin!

Update: Only have to say one word here…


Update: Latest high profile organizations to bolt from ALEC: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, (fundation?) and, (you heard it here), McDonalds. A big gold star on the forehead to all.


Is George Zimmerman Some Kinda 007? Is ALEC?

I think the police are sick and tired of being called racist or against people who are falling through the cracks in the “Cops” show. I believe the overwhelming majority of police are doing an impossible job – incredibly.

Who released the Zimmerman booking video? The police.

Sure there’s a lot of violence caused by desperate people; some of whom are probably just trying to feed their children in America.

Watch this video, (if it lasts), and tell me what you think:

Who made the best case here: Bill and Van, or the republican strategists?

In case you don’t know who or what “ALEC” is, let me refer you to a pretty good post I did on it earlier.

ALEC made the law that killed who I think is an innocent young man. Poor white people carrying Skittles or empty Marijuana bags are no safer, (well, they might be. :)). The media is willing to put up old mug shots of Zimmerman which make him look overweight and vulnerable; WHY?

I think this is a turning point for the unfair drug laws and whatnot. I think I have a right to an opinion too, but we’ll see.

Zimmerman killed a guy! If he’d killed a dog in Florida, he’d be in jail. Let’s have a trial and find out what happened!


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