Montana Lawmakers, TEA Party Leader: ALEC Must Be Allowed to Evade Public Scrutiny

Some Montana state Republican legislators  and a TEA Party leader don’t want you to find out which companies are still standing their ground on “stand your ground.”

Verdell JacksonDan SalomonRep. Dan Salomon and Sen. Verdell Jackson have signed a letter demanding that a U.S. Senate leader stop looking into the affairs of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The trio are outraged that labor leader Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois,  dared to ask a few ALEC members and donors for their views on “stand your ground” legislation.

Henry Kriegel, pictured here with bullhorn and sign.Henry Kriegel, a right-wing talk show host, former cult member and self-appointed Tea Party leader in Bozeman has also signed.

Earlier this month, Durbin sent a letter to some of the corporations who are members of ALEC to ask whether they were still a supporter of ALEC and whether they backed “stand your ground” laws.

You see, Durbin, the Senate majority whip, is holding a subcommittee hearing to study “stand your ground” laws after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the trial for Trayvon Martin’s killing. The hearing is scheduled for next month.

Durbin says ALEC’s support was critical to Florida’s 2005 decision to pass the nation’s first stand your ground law, so he wanted to know whether ALEC’s members and funders changed their minds after the Trayvon Martin case.

This has apparently outraged these Republican legislators, who presumably don’t want you to have this information–even though several corporations have already made it known that they have withdrawn their support for ALEC after the Trayvon Martin case. As Mother Jones reports, Kraft, Intuit (Quicken), McDonald’s, Wendy’s Pepsi, and Coca-Cola are some of the companies that have dumped ALEC already.

ALEC the best known boilerplate bill factory in the U.S.   It proliferates hundreds of right-wing bills for non-thinking legislators who  take their orders from out-of-state think tanks instead of listening to their own constituents.


22 Comments on "Montana Lawmakers, TEA Party Leader: ALEC Must Be Allowed to Evade Public Scrutiny"

  1. Any discussion involving Kriegel needs to highlight that he is a tax evader who got a (no doubt ‘activist’) federal bankruptcy judge to bail his ass out at our expense.

  2. Fine, Rob, but any discussion of ALEC should also include the so called Progressive States Network or whatevertheheck it is. You can’t tell me for all the nonprofit infrastructure like CAP there’s not a leftie ALEC putting out the same stuff.

    • Dave, ALEC was exposed because smart folk followed corporate money to it’s corrupting source. Are you admitting that Republicants like yourself are too ignert and lazy to follow the money on the Democratic side? So, yes, until you can actually show a corporate sponsored corrupt organization like ALEC out there on the opposition side, I can tell you that they aren’t out there. And I can definitely tell you that they aren’t “putting out the same stuff”. That was pretty silly the second you thought it.

      • “The John Birch Society built the most effective, best-funded right-wing populist organization in the United States of America. ”

        ” Fred Koch, the patriarch of the clan. Fred not only founded the company now known as Koch Industries, he also was a founding member of the John Birch Society.”

        • “ALEC was founded in September 1973 by a small group of legislators and policy makers including Lou Barnett, a veteran of Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, Illinois Representative Henry Hyde, together with a handful of others, including the infamous oil barons Charles and David Koch, who were feted for their family’s role in founding the hate group, John Birch Society.”

        • Birchers, Birthers and Buffoons…..the two boys got Dad’s $$$ to wield power and corrupt our Republic more so than than a couple of Somali pirates it seems……

      • Center for American Progress — which the New York Times called part of a “government in exile for liberals?” There’s an infrastructure out there, you bet, funded by trust funds built on corporate stockholdings (oooo, that evil profit stuff) with the caveat that these donations are not only tax exempt and therefore subsidized by the lowly rabble, but anonymous by law.
        Yes, the returns are public, but first you have to know the entity even exists, which is hard to do when donations are made anonymously (oooo, dark money) and are furthermore not released until at least nine months after the fiscal year in which the donations are made.
        Nice canard, Rob.

        • Not a canard at all, liar. Private holdings are not the same as Corporate holdings, or do you not think that shareholders should have a say? You’re just covering your ass for not being able to follow the money. You’re ignorant, and hoping that no one will notice. Sorry, Skinner. I see your ignorance as plain as day.

          Further, you were actually stupid enough to write that ALEC and the CAP were “putting out the same stuff”. Are you fucking retarded? Of course they’re not putting out the “same stuff”, unless you are so infantile that you think all legislation is equally bad. Well, hey, if you can actually prove that then you may have a point. But you can’t. You just insult the rest of us by thinking that we’re as dumb as you are. Sorry. Most of us really are not.

          • ALEC is different – with other groups, only legislators are members. With ALEC, corporations are members too and they tell legislators what to do, they even have veto power over the legislators. Comparing them to another group or saying this is about funding instead of influence and who is in charge is not valid – unless you are trying to spread lies.

            • I intended this as a response to Dave Skinner rather than Rob Kailey.

            • What is ALEC?

              ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. We agree. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.


              and by the way, Dick Durbin is a badass – why can’t we have a Senator like that!

    • All organizations – left, right or center – need to scrutinized to not violate 501c4 which the Law – passed by Congress – said such organizations are EXCLUSIVELY established to promote social welfare, NOT act as political cheerleaders no matter what party. The Treasury is now being sued by Congressional members to demand the IRS follow the letter of the law and I do hope it is equally applied to ALL factions. Those who want to politic can, but they must SHOW their donors, and THAT should resonate with Montanans who also detest the Citizens (no, CORPORATIONS) United decision by the SCOTUS, and almost as bad as the Dredd Scott decision which preceded the Civil War.

  3. Yes dave we have all sorts of talented people, from all walks of life that help us write bills regarding; Jobs, health and welfare of the people.

    Bills that help people, and small businesses.

    Something you republicans never do anymore… your too busy suppressing the vote, and trying to shove medical probes up women.

  4. “These two representatives have never mentioned in their bios that they are members of ALEC. They prefer that you don’t know this.”

  5. ALEC is a toxic, parasitic infection fostered by the ‘corporatocracy’ and plutocrats who think they can suppress and continue to destroy the middle-class and oppress the poor, widows and children with their ‘carbon-copy’ vile legislative formulas. I encourage folks to visit and thanks Cowgirl for continuing
    to EXPOSE our compromised legislators who also lack the wit and wisdom to craft their OWN legislation, and not just continue to be ‘spoon-fed’ by the Kochsters, Banksters and those who would rather throw Trillions back into toxic Wall Street financial derivatives instead of investing in NEW TECHNOLOGY for the last thirty years!! Time for a 21st Century NEW DEAL, where middle-class wages – stagnant for thirty years thus forcing more Americans to turn to credit cards and thus further enriching Wall Street – could at least climb a ‘wee bit’ compared to the 500 percent increases for the top 1 percent which recaptured 99 percent of the economy recovery while Americans are still losing their homes, JEEZ!

  6. I’d like to know which Montana legislators have received money or other favors from ALEC. I’ve heard rumors about one who was flown back to Washington DC for some kind of event by ALEC. But I don’t know how true the rumors are.

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