Thursday, April 5, 2012

ALEC - American Legislative Exchange Council and School Privatization

Updated July 24, 2012

Which CEO made $5 million stealing your kid's lunch money?
YouTube video runtime 4:37 Published on Jul 19, 2012 by bravenewfoundation
ALEC is working to ensure that public education dollars get diverted to private profits. Their approach is working -- for them. Not so much for the students who pay the price in the form of a subpar education and poor performance.

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012
Philadelphia Inquirer Commonwealth Confidential Posted by Amy Worden
Common Cause of PA  files complaint over ALEC's tax status
Common Cause of Pennsylvania this week asked the state attorney general to investigate the tax status of the American Legislative Exhange Council (ALEC), the Washington-based group that has advocates for a variety of conservative measures in state legislatures.
In the complaint filed with Attorney General Linda Kelly, Common Cause alleges that  ALEC is "primarily a lobbying group and may therefore be in violation of its tax exempt status."
“ALEC is a corporate lobby front group masquerading as a public charity on the taxpayers’ dime. Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have to subsidize ALEC’s agenda to limit voting rights, undermine our public schools, spread Stand Your Ground gun laws, and weaken laws protecting our environment. Tax fraud is illegal, which is why Common Cause/PA is calling on the Attorney General to review ALEC’s registration as a charity and whether its lobbying activities in Pennsylvania are being properly disclosed,” said Common Cause/PA Executive Director, Barry Kauffman.

What You Need To Know About ALEC

 Diane Ravitch  
Since the 2010 elections, when Republicans took control of many states, there has been an explosion of legislation advancing privatization of public schools and stripping teachers of job protections and collective bargaining rights. Even some Democratic governors, seeing the strong rightward drift of our politics, have jumped on the right-wing bandwagon, seeking to remove any protection for academic freedom from public school teachers.
This outburst of anti-public school, anti-teacher legislation is no accident. It is the work of a shadowy group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. Founded in 1973, ALEC is an organization of nearly 2,000 conservative state legislators. Its hallmark is promotion of privatization and corporate interests in every sphere, not only education, but healthcare, the environment, the economy, voting laws, public safety, etc. It drafts model legislation that conservative legislators take back to their states and introduce as their own "reform" ideas. ALEC is the guiding force behind state-level efforts to privatize public education and to turn teachers into at-will employees who may be fired for any reason. The ALEC agenda is today the "reform" agenda for education.

Exposing ALEC: How Conservative-Backed State Laws Are All Connected
the Atlantic APR 14 2012, 8:00 AM ET
NANCY SCOLA - Nancy Scola is an Atlantic correspondent based in New York City, whose work focuses on the intersections of politics and technology. 
A shadowy organization uses corporate contributions to sell prepackaged conservative bills -- such as Florida's Stand Your Ground statute -- to legislatures across the country. ]
The recent blowing up of the Invisible Children viral video might have some of us thinking that Malcolm Gladwell was onto something with his biting critique of online politics, the so-called "slacktivism" debate. But the attention to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and, even more so, the connected debate over Stand Your Ground gun laws and the distancing of some of the country's biggest companies from ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, shows how online organizing actually can work. And that, reasonably, seems to be causing palpitations in the hearts of everyone from Coca-Cola to the Koch brothers.

Parents Across America gives a thumbs-down to ALEC’s Parent Trigger Bill
January 11, 2012
The Parent Trigger law was first passed in California in 2010, the creation of by an astroturf group based in Los Angeles called the Parent Revolution.  Since then, model legislation based on the Parent Trigger has been written and promoted by ALEC, the shadowy organization backed by the Koch brothers that has a radical right-wing agenda.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pull support from ALEC

Raw Story By Eric W. Dolan Monday, April 9, 2012 20:00 EDT

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday vowed to withdraw financial support for the American Legislative Exchange Council, an influential conservative nonprofit that drafts model bills for legislators.

Kraft Becomes Third Corporation To Drop ALEC

Following Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, tonight Kraft became the third major corporation to announce its departure from the right-wing business front group ALEC.
Yesterday, Kraft told NPR that “it was keeping its membership in ALEC.” But by this evening, Kraft reversed its position, announcing it would no longer support ALEC. The company has issued the following statement:


Boycotts Hitting ALEC, Group Behind 'Stand-Your-Ground'
NPR by PETER OVERBY April 5, 2012
Two of America's best known companies, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have dropped their memberships in the American Legislative Exchange Council, a low-profile conservative organization behind the national proliferation of "stand-your-ground" gun laws.
ALEC promotes business-friendly legislation in state capitols and drafts model bills for state legislatures to adopt. They range from little-noticed pro-business bills to more controversial measures, including voter-identification laws and stand-your-ground laws based on the Florida statute. About two-dozen states now have such laws.


ALEC also provides sample legislation and strategy for school choice and other school privatization initiatives; here’s info on their website:

School Choice and State Constitutions

Whenever school choice legislation is considered, the stakes are enormous. Children, parents, teachers and taxpayers all stand to benefit dramatically from well-designed programs.
That’s why it is so important for all school choice legislation to be very carefully crafted, starting with an eye toward its constitutionality under relevant state constitutional provisions. Not only is this sound and responsible drafting, it also assures that when a choice program is enacted and then challenged in court it has the greatest likelihood of being upheld.


Welcome to ALEC Exposed!

On July 13, 2011, the Center for Media and Democracy unveiled this trove of over 800 "model" bills and resolutions secretly voted on by corporations and politicians through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). These bills reveal the corporate collaboration reshaping our democracy, state by state.
ALEC bills, which largely benefit the organization’s corporate members, have been introduced in legislatures in every state—but without disclosing to the public that corporations previously drafted or voted on them through ALEC.


Here’s an August 2011 DailyKOS Blog posting identifying 36 members of ALEC in the PA Legislature

Here's a list of corporate sponsors for ALEC's Annual Meeting
Financiers Of ALEC’s 38th Annual Meeting:
Reynolds American
Takeda Pharmaceutical
American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
American Electric Power
Lumina Foundation
State Farm
Policy Network
Walton Family Foundation
Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
Freepont-McMoran Copper & Gold
Johnson & Johnson
Koch Industries
LouisDreyfus Commodities
Louisiana Seafood
McMoran Exploration
National Rifle Association
TogetherRX Access

Atmos Energy
BlueCross BlueShield Association
Chesapeake Energy
Energy Transfer
Gulf States Toyota
International Paper
Jacobs Entertainment
QEP Resources
American Federation for Children
BlueCross Blue Shield of Lousiana
Genesee & Wyoming Inc.
Harris Deville & Associates
Kansas City Southern
Kraft Foods
Louisiana Chemical Association
Louisiana Railroads Association
Louisiana Realtors
Norfolk Southern
Society of Louisiana CPAs
Southern Strategy Group
Spectra Energy
The Capitol Group
Union Pacific

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