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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/24/11

Stripping Democracy One Bill At A Time, the ALEC Way

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ALEC sponsors three meetings a years with the largest being their Annual Meeting where most of their members attend. Model bills are introduced and voted on separately at each of these three meetings. They then go to the appropriate task force where their respective Board of Directors review, and approve or reject, each bill before it becomes official ALEC policy. These are then passed on to various elected legislators who present them under their own name to their states. Approximately 1000 such bills are passed on with about 20% of these bills becoming law annually.

As stated previously, members are required to pay annual dues, with the elected legislators being charged a much discounted rate as they are actually the "hired guns" needed to carry out the desired outcomes of the corporate members.

More than 98% of ALEC's revenues come from sources other than legislative dues, such as corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations. Each corporate member pays a fee of between $7,000 and $25,000 for the right to "sit at the table and have a voice", and if a corporation participates in any of the nine task forces, additional fees apply, from $2,500 to $10,000. ALEC also receives direct grants from corporations, such as $1.4 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2009. It has also received grants from some of the biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, such as: the Koch family Charles G. Koch Foundation,   the Koch-managed Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Scaife family Allegheny Foundation, the Coors family Castle Rock Foundation, to name a few. Less than 2% of ALEC's funding comes from "Membership Dues" of $50 - $200 paid by state legislators, many using taxpayer dollars for this purpose.

Some of these corporations are:

-        AT & T

-        Bank of America

-        BP America

-        Coca-Cola

-        Enron

-        ExxonMobile

-        General Electric

-        General Motors

-        Humana Corporation

-        Koch Industries

-        McDonald's Corporation

-        Microsoft Corporation

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Dennis Kaiser is an author and consultant focusing on individual rights. As a US citizen Dennis is deeply concerned over how our nation has fallen from being productive and full of hope to one where that hope is being stripped from the majority (more...)
 

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