USuncutMN says: Tax the corporations! Tax the rich! Stop the cuts, fight for social justice for all. Standing in solidarity with and other Uncutters worldwide. FIGHT for a Foreclosure Moratorium! Foreclosure = homelessness. Resist the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist and Citizen's United. #Austerity for the wheeler dealers, NOT the people.

We Are The 99% event

USuncutMN supports #occupyWallStreet, #occupyDC, the XL Pipeline resistance Yes, We, the People, are going to put democracy in all its forms up front and center. Open mic, diversity, nonviolent tactics .. Social media, economic democracy, repeal Citizen's United, single-payer healthcare, State Bank, Operation Feed the Homeless, anti-racism, homophobia, sexISM, war budgetting, lack of transparency, et al. Once we identify who we are and what we've lost, We can move forward.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council

They meet in secret. They write our laws. And they want us silent.

ALEC is a conservative think-tank run by right-wing politicians and corporate and
financial interests within the banking industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the big oil and gas industries, and others. They are aligned to many right-wing and conservative interests, including the election-manipulating Koch Industries.

ALEC’s main purpose is to develop and distribute model legislation that is drafted by member corporations and legislators and voted on by legislative task forces. Membership fees are low for legislators, and the bill is sometimes footed by the taxpayers. For corporations, membership ranges from $7,000 to $25,000 a year. Koch, Coke, Altria, RJ Reynolds, Kraft Foods, Exxon and Peabody coal are just a few of it’s corporate members.

Exposing ALEC’s Manipulation 

ALEC is quite effective in what they do, each year, thousands of bills are introduced by ALEC members and around 20% of these bills get passed. Unfortunately, it has been hard to tell which bills are based on ALEC’s model legislation library (which contains over 800 documents) because they are not freely available to the public. But now, thanks to a leak, the model legislation has been exposed and all of the documents are available on

Since the leaks, democracy advocates, bloggers and journalists have been scouring the document trove to make connections with real legislation. Speculations that ALEC model legislation serves as a basis of many austerity measures, attacks on voting rights and health-care regression have largely been corroborated.

Fighting Back

After the Release of the documents, the organization Common Cause formally
challenged ALEC’s non-profit Status with the IRS. Common Cause makes the case that ALEC is lobbying, an action that non-profits cannot take part in.

The group ProtestALEC consists of Activists who come together in Cincinnati in
opposition to ALEC’s Spring task force Meeting in Cincinnati in late April. Over 250 people attended the first demonstration against ALEC in the groups history and another is being held in the wake of the leak at ALEC’s large annual meeting, this year held in New Orleans. On August 5th, from at 3pm activists from across the country will gather against ALEC once more.

Visit for details. Please consider donating if you cannot attend. Donations will help cover transportation scholarships and other protest costs.

ALEC Bills in Real Legislation 

ALEC’s Voter ID Bill V OHIO HB1194 - Part of the Ohio Bill echo sections of ALEC’s model legislation. The Bill would automatically disenfranchise about 900,000 Ohioans, which is more that 10% of the electorate, and would effect students, seniors and ethnic minorities most drastically. 33 states have introduced voter ID laws this year, including Wisconsin, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Minnesota and Tennessee.

Paul Weyrich, a Founder of ALEC is quoted as saying, “I don't want everybody to vote. … Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

OHIO SB5 Vs ALEC Legislation - SB5 and counterparts in other states (notably
Wisconsin Act 10) appear to be composites of many of ALEC’s model bills.
[Resembles ALEC’s] "Right to Work" and "Paycheck Protection" legislation, and
other measures to disempower and defund unions. On collective bargaining,
ALEC’s "Public Employee Freedom Act" declares that “an employee should be
able to contract on their own terms” and “mandatory collective bargaining laws
violate this freedom.” This ALEC bill and the "Public Employer Payroll Deduction
Policy Act" prohibit automatic payroll deductions for union dues, a key aspect of
the Walker bill.”  - From PRwatch.

ALEC’s “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,”  which make environmental civil disobedience and first amendment activity terrorist charges, closely resembles bills passed or introduced in many states over the last decade. In the past decade, bills resembling the AETA have been introduced in Washington, Tennessee, Kansas, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, among others.

Ms. Magazine on Legislation effecting women and families: ALEC model legislation... gives states a blueprint for receiving federal Medicaid funds as “block grants” rather than entitlements. An entitlement guarantees coverage to people who are eligible; block grants are a fixed “block” of money, letting states cut off previously eligible recipients or freeze enrollment. Since Medicaid helps low-income pregnant women, the elderly in nursing homes (most of whom are women and two-thirds of whom are Medicaid-funded) and disabled children and adults, you can imagine the consequences: a 90- year-old woman evicted from her nursing home, an autistic child no longer given aid, a young pregnant woman unable to afford prenatal care.”

For more model legislation, visit The Center for Media and Democracy’s
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