Thursday, April 5, 2012

"What is the ALEC Corporation"

"What is the ALEC Corporation?"
Compiled by Minerva L. Williams

Today, under pressure from Color of Change Coca Cola and Pepsi have announced their dropping their membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council. Depending on who you read the American Legislative Exchange Council also known as (ALEC) Corporation
is not a front group but a powerful group of businesses and corporation leaders who are "right wing" conservatives and members of a “think tank” that support “federalism, limited government and free markets”. To see a list of sponsors please visit:
ALEC is also said to be a " public/private corporation that stresses workers right, privatizing education, dozen of states are asking environmental agencies to stop their harsh regulating of air pollution, and an immigration advocacy group. They are not a lobby group, nor are they a nonprofit” according to DemocracyNow! They have a huge group of law firms, PAC's, advocacy groups and public relation firms at their disposal.  

The conservative organization is also an advocate behind the national proliferation of "stand your ground" gun law in Florida that has sparked national scrutiny due to the death of teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.

According to ProPublic 23 states have adopted the “Stand your Ground” gun law they are as follows:

Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois (The law does not include a duty to retreat, which courts have interpreted as a right to expansive self-defense.), Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon (Also does not include a duty to retreat), South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington (does not include a duty to retreat), and West Virginia

Further one finds that they also supply pprison workers for the prison industrial employment programs throughout the United States while at the same time providing increased bottomlines for the corporations who use their services because the prisoners are being paid pennies on the dollar for the work done. This organization is also accused of finding legislation to keep more prisoners in prison to guarantee their corporate sponsors a captive workforce. The organization is also known to adopted state legislation with 800 modeled bills, however the authors of such bills are not indicated according to Lisa Graves, Executive Editor of Center for Media and Justice.

As of 2011Corporate Sponsors include all of the following:

• CenterPoint 360, W. Preston Baldwin - Chairman

• Altria Group, Daniel Smith

• American Bail Coalition, William Carmichael, Jerry Watson

• AT&T, William Leahy

• Bayer Corp., Sandy Oliver

• Coca-Cola Company, Gene Rackley

• Diageo, Kenneth Lane

• Energy Future Holdings, Sano Blocker

• ExxonMobil Corporation, Randall Smith

• GlaxoSmithKline, John Del Giorno

• Intuit, Inc., Bernie McKay

• Johnson & Johnson, Don Bohn

• Koch Companies Public Sector, Mike Morgan

• Kraft Food, Inc., Derek Crawford

• Peabody Energy, Kelly Mader

• Pfizer Inc., Michael Hubert

• PhRMA, Jeff Bond

• Reed Elsevier, Inc., Teresa Jennings

• Reynolds American, David Powers

• Salt River Project, Russell Smoldon

• State Farm Insurance Co., Roland Spies

• United Parcel Service (UPS)[2], Richard McArdle

• Wal-Mart Stores, Maggie Sans

to name a few. For a comprehensive list, please link:

The Nation Magazine calls it the Koch Connection and details the account at

National Chairman is Mr. W. Preston Baldwin of Centerpoint360;

First Vice Chairman is Mrs. Sandra Oliver of Bayer Corp;

Second Vice Chairman, Mr. John Del Giorno of GlaxoSmithKline;

Treasurer, Mr. David Powers of Reynolds American; Secretary

Ms. Maggie Sans of Wal-Mart Stores.

Chairman Emeritus, Mr. Jerry Watson of Private Enterprise Board Members;

Ms. Sano Blocker of Energy Future Holdings;

Mr. Don Bohn of Johnson & Johnson;

Mr. Jeffrey Bond of PhRMA;

Mr. William Carmichael of American Bail Coalition;

Mr. Derek Crawford of Kraft Foods, Inc.;

Mr. Robert Jones of Pfizer Inc;

Ms. Teresa Jennings of Reed Elsevier, Inc.;

Mr. Kenneth Lane of DIAGEO

Members also include:

Mr. Bill Leahy of AT&T; Mr. Kelly Mader of Peabody Energy;

Mr. Richard McArdle of UPS

Mr. Mike Morgan of Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC;

Mr. Daniel Smith of Altria Client Services

Mr. Randy Smith of ExxonMobil Corporation;

Mr. Russell Smoldon of Salt River Project

Mr. Roland Spies of State Farm Insurance Co;

August 5th, 2011 legislative and business executives of the ALEC membership representing fifty states met to discussion the future of ALEC as reported by Democratic Now! See the following link:

Based on some media reporters, they say it is a means of supply a free market lower employment, keeping the corporations in America, supplying job opportunities and activities for the prisoners (especially those with life sentences), building prisoners self esteem, while providing manufacturing, call centers, and assembly line work that can make prisoners who have release dates an opportunity to increase their job skill base to stop recidivism

Can a forty-year behemoth organization continue to sustain such attitudes in the face of such recent exposure? We can only watch to see if other corporations change their positions.
Minerva L. Williams is a retired LA TIMES community educational event planner, marketing consultant, and journalist residing in the Santa Clarita Valley. She has strong interests in business, financial, and political stories for starters.  -----------------------------------------------

NOTES: All sites mentioned were contacted by Windows Internet Explorer 8:00 AM to 9:45 AM.

BACKGROUND REFERENCES researched 04/05/2012 all by Internet Explorer:
Published April 5, 2012 by Americas Voice on Line. Retrieved 8:45 AM Published July 15, 2011 by Democracy Now. Also includes the Pelican Bay prisoner hunger strike. ALEC presentation should be cued to ½ way for full story. Retrieved 9:20 AM by Lisa Graves. “ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection”. Retrieved 9:30 AM; corporate website by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Retrieved 9:29 AM “Cutting Crime and Budgets”, by published February 17, 2012. Representative Courtney O’Brien at Retrieved.10:32 AM
Secretive Corporate-Legislative Group ALEC Holds Annual Meeting to Rewrite State Laws. Published August 5, 2011. Retrieved 9:25 AM "Our Step-By-Step Guide to Understanding ALEC’s Influence on Your State Laws” by Lois Beckett. ProPublica has done an exhaustive research on ALEC and have over 51 entries. Aug. 1, 2011, 1:26 AM Retrieved 9:59 AM “Resources for Investigating ALEC/NRA Gun Bills” by Lisa Graves Published March 30, 2012. Retrieved 9:28 AM
 Source Watch for Center for Media and Democracy. Brendan Fischer Email: Published January 24, 2012 Retrieved 9:42 AM
 Source Watch for Center for Media and Democracy. Published January 24, 2012 Retrieved 9:40 AM

American Progress Reports on 5 worst States for voting rights in 2011

If you have relatives in any of these states forewarn them of the tatics being used and have stronger GOTV drives to counter these circumstances the primary will be here in June 2012 so you only have two more months to strategize. For more detailed information on the story please read the following link: 

Meantime, see you at the polls . . . Minerva and Todd