Is ALEC the new Koch Brothers, Halliburton, or Bildebergers?

posted at 12:11 pm on April 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Old and busted: Paranoia over the Koch Brothers and their political activism.  New hotness: Paranoia over a lobbying group of other businessmen.  Progressives have launched an attack on the lobbying group ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that does what every other lobbying group does — raise funds and petitions legislators for their agenda, in this case focused on state legislatures.  Although I’ve barely heard of them before, they must be effective, since the Left has made them their newest, bestest bête noire.

The Boss Emeritus writes about the latest Halliburton/Koch Brothers fright fest on the Left, and the reaction from members of ALEC:

For years, progressives have sought to take down the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a four-decade-old association of state legislators who believe in “the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.” ALEC’s veteran policy experts have successfully teamed with public officials and the private sector on crafting model state bills covering everything from education reform and health care to pensions, public safety and civil justice.

Among the group’s greatest heresies in the eyes of the left: support for voter ID laws to protect election integrity, immigration enforcement measures and self-defense legislation to strengthen Second Amendment rights.

The idea that private businesses and public servants could work together voluntarily on public policy is too much for Big Labor and Big Government racketeers. Last fall, leftists from People for the American Way, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Arizona AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers, the Arizona Education Association and Progress Now (a militant group backed by billionaire George Soros) ambushed an ALEC meeting in Arizona to intimidate legislators and corporate backers. In February, the Occupy movement turned from demonizing Wall Street bankers to attacking the policy wonks of ALEC as wretched symbols of “profit and greed.” …

McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Intuit, Kraft, Arby’s and Walgreens have shown their true colors: appeasement yellow. It’s time for conservatives to stand their ground and stop showing these corporate cowards their money.

May I assume that these corporations no longer wish to defend the concept of profit?  That’s something that their investors might want to know.  And let’s not forget that all of those organizations mentioned by Michelle in the excerpt are interest groups exactly like ALEC.  It’s interesting that these interest groups somehow get seen by these corporation as more legitimate than their own, but perhaps that’s another issue investors might want to take up with management at some point.

Don’t think that the effort is contained to stunts like invading meetings or calling up corporate headquarters, either.  The ALEC hysterics have organized an effort to pressure state legislators to denounce ALEC.  One legislator copied me on the e-mail, which the legislator has received multiple times, and which are hitting legislative e-mail inboxes throughout the state — and which uses the Trayvon Martin case as a bludgeon:

Dear XXX,

In the past few days, major corporate sponsors of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have indicated they will not renew their memberships to the controversial corporate front group. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Intuit and Kraft Foods announced their departure amid mounting criticism over ALEC’s backing of “Stand Your Ground” gun laws, which have been implicated in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

ALEC is behind the efforts to pass bills that strip away union rights, scale back child labor laws, attack the regulation power of environmental agencies, suppress voter rights with strict identification requirements, eliminate the social safety net, and privatize public services.

ALEC is not just another public policy organization, it is a front group for some of the most radical and dangerous legislation.  With such a proven negative track record of effect on our public policy, there’s no excuse for  legislators to continue their involvement in the organization.

If you are a member of ALEC, I urge you to take the lead of Pepsi, Coke, Kraft and Intel and quit ALEC now.  If you are not a member, I urge you to make a public statement denouncing ALEC and asking your fellow legislators to withdraw their membership.

Sincerely,

Of course, no one is arguing that people don’t have the right to petition their legislators in this manner, or for that matter, conduct or threaten boycotts of companies that support policies activists don’t like.  But instead of arguing on the policies, these people are demonizing a perfectly legitimate interest group as some sort of boogeyman, which tells us how poor their arguments on the actual issues of right-to-work, voter ID, budget reductions, and the job-killing regulatory bureaucracies like the EPA actually are.  This is just another Halliburton! Koch sucker! chant, and as vapid as ever.


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After I get done @ the gym I might treat myself to a Bildeburger.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM

So I can’t spend my money on Coke or Pepsi? RC Cola….here I come!

Texas Secede on April 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM

After I get done @ the gym I might treat myself to a Bildeburger.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM

LOL. Only if you wash it down with some Koch. :)

4Grace on April 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM

How about letting us know who SUPPORTS ALEC?

I’ll give my business to them. Better than simply boycotting.

NoDonkey on April 11, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Roy Rogers on April 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM

The ALEC hysterics

One can always identify any group or enterprise on the Right or in the Moderate Middle that or who is doing a reasonably good job by the fact that the Progressives attack them and gear up those letter-writing campaigns to denounce them.

The Democrats in Congress have their staffs quickly questioning any callers to them who have complaints about illegal immigration, Obama’s eligibility to the Presidency, taxes and especially if one is pro-life, to grill such callers whether or not they’re calling “because of any newsletter suggestion” or “organization that has encouraged your call,” etc.

But the Left never is scrutinized like that, unfortunately. The Progressives are well organized to send out email and letters to Congress and to businesses to complain about just about anyone among the GOP, issues associated with Conservatives…and it needs to be confronted by Congress.

Not implying I’d support a condemnation of Free Speech but what Progressives do with their hysterical writing-”hysterics” continues to create a false front of condemnation of others and issues that doesn’t exist by any majority.

The letter-writing hysterics to advertisers, for example, by the Left is entirely offensive but well organized. It’s a problem for the nation and certainly for business — it’s not as if the Left has no history of coercing private enterprise.

Lourdes on April 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Texas Secede on April 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM

After a year in Texas, I’ve gotten addicted to sweet tea and diet Dr. Pepper.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM

This is just another Halliburton! Koch sucker! chant, and as vapid as ever.

Don’t forget the infamous PNAC, which was basically four guys and a fax machine.

Go RBNY on April 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

The Right should boycott Little Ceasar’s Pizza, though.

Lourdes on April 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Don’t know about elsewhere, but here in Wisconsin the recallers have been promoting ALEC-hate for awhile now.

Where I live there’s a local nut who gets his letters to the editor of the local paper published almost every other week; he’s turned to other subjects by now, but a few months ago the premise of every letter could be boiled down to “ALEC is an evil secret society dedicated to installing Scott Walker as the global dictator of a Fascist New World Order”.

I. Kid. You. Not.

CCS on April 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

And Coca-Cola, and Sleep Number and Legal Zoom…and…

Lourdes on April 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Okay-I mentioned TEA and my comment got eaten.
Stop. Now. Please.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I hate ALEC Baldwin, he is such an idiot!

jeffn21 on April 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The Right should boycott Little Ceasar’s Pizza, though.

Lourdes on April 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I’d have to be able to choke it down first.

NoDonkey on April 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM

“Don’t do business with progressive appeasers”

Says the woman who hired AP.

Knott Buyinit on April 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM

ALEC is behind the efforts to pass bills that strip away union rights, scale back child labor laws, attack the regulation power of environmental agencies, suppress voter rights with strict identification requirements, eliminate the social safety net, and privatize public services.

What a lie.

Bitter Clinger on April 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM

As Rush Limbaugh aptly observed: the left needs a villain or it can’t survive.

The Left wing world view is based on nothing but lies and utopianism. They have no answers.

NickDeringer on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

HotAir and the RW accusing others of paranoia is rich.

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on April 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Have you looked into this?

a capella on April 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Pick The Target, Freeze It, Personalize It, And Polarize It.

DJ Rick on April 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM

HotAir and the RW accusing others of paranoia is rich.

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Obama’s proven himself to be a corrupt incompetent.

That’s not being paranoid, that’s a demonstrable, well-documented fact.

Which is why we need to be rid of him sooner rather than later.

NoDonkey on April 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM

At least they’re leaving Chic-fil-A alone for the moment.

SouthernGent on April 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM

HotAir and the RW accusing others of paranoia is rich.

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

HotAir has never promoted any of those Birther conspiracies so you’re barking up the wrong tree, Bubba.

As for Obama being a Kenyan, well even he admits that. His father is from Kenya making him part Kenyan.

Go RBNY on April 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

I actually miss parasite4life. Her insane comments made my day.

Bevan on April 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Bunch of them. A plethora.

a capella on April 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

a four-decade-old association of state legislators who believe in “the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.”

Whew! I sure am glad progressives want to protect us from those values.

The Rogue Tomato on April 11, 2012 at 12:37 PM

So I can’t spend my money on Coke or Pepsi? RC Cola….here I come!

Texas Secede on April 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Your in Texas, home of Dr. Pepper.

PrettyD_Vicious on April 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM

So,

What if we had a “Conservatives don’t spend a dime today” day?

Everywhere. Become conspicuous by absence.

Suppose: “What? Only $100 in the register? Gee, normally we do $30,000″ — overheard at McDonalds.

ProfShadow on April 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on April 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Have you looked into this?

a capella on April 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I seen ‘dat.
This city is so frackin’ weird.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Some history.

a capella on April 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM

The Right should boycott Little Ceasar’s Pizza, though.

Lourdes on April 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

No, everyone should boycott Little Sleazers.

RickB on April 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM

ProfShadow on April 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Glad Wal-Mart isn’t on that list.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I hate ALEC Baldwin, he is such an idiot!

jeffn21 on April 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

You are worthress, Arrec Bardrin!

Roy Rogers on April 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM

HotAir and the RW accusing others of paranoia is rich.

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

He is of Kenyan descent, He has said the Muslim call to prayer is one of the most beautiful sounds he’s heard, and grew up for some time in a Muslim country (Indonesia). He operated as a community organizer/agitator following the Alinsky (Marxist) model in Rules for Radicals. He stated during the last presidential campaign that Wealth redistribution was needed (Remember Joe the Plumber) and has enacted socialist policies within the different departments of the executive branch.

Or am I paranoid?

As far as communists in the legislature, surely several of the progressive black caucus, the progressive caucus, Those assoctiated with Laraza and other far left members who won’t say they are communist because of the negative view, but they certainly talk and walk like marxists. So they do exist.

Paranoid for a conservative is the overwhelming fear of losing our country, constitution, and way of life to over-reaching nanny state leftist. Paranoid for liberals is your mother calling the cops on you after finding your dime bag in her basement.

buckeyerich on April 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM

It’s time for Republicans to take it to the Democrats on voter i.d. laws. This is a battle the Democrats can NOT win and they only way they keep up the PR advantage they have now is because they haven’t been forced to defend it.

If it were me, I’d start explaining the many ways to keep people in poverty and explain that generational welfare and lack of i.d. are 2 of them. You can’t do anything in this country without an i.d. card so, if you believe Republicans are only trying to tell you you can’t vote without on, well just think of what you could do ifyou were a Republican!!!!

They can’t defend it and they should have to.

bflat879 on April 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM

If you are a member of ALEC, I urge you to take the lead of Pepsi, Coke, Kraft and Intel and quit ALEC now. If you are not a member, I urge you to make a public statement denouncing ALEC and asking your fellow legislators to withdraw their membership.

Tell me, Van, what happened to Carbonite’s stock after its little Rush stunt? How about Sleep Train? What happened when Coke announced it was going to change its colours around Christmas in “solidarity” with the “dwindling polar bear population”?

You see, my dear, some people are a lot “more smarter” (thanks, Meghan) than idiots like you. Michael Jordan is one of the biggest Democrats in the country, but he has never made the mistake of getting involved in making endorsements, political statements, and controversial or unnecessarily polarising causes. Why? I’ll let him tell you:

“Republicans buy shoes, too.”

Oprah made that mistake and it looks like it is going to cost her $150 million….at least.

Resist We Much on April 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Don’t tell anyone where you heard it, but I have it on good authority that ALEC was behind the steady stream of talkative, but smelly drivers that were assigned to Keith Olberman. They did this knowing they’d sew discontent into the ranks of leftist garbage.

Shhhhh, our little secret.

MNHawk on April 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House….
cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Even one is to many, wouldn’t you agree?

D-fusit on April 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM

The work of Color of Change originated by the Communist Van Jones…

d1carter on April 11, 2012 at 12:56 PM

HotAir and the RW accusing others of paranoia is rich.

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Hmmm…so you’re saying there’s something wrong with being a Communist or Marxist Socialist?

Deanna on April 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM

How about a boycott of corporations contributing to the Tide foundation?

agmartin on April 11, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

is this a trick question. Because the answer is “All of them”.

kirkill on April 11, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Who is John Galt?

kirkill on April 11, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Okay this is a joke. So they say so far a few companies have quit supporting ALEC. But when you check out SourceWatch they list many many companies and non-profits still supporting ALEC.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations
I’m thinking this may be another exaggeration just like the Beck and Limbaugh boycotts. Still, thanks to SourceWatch we now know which companies to support. LOL

Deanna on April 11, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Geez now that I read the list, this is a joke. I doubt they’ll even miss MickeyD’s. Here’s a just a few from the long list that sill support them…
Unilever. AT&T, Verizon, Shell, Proctor & Gamble, UPS, Phillip Morris, Nestle, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, GMC(yep, government motors) GE, Ford, FedEx, Chrylser(LOL), Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and on and on…

Deanna on April 11, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Getting Fluked?

KOOLAID2 on April 11, 2012 at 1:46 PM

HotAir and the RW accusing others of paranoia is rich.

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

How many Communists?

One less with Van Jones gone…

You clowns have been crying like babies over the Koch brothers while opening up the cash register for Soros inc…

mark81150 on April 11, 2012 at 1:54 PM

This is just another Halliburton! Koch sucker! chant, and as vapid as ever.

Yeah, but unfortunately they’ll get the attention of the 33% who are die-hard Obamabots.

GarandFan on April 11, 2012 at 2:47 PM

The right preaches the answer to bad speech is more speech. That a free and open debate even with people with their facts wrong is healthy.

The left has sayings like “If only closed minds came with closed mouths.” They fight against any group whose opinion is different by saying “shut up,” not by proving their points.

The left says voter ID laws are racist because they are racist and believe non-whites lack the intelligence to get ID, which they need to do ANYTHING else with the government. So if somebody on the right points this out, the left’s answer is “shut up, you’re destroying democracy.”

Stronger immigration laws means more jobs and better pay for the citizens of America. But the left can’t have that because coupled with no voter ID laws they lose votes if people can’t be here illegally. So, their argument can only be “Shut up, you hate immigrants.” No, we love law.

Getting rid of the horrible conflict of interest that is public employee unions using taxes to influence how much of those taxes go to them means a huge loss of taxpayer funded campaign coffers. The left can’t argue that the public unions protect the workers from exploitation, so their argument is “Shut up, you hate everybody.”

Even on the issue of wealthy people who influence politics. They say “Koch brothers are evil because they are billionaires!”. So we respond “So is George Soros and the total influence of Hollywood idiots!” And they say “Shut up, those people are OK because they agree with us!”

For them the proposition is all or nothing for their argument to stand. In their minds there are no privately funded resources or charities to help the poor, all women who would have had a legal abortion would get killed getting an illegal one, if we ban abortion next women will be forced to stay home barefoot and pregnant, if we stop illegal immigration even if we make it smoother to become legal we are being racists, if we end public unions then all public employees will be tortured until morale improves, etc. But you can see how ludicrous that is. All the things conservatives push have been done before and worked, that’s why we push them!

PastorJon on April 11, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Ed,
You failed to mention that the Ronulan/Alex Jones crowd is hollering about ALEC and the public school reforms passed in Louisiana as well.

Kermit on April 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

BUILD A BURGER!

Kermit on April 11, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Dems don’t really like that it be pointed out that Ladybird Johnson was Halliburton’s largest private stockholder.

Kermit on April 11, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Tell us again how many “Communists” there are in the House or how Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Socialist? LOL

cornfedbubba on April 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Communist is as Communist does whether they actually call themselves or even think of themselves that way. Communism is about the state owning things rather than individuals owning things.When the mask accidently slips and government officials call for nationalizing the oil companies for example or where they try to slip the barrier between private 401 K and pension fund money and start trying to dictate where it will be invested or while not taking title to land or other property but dictating what must be done with it, that is communism whether people recognize it or not; because when you control the use of something, you to all practical purposes own it.

KW64 on April 11, 2012 at 9:06 PM