Archive for Sunday, July 24, 2011

Corporate-funded ALEC has strong ties to Kansas Legislature

July 24, 2011

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While the Kansas House was wrestling with a $500 million budget hole during the past legislative session, it also found time to pass a measure urging Congress “by any means necessary” to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, including de-funding the agency’s efforts.

The resolution “opposing the EPA’s regulatory train wreck” was taken almost word-for-word from “model legislation” crafted by a little-known Washington, D.C., group called the American Legislative Exchange Council.

In recent days, ALEC’s influence, and its corporate backing, have been the focus of reports by several groups and news organizations.

ALEC describes its mission as promoting free markets, limited government, federalism and individual freedom “through a non-partisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government and general public.”

Its reach into state legislatures, including Kansas’, is deep. Each year, almost 1,000 bills, based at least in part on ALEC “model legislation,” are introduced in states. Of these, an average of 20 percent become law, according to ALEC.

But the Center for Media and Democracy released a report that described ALEC, which enjoys tax-exempt status as a non-profit, as a public policy front for corporate interests, including Kansas-based Koch Industries, which helps fund ALEC.

The Center has listed more than 800 bills crafted by ALEC at www.alecexposed.org.

On its website, ALEC’s “Private Enterprise Board” includes representation of leading companies, including Koch, Wal-Mart Stores, Bayer Corp., AT&T;, State Farm Insurance, ExxonMobil Corp. and others. Many of the companies that fund ALEC oppose new air quality regulations.

ALEC proposes “model legislation” based on recommendations from task forces, which are composed of industry representatives, who pay fees to have a seat at the table, and legislators. The final say-so is done by a board composed of legislators only.

In Kansas, a healthy contingent of legislators have been active in ALEC for years, going to its meetings, serving in leadership positions on its board and returning to Kansas with more model legislation that they then start pushing through the legislative process.

ALEC and Brownback

In addition to the EPA measure, another ALEC-inspired piece of legislation, which was signed into law this year by Gov. Sam Brownback, is the Health Care Freedom Act, which prohibits the government from interfering “with a resident’s right to purchase health insurance or with a resident’s right to refuse to purchase health insurance.” The law is aimed at blocking the new federal health reform law, which ALEC opposes.

ALEC also advocates for considering the replacement of public employee pension systems with 401(k)-type plans, an issue that has gained traction with Brownback and many in the Legislature.

In addition, ALEC releases an annual report called “Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffler State Economic Competitiveness Index,” which takes the position that lowering taxes increases economic growth.

The most recent, fourth, edition has a foreword written by Brownback in which he states: “It is true that lowering taxes can be politically difficult: even fiscal conservatives start losing their enthusiasm for cutting taxes when special interest groups that consume a state’s tax dollars warn them that tax cuts will have dire consequences. But the consequences of being caught in a spiral of increased taxes and a decreasing rate of return on the tax base are much more dangerous.”

Kansas and ALEC

Each year, a group of Kansas legislators goes to ALEC meetings.

Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, served as the group’s national chair in 2006, and now serves on its board of directors. Sen. Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, also serves on the group’s board and in 2010 was named legislator of the year by ALEC.

Much of the legislators’ activity is paid through ALEC, but some Kansas taxpayer money is also expended. Last year, Kansas taxpayers were billed $9,132 to send legislators to ALEC meetings.

Thirteen House members and four state senators in 2010 went to ALEC’s annual meeting in Atlanta, according to state records. A group of state legislators is preparing to go to ALEC’s next annual meeting, which will be held next month in New Orleans.

The legislators who went to last year’s ALEC annual meeting were all Republicans and many chair powerful committees in the Kansas Legislature that deal with far-ranging policies.

The legislators that went are Sens. Ty Masterson of Andover, Ralph Ostmeyer of Grinnell, Dennis Pyle of Hiawatha, and Wagle; and Reps. Steve Brunk of Bel Aire, Pete DeGraff of Mulvane, Carl Holmes of Liberal, Lance Kinzer of Olathe, Marvin Kleeb of Overland Park, Forrest Knox of Altoona, Peggy Long-Mast of Emporia, Merrick, who was a House member at the time, Marc Rhoades of Manhattan, Scott Schwab of Olathe, and Sharon Schwartz of Washington. Two other House members who are no longer in the Legislature also went to the 2010 meeting — John Faber of Brewster and Deena Horst of Salina.

Questions of influence

Some public watchdog groups have said ALEC’s mix of corporate interests and elected officials is unseemly at best and unethical at worst.

Common Cause has asked the IRS to investigate whether ALEC’s tax-exempt status should be revoked.

ALEC “is a secretive and powerful front group of corporations that are investing millions of dollars a year to write business-friendly legislation at the expense of the middle class,” Common Cause said.

ALEC has approximately 2,000 legislative members and more than 300 corporate members. Common Cause has said 22 of ALEC’s corporate members contributed more than $317 million to state election campaigns over the past decade.

Raegan Weber, a spokeswoman for ALEC, said about two-thirds of those members are Republicans and one-third Democrats.

“We are a very upfront organization,” Weber said. “ALEC is a resource for legislators to give them policy options.”

Should taxpayers be concerned if their legislator is sitting down with powerful, monied special interests to write bills that will then be taken to state capitals across the nation for consideration? Weber says no.

She said legislators should listen to those they will regulate, but they also listen to other opinions. “We’re just one outlet they go to,” she said.

Wagle said “ALEC has a free-market mindset.”

She said she doesn’t believe corporations have an undo influence on members. The bottom line is that legislators who are members of ALEC believe in less government, she said.

Many legislators who attend ALEC meetings have their expenses paid through “scholarships,” which companies contribute to.

Each state has a legislator who raises funds for these scholarships. In Kansas there is no limit on this fund-raising activity or reporting required.

In Kansas, legislators can solicit contributions for the benefit of any non-profit organization established for the purpose of educating legislators.

The EPA “train wreck” resolution was crafted by ALEC’s Natural Resources task force in April 2010, according to minutes of the meeting that were obtained by Bloomberg news. The panel that put the resolution together included 13 legislators from several states, including Kansas, and 21 private sector members representing Koch, ExxonMobil, and oil and coal trade groups. A year later, the resolution “opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory train wreck” popped up in the Kansas House and was easily approved, 100-22.

Comments

mloburgio 4 years, 1 month ago

ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection {kansas has a koch problem}

Hundreds of ALEC’s model bills and resolutions bear traces of Koch DNA: raw ideas that were once at the fringes but that have been carved into “mainstream” policy through the wealth and will of Charles and David Koch. Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding.

No one knows how much the Kochs have given ALEC in total, but the amount likely exceeds $1 million—not including a half-million loaned to ALEC when the group was floundering. ALEC gave the Kochs its Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award, and Koch Industries has been one of the select members of ALEC’s corporate board for almost twenty years. The company’s top lobbyist was once ALEC’s chairman. As a result, the Kochs have shaped legislation touching every state in the country. Like ideological venture capitalists, the Kochs have used ALEC as a way to invest in radical ideas and fertilize them with tons of cash.

http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection

saraj 4 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the article.But does anyone in this state really care? Is everyone contented to be controlled by Koch? Does everyone think that the policies their lawmakers signed on to will have no effect on them and their families?

Alceste 4 years, 1 month ago

Answering your questions, keeping pragmatism close to heart and knowing Kansas rather well:

A. NO B. YES C. YES

We live in Kansas. Not New York City.

Kate Rogge 4 years, 1 month ago

The real question is whether this article is likely to be published in newspapers throughout the state. Frankly, I was surprised to read it in the LJWorld, which I've always regarded as a very politically conservative newspaper. If our fellow citizens never have the opportunity to read about ALEC, Koch, and our bought-and-paid-for Governor Brownback's political agenda, how could we be expected to care? If you want to control public opinion, control the information it receives.

Alceste 4 years, 1 month ago

Isn't it the responsibility of the populace to keep themselves informed?

ALEC ain't no Johnny New Comer. Alceste been watching ALEC from the get. Alceste ain't no genius or "bright" person. Alceste just got him/her a healthy understanding of the real world.

READ.

somebodynew 4 years, 1 month ago

saraj - while it probably would not have made a difference here, I do with this information would have been made public BEFORE the election. Like I say, it probably would not have made a difference in this state, but it should have.

KSManimal 4 years, 1 month ago

Hey, it's almost 8:00 am....where's Trabert? Koch's aren't gonna pay you if you're late to work...

Flap Doodle 4 years, 1 month ago

Had to look twice to see if merrill had copy/pasted this.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

The face of corprofascism exposed.

But the Tea Partiers are too busy listening to Fox Propaganda Network to understand that they're being lied to.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

And the Fox Propaganda Network is too busy listening to our phone lines...

overthemoon 4 years, 1 month ago

There's a word for corporate domination of government and a tightly controlled media messaging apparatus mixed with religious fervor and extremism.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 1 month ago

Why don't you just buy an ad if you want to plug credo, merrill?

overthemoon 4 years, 1 month ago

Thank you Scott for presenting this information. Its quite late in coming to the general 'main stream' media.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Obama isn't "the adult in the room." He's the Wall Street Trojan Horse who's been betraying the progressive voters who backed him.

But for folks like you, he's still the wrong color, and has the wrong party affiliation. The fact that the Republicans are about to take down the economy just to make a (very stupid) point doesn't even enter your consciousness (not that you have much.)

monkeyhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"But the Tea Partiers are too busy listening to Fox Propaganda Network to understand that they're being lied to."

Isn't that teabaggers to you bozo? Such civility. So, you and others must watch Fox a lot to have such a biased opinion. The EPA is certainly not your Dad's EPA. Hope those windmills are turning while you're hoping for a little global cooling (or your smart meter decides to brown you out).

"Democratic Senator: Environmental Protection Agency Out of Control

(CNSNews.com) - Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, the former governor of coal-producing West Virginia, is blasting the Obama administration for using the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate coal-fueled power plants out of business." http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/epa-out-control-coal-state-senator-says

"Obama’s EPA Finalizes Latest Job-Killing Policies For 26 States – Will Cost Taxpayers $1.6 Billion a Year & Thousands of Jobs

It’s fair to say the Obama regime is the most radical and punishing administration in US history.

And after two and a half years they continue to target the American people with their job-killing radical socialist agenda. This week the extremists in the Obama EPA pushed new rules on 26 states that will kill thousands of jobs, cost billions of dollars and increase electricity rates for every family." http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/07/obamas-epa-finalizes-latest-job-killing-policies-for-26-states-will-cost-taxpayers-1-6-billion-a-year-thousands-of-jobs/

"Liars lie … All in the name of being a good commie.

Freedom Works reports:

EPA Train Wreck with the “deadline” to reach a debt ceiling compromise fast approaching, the debt crisis is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Yet, while America has been focused on the national debt, The Obama administration has been using the EPA to go behind Congress’s back and implement the president’s radical environmental policy. The EPA is in the process of creating a series of unnecessary “train wreck” environmental regulations, which will impose hundreds of billions of dollars of costs on the economy. Most of the upcoming regulations specifically target American energy production, especially coal generated electricity, and will place huge compliance costs on power plants, which will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity prices. Furthermore, many plants will not be able to meet the new stringent standards and will be forced out of business, pushing up unemployment and driving energy prices even higher."

http://tarpon.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/the-train-wreck-at-the-obama-epa/

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Of course, an ideological warrior like you could never consider the expense of the continued and even expanded use of coal. For you, only one side of that ledger needs to be examined.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

The irony of your using the same verbiage that comes from ALEC is striking.

Keeping our air and water clean is of course an important, and necessary thing to do, and in fact the goal of the EPA - EPA stands for Environmental Protection Agency.

As an administrative agency, it doesn't have to work through Congress, regardless of what administration is in power at the time.

The utility industries in this country have been aware for some time that more stringent regulations were coming, and should have been getting ready to implement them, rather than fighting them.

I'd rather have an EPA that's doing a good job of protecting the environment than one (as under previous administrations) that is too lax.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 1 month ago

The Media Research Center's baby. Yeah, Mhhmm.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 7 months ago

We don't need work that kills people. We need work to keep us healthy and strong and better off. So, your cliche notions are just parroting of pro pa gan da. You could do better if you just had the will to admit you have gone terribly wrong.

question4u 4 years, 1 month ago

The Kansas House passed "a measure urging Congress “by any means necessary” to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, including de-funding the agency’s efforts."

A member of the Kansas House also produced a proposal to gun down immigrants from helicopters. Dumb-as-dirt representatives do dumb-as-dirt things. Why would anyone expect anything different?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

I expect that they'll pass a resolution praising the Norwegian terrorist for ridding that country of future "librals" and their namby-pamby multiculturalism.

monkeyhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"I expect that they'll pass a resolution praising the Norwegian terrorist for ridding that country of future "librals"

I am 100% pro-choice, but abortion does that very effectively. I also don't recall you condemning Mo Atta and the gang.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"I also don't recall you condemning Mo Atta and the gang."

What does your faulty memory have to do with anything?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 1 month ago

AQ seems to have been the only people who praised the Norwegian murderer. Totally in character for them.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

It's a pretty blatant attempt to stop the EPA from fulfilling it's function of protecting the environment, isn't it?

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 7 months ago

They are not so dumb as to turn their back on easy money.

tomatogrower 4 years, 1 month ago

Thank you for following the strings to the puppet masters. Why don't politicians start doing their job instead of just trying to run for office?

Alceste 4 years, 1 month ago

That's an easy question with an even easier answer!

Because they are getting PAID......

monkeyhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"White House Executive Order #13575, Obama is taking control of all aspects of food, energy and fiber in rural America American Stalin, Obama, Seizes Control of Food and Energy Production

Beginning by ramming ObamaCare (which—again—has nothing to do with healthcare but, everything to do with finding a new way to steal the people’s money and provide Obama with total control over all) down the throats of American citizens, then moving easily through his planned destruction of the residential Real Estate industry (via the Democrat slush funds Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) while destroying as many middle-class jobs as is possible, the dictator-in-chief has also been fervently working on the destruction of all (not just a few) American citizens’ Constitutionally-guaranteed liberties. The previously clandestine “Fast and Furious Operation Gunwalker” has been uncovered as an Obama/Holder-planned and supported program. On 24 March 2009, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden held a press conference announcing an Obama Plan to—ostensibly—catch Mexican drug cartels.

Another of the atrocities Dictator-in-Chief Obama has ordered includes electrical meters permitting American citizens only the federal government’s idea of “allowable energy” (aka “smart meters”) and the first have now been installed in Marxist-California. If the ObamaGov doesn’t like the amount of energy you’re using—or you specifically—it can and will stop your energy flow. Can “retrainment/reeducation camps” now be far off?

Note: Another almost disaster is a stun gun that was discovered on United Airlines flight 944 which was flying from Chicago to Frankfurt last Friday 8 July and diverted to Cleveland. Called an “unruly passenger,” Saleh Ali S. Alramakh of Riyadh Saudi Arabia was causing quite a stir on the plane. He pushed a flight attendant repeatedly, used disallowed “electronic devices” and is reported to have been yelling and shouting. But, curiously, he wasn’t arrested until Monday. After Alramakh was taken into custody a stun gun was apparently found on his seat. Is this another example of Obama’s TSA groping and intimidating only Caucasian adults and children and allowing Muslims to pass through without any airport screening?

Now, however, the Obama cabal appears to be placing the final nail in our coffins. With the issuance of the unconstitutional White House Executive Order #13575, Obama is taking control of all aspects of food, energy and fiber in rural America—the areas that did not vote for Obama. So, Obama now effectively controls our ability to eat and use electricity. Will Congress ever step up and stop these atrocities and treasons committed by the tyrant? The answer appears to be a resounding “NO!”
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/38393

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Jeez, your hysteria is getting extreme even for you.

monkeyhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

What else would one expect from you? Same old, same old all the time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Yep, calling hysterical paranoia for what it is. It's what I do.

Tell me, why do think this piece of crap needed to be included here? What does it have to do with ALEC and its inordinate amount of influence on state legislatures?

monkeyhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"Tell me, why do think this piece of crap needed to be included here?"

Obviously it struck a nerve with you, Ms. Sweetness & Light. Are you trying to take away my 1st amendment right?

You could whine to the moderator like you usually do.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

I asked you two simple questions, although I left out a word, so let me try again, and let's see if you can't come up with answers this time, rather than a baseless whine.

Tell me, why do you think this piece of crap needed to be included here? What does it have to do with ALEC and its inordinate amount of influence on state legislatures?

BTW, I've never flagged any of your posts. If you're having problems with their being removed, it's between you and the admin.

monkeyhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Yawn.

BTW - I've never had a post removed :o)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

So you're quip about my "flagging your posts" really was just baseless whining.

Care to answer my questions?

Ken Lassman 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh, well, nice rhetorical question anyway, bozo, and for many, the silence answered your question quite loudly.

deec 4 years, 1 month ago

"Section 1. Policy. Sixteen percent of the American population lives in rural counties. Strong, sustainable rural communities are essential to winning the future and ensuring American competitiveness in the years ahead. These communities supply our food, fiber, and energy, safeguard our natural resources, and are essential in the development of science and innovation. Though rural communities face numerous challenges, they also present enormous economic potential. The Federal Government has an important role to play in order to expand access to the capital necessary for economic growth, promote innovation, improve access to health care and education, and expand outdoor recreational activities on public lands. To enhance the Federal Government's efforts to address the needs of rural America, this order establishes a council to better coordinate Federal programs and maximize the impact of Federal investment to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in our rural communities." http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/DCPD-201100431/pdf/DCPD-201100431.pdf Run for the hills! The president wants to assist rural America to prosper! Flee for your lives!

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 7 months ago

Total and obvious propaganda. Boy, some people just are so easy. They just eat this stuff up like chocolate.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 7 months ago

Total right wing yellow "journalism." Amazing how these cottage presses get the attention of the hard up for news types.

Richard Wade 4 years, 1 month ago

Will this story be followed up with one on George Soros, his groups, and their socialist, anti-liberty influence? Unlike Soros, the Koch's don't have genocide in their background.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

This report is based on a piece of journalism produced by actual journalists about a corporate front group using questionable means to influence (buy) state legislators and legislation.

Can you cite any comparable journalism about Soros, "his" groups, etc.? Or are you just spouting something you heard on hate radio/Fox?

Alceste 4 years, 1 month ago

Is anybody putting a gun to the collective heads of the "legislators" compelling them to TAKE the money? I think not. To the contrary, I do believe each and every one has their hand out proclaiming one word "MORE!"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Of course. Corruption is now an accepted practice in this political landscape of 1 1/2 parties-- Republican and Republican-lite.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 7 months ago

The way they pollute, I wouldn't bet on that at all. You will lose.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure you can find someone on your "side" who has written multiple volumes of such fiction.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

You mean everything isn't all the liberals' fault. That seems to be your message.

Please clarify.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

The irony here is that if Soros's political leanings (and contributions) were in the other direction, you'd be singing his praises as a financial genius.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

So if it's the Koch brothers, the end justifies the means. Otherwise, .....

monkeyhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Interesting how they were never called the "Koch Brothers" until your grand leader called them that.

Is that Chris Matthews giving you a thrill up your leg?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"Interesting how they were never called the "Koch Brothers" until your grand leader called them that."

Never, really? Are they brothers of different mothers (and fathers?) Please elucidate. We need the entertainment.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

So when exactly was that? A simple Google search reveals the term being used in 1997 and earlier.

You could at least pretend to have some critical analysis skills when you listen to talk radio.

grammaddy 4 years, 1 month ago

What is there in Obama's background that bothers you?

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Don't tell them about all the money he spent on anti-communist groups or how he was vital to the role in collapsing communism in Eastern Europe. He was against the reelection of Bush and must therefore exercise an unhealthy influence on American politics. I've seen the charts scribbled on a chalkboard somewhere by some crazy guy who used to have a TV show, and this thing is big, big I tell you!

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

I think Soros must be awfully important if he manages to be the counterweight to such a massive corporate influence pool. One guy, and he's bigger and more influential than the combined efforts of the Kochs, Walmart, the Chamber of Commerce, AT&T, State Market, Exxon, and more? Wow! I guess we'll also ignore any pro-capitalist money he's spent, since it doesn't fit the narrative, right?

Since he's so important, let's see the 1000 or so bills of "model legislation" he's crafted this year to line his own pockets at voter expense.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

Beck handed out a secret decoder ring. The message this week said, "Eat more Malt-O-Meal... and Soros is secretly the Antichrist."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"Many leftist zealots themselves have never"

You mean rightest zealots, who've never heard of anything that isn't distortion intended to incite fear and hysterical overreaction. You're a prime example.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Given that the most serious problems confronting us today were created as a result of BushCo policies, it was hardly paranoia.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

I seem to remember hearing about Soros when he very publicly tried to prevent Bush from getting a second term in office. Beck didn't start on Fox until 2008, and he didn't have his infamous "shadow government" rant on the guy until 2010. But hey, thanks, Beck. This Soros guy seems like someone worth checking out.

Then there's also the long list of books Soros authored, because he's so secretive about his beliefs and needs to be "outed" on them, you know. Books on things like transitioning governments from communism to democracy. Oops, Beckers didn't tell you about that, did he? He was too busy ranting about how evil it was that Soros helped fund the Velvet Revolution that he neglected to mention that the Velvet Revolution was what transitioned then Czechoslovakia from an oppressive Soviet regime into a democracy.

Not that I think it's a good idea to fund revolutions of any sort. Just pointing out that if Soros had been in favor of Bush policies, you'd think he was a hero.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

And you provide yet another example of why you'd view him as a hero if he would only have been slightly more conservative. He engaged in something you'd have otherwise called free market enterprise.

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm not defending him so much as mocking you for swallowing whatever the propaganda machine serves you without any sort of critical thinking skills.

Soros is Soros. He's an egomaniac that gets rich off of speculating in deregulated markets, and he openly donates his money to a bunch of liberal groups, but he's hardly a communist, anti-semite puppet-master that controls the world.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 7 months ago

Soros, the answer to all of the woes of the repub party, as if there was an answer. If you sukk, you sukk, and there isn't anything that can be done about that. Time to give it up, wake up and get progressive, before it is too late.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 1 month ago

George S. is still trying to get some action for all the millions he dumped into the 2004 election for no result.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 1 month ago

The irony here is that while this is an interesting article and a counter-argument article would be equally interesting, the question I have is how many actual voters read these types of things. Those that get up and vote for Brownback or Obama (generally speaking) don't read stuff like this nor do they care. We gat the leaders we deserve.

lunacydetector 4 years, 1 month ago

did reporter scott rothschild ever do a hit piece when sebelius was governor? i think 'we' all know the answer to that one. unbiased reporting is a thing of the past in today's journal world as it is in all the major so-called mainstream news organizations. it is getting tiresome.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Define "hit piece."

Is there something in this piece that's untrue? Is there something that the general public shouldn't know about?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Looks to me like a journalist doing his job.

But that's really why you don't like him, isn't it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Yea, reporting the facts has always been a sure sign of being a liberal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Soros has always been a rather contradictory fellow. Probably even a bit of a hypocrite.

But what does that have to do with ALEC being a corporate front group throwing bucket loads of cash in a rather blatant effort to manipulate the legislative process, made all too easy with so many willfully corrupt lawmakers at their beck and call?

chootspa 4 years, 1 month ago

I missed the part where Krugman said he had bunches of legislators in his pocket and managed to get 20% of his hand-crafted laws enacted in all the states. So far, all I've seen him accused of is well-timed stock moves.

lunacydetector 4 years, 1 month ago

soros controls the press. he pays them to be in his liberal non-profit groups and they fall in line.

overthemoon 4 years, 1 month ago

Nothing like this goes on with Dem Governors and legislators. This is uniquely a conservative machine. And please no 'What about Soros' attempts to show equivalency. Soros is a small player and has had very little impact in comparison. And it simply not possible for Democrats, Liberals or Progressives to pull off something like this because there is no unifying 'agenda' that holds any of these groups together. I know, we'll hear screams of Socialist, Marxist, Communist and any number of other imagined left agendas, but in fact there are no such agendas and no such organization on the left like ALEC. Period.

overthemoon 4 years, 1 month ago

Nothing like this goes on with Dem Governors and legislators. This is uniquely a conservative machine. And please no 'What about Soros' attempts to show equivalency. Soros is a small player and has had very little impact in comparison. And it simply not possible for Democrats, Liberals or Progressives to pull off something like this because there is no unifying 'agenda' that holds any of these groups together. I know, we'll hear screams of Socialist, Marxist, Communist and any number of other imagined left agendas, but in fact there are no such agendas and no such organization on the left like ALEC. Period.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 7 months ago

She took some heat for being in favor of the coal fired plant. She decided to back off then. That is what we call democracy. Try getting that result with Brownback or any repub for that matter. Look at Scott Walker. He will go down fighting all the way. He doesn't care what the people want. He only answers to the Koch brothers.

Joe Hyde 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm very proud of the Lawrence Journal-World for publishing this investigative article whose subject matter is of great fundamental importance to Kansas voters. I hope many newspapers across the state reprint this story.

verity 4 years, 1 month ago

Attack the messenger if you don't like the message.

Deflect if you can't deny the message.

Or debate the merits of the message.

Scott Tichenor 4 years, 1 month ago

"Last year, Kansas taxpayers were billed $9,132 to send legislators to ALEC meetings."

Got it. Good to see all Kansans are now being taxed in order to back up the agenda of the Koch family. This state has officially ceased being one of representation. We now all must bow to the oil king Oz Brownback. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. He's simply marching to the Koch Brothers agenda.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

The EPA's function is to protect the environment.

It doesn't exist to make things easy for businesses.

Gregory Newman 4 years, 1 month ago

This ALEC is a Snowball that is immune to hot and cold. The Repugs are amazing liars? When they say don’t tax the American people they mean themselves. The annual salary of a congress person is $174,000 but getting palms scratched by lobbyist they get an extra 2-3-4 hundred thou a month. That answers for the cry don’t tax the rich. Boner talks about jobs but the state of Ohio got 52 federal government contracts from Obama. NAFTA/GATT disallows for the jobs to return if Obama appeals it he will go out like Kennedy.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow, I hope this was stated in pure sarcasm. If not, it should be.

uncleandyt 4 years, 1 month ago

This story goes against nearly everything I've been led to not hear about. Does it make any sense that under-educated legislators would be gullible enough to allow fast-talkin' city-slickers to do their homework for them? , to write their papers? For fancy dinners and nice hotel rooms, we should at least listen to why public funding should be whittled away. If Bribery falls in the meeting rooms and no one is there to write about it, will ol' what's-'er-name be in New Orleans? As this thread goes dead, did it make a sound? Exchange rumour for fact. Tell your friends about ALEC. Thank you Scott, good work

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