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Archive for Friday, February 3, 2012

Lawrence residents plan anti-ALEC rally in Topeka

February 3, 2012

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A grass roots organization founded by two Lawrence residents has scheduled a rally and other events later this month at the Capitol to bring attention to the American Legislative Exchange Council and its ties to Gov. Sam Brownback, Secretary of State Kris Kobach and many legislators.

“ALEC is the primary influence on the current administration, not Kansans,” said a news release from Kansans United in Voice & Spirit.

The group, along with KanVote and Kansas Stronger Together, plans events starting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15.

ALEC is a corporate-funded group that describes its mission as advancing free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty.

ALEC has advocated for reduction of state income taxes and its members have sponsored laws in several states, including Kansas, to require photo ID to vote.

Last session, Kobach helped push through a voter ID law in Kansas, saying it was needed to prevent voter fraud. Opponents say it will provide obstacles to voting for some groups, such as the elderly and minorities.

This session, Brownback has proposed a tax overhaul that would lower income tax rates while eliminating deductions, saying that will lead to economic growth. The plan has come under attack from some as transferring the tax burden to lower income families. Brownback also wrote the foreword to ALEC’s “Rich States, Poor States. Approximately 50 Kansas legislators are ALEC members.

Kansans United in Voice & Spirit was formed by Tamara Werth and Crystal McComas of Lawrence.

Comments

Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

Get a photo of both people who show up.

Jeff Zamrzla 2 years, 10 months ago

I think there will be several hundred spnc. I know you don't like to use your head for anything besides a hat rack. But that doesn't mean many Kansans aren't using theirs these days to think for a change. The tax swindle that is happening right now has my whole neighborhood up in arms. Every one of them, besides being republicans, are mad as hell. Of course, the houses here in my little subdivision are worth $400k+. Along with the interest on the first $250K disappearing as a deduction has everyone ready to burn brownbackistan to the ground.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

It's a bit disappointing that of all Brownback's activities one might be upset about, that the one you single out is the mortgage interest deduction.

What is the underlying justification for deducting that interest in the first place?

Jeff Zamrzla 2 years, 10 months ago

Since the elimination of income tax is one of brownbackistan's top priorities along with increasing LOB for school districts, I thought it important to show how he and laffer are going about it.

cowboy 2 years, 10 months ago

Should bill this as the "Pray away the Stupid Festival"

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

I take note of the time of the rally. It's during normal working hours. Whenever there are open meetings to discuss this issue or that, complaints are made in this forum that it's a conspiracy to prevent working people from attending and having their voice heard. Isn't that the case here as well?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Maybe they think that demonstrations directed toward the legislature might be more effective when someone is around to see it. Would you agree?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

That makes sense.
Still, there seems to be a double standard being critical of one type of meeting that excludes working people and then holding a rally that again excludes working people.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

There's a big difference between intentionally excluding working people in order to push an anti-worker, anti-middle-class agenda, and having a demonstration that anyone can choose to attend, if they are able.

When would suggest they have this demonstration?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

Stagger them all. State meetings that seek public input should be held throughout the week and at different times. Then, if you couldn't make a Tuesday, noon meeting you might be able to make a Saturday 6:00 pm meeting. The same with these anti state policy meetings.

kochmoney 2 years, 10 months ago

It says "starting at," so I suspect it will continue after the working people can show up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Your complaint/suggestion should be directed at the leaders of the legislature.

arizonajayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

While an undergrad Political Science major at KU, I was an intern for ALEC in the late 1990s. My role was legislative research assistant for the Health & Human Service Task Force. ALEC is a bi-partisan "think-tank" composed of both the public (state level) and private sector. ALECs mission is to create bi-partisan legislation at the state-level that is drafted by both the private-sector and their state legislative members in their respected state. I'm not understanding how "ALEC is the primary influence on the administration, not Kansans" when your elected officials who some are members of ALEC along with the private-sector pass legislation in Kansas when all house bills are voted on by all members of Congress. If what they are doing is unethical or wrong they would have been shut-down along time ago. I'm not hearing anything unethical. Please help me understand.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

No one says that what they are doing is illegal. But what they are doing is most certainly NOT bipartisan, and it most certainly does promote class warfare.

Is class warfare "ethical" in your book?

WilburNether 2 years, 10 months ago

Do you mean like the class warfare waged by NCSL, the left-wing equivalent to ALEC? NCSL is basically Democrats with some liberal Republicans.

kochmoney 2 years, 10 months ago

Just because you found two groups doesn't mean you've found parity. NCSL isn't owned by corporate interests, and it doesn't accept for-profit corporate members or donors. It's also considerably and deliberately much more bipartisan than ALEC ever was or will be.

kochmoney 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes. It has members of both lots of Republicans and a very few right-leaning Dems. Bipartisan!

As for the rest of it - It may not be illegal for massively rich private sector groups to draft legislation in cooperation with legislators in closed door meetings, but it is unethical, and it's an advantage that groups without money, like the middle class, the working poor, and the majority of the constituents in this state and any other don't have. It is detrimental to this country. Please don't confuse ethics and legality. The two are not the same. Your clear confusion on that point is part of the problem.

WilburNether 2 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, well, the other organization of state legislators, NCSL, has lots of Democrats and very few left-leaning Republicans.

The problem with you liberals is that you have a hissy fit when people express a point of view that's different from yours. I haven't seen any liberals whining about NCSL, only ALEC, because ALEC represents a point of view that is different from your own.

Liberals are the ultimate hypocrites.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Just because you can't provide a coherent defense of ALEC doesn't mean that there is an "evil, liberal" counterpart.

"Day-to-day operations of the organization are in the hands of its Executive Director, William T. Pound. The organization is led by a legislator who serves as its President and by a legislative staffer who serves as Staff Chair. Twenty years after its founding, NCSL was led in 1994 by its first female President, former Congresswoman Karen McCarthy. Its first African-American President, Rep. Daniel T. Blue, served in 1998-99. Currently, the 2011-2012 President of NCSL is Sen. Stephen Morris of Kansas, and the Staff Chair is Michael Adams. Each year, NCSL’s presidency alternates between legislators of the Republican and Democratic parties."

kochmoney 2 years, 10 months ago

NCSL has a lot of points of view different than my own. Probably because they're not really that liberal, but I guess it's easier and easier to be seen as liberal when extreme rightist groups move even further to the right.

I disagree with NCSL's position on climate change, for instance. I'd rather we see a strong federal law with less state flexibility. They'd rather we pass a weak bill and allow states more leeway. The reason I don't complain about NCSL is because they don't allow corporations to wine and dine them and write model legislation in closed door sessions, not because I think they're doing a fine job.

I expect my legislators to get together and discuss ideas. I don't expect them to allow rich entities to buy access in a way that the rest of us simply cannot.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Corporate Education Reformers Plot Next Steps at Secretive Meeting ALEC Education "Academy" Launches on Island Resort by Dustin Beilke

Today, hundreds of state legislators from across the nation will head out to an "island" resort on the coast of Florida to a unique "education academy" sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

There will be no students or teachers. Instead, legislators, representatives from right-wing think tanks and for-profit education corporations will meet behind closed doors to channel their inner Milton Friedman and promote the radical transformation of the American education system into a private, for-profit enterprise.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/02-9

Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

huffpo & commondreams, you're hitting the big time there, bub.

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