Get Me Val on the Gentner—we have an emergency

If you have lived in Oklahoma for any length of time you know what those words mean — “Get me Val on the Gentner.”  Things were getting serious when Gary England said those words.  We knew to stay glued for our very lives depended on it.

We have a Gentner emergency fellow Oklahomans.

 

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We have a Gentner emergency–stay glued for further advisories

The Gentner emergency comes from a innocent sounding non-profit called ALEC.

You’re probably scratching your head right now, wondering what the heck Grandma’s porch is spewing today.

Who is this ALEC and why should we care?

Trust us when we say that ALEC is a dangerous organization working in the shadows in Oklahoma.  They are responsible for many of Oklahoma’s new laws.

These ALEC laws are introduced and passed in a way that is so sneaky and crafty that it is going to take a groundswell of good folk to rid ourselves of this parasite.

The American Legislative Exchange Council:  An educational non-profit???

ALEC represents itself as a purely “educational” non-profit.

As you can see from the Atlanta news station video, this is how it works porch friends:

  • Your friendly local state representative or senator pays a modest “membership” fee to join ALEC so they can become “educated” by the good people there.
  • ALEC membership is not open to the public, the media, or others who are just interested in good governance. Membership belongs to an elite club – those elected officials who actually have the power to pass laws, administrative rules and ordinances.
  • For that modest membership fee the members (those people who we all thought we elected to represent all of us on the porch) are entitled to “scholarships” for their ….um…… “continuing education.”
  • ALEC holds a yearly conference for this “educating.”
  • Now, I bet you fellow porch dwellers are catching on fast here.  The conferences aren’t held just any old place.  Heck, this year’s conference is going to be held in San Diego.  July 21-25 at the Hyatt Regency.
  • Those ALEC members (state legislators) receive “scholarships” from ALEC for their travel, lodging, food, massages, daycare for the kiddos, etc., to attend these annual “education” conferences —you get the picture.
  • Corporations pay big money as fees to fund those “scholarships”.

What do they get?  

The best kind of influence any corporation could ask for:

    1. ALEC has committees (called a Task Force) which big corporations pay to be involved with.
    2. Members (legislators) choose which Task Force they want to be a part of.
    3. Here’s the good part for the corporations – in closed door meetings at this conference they get to present “draft” legislation, written by their corporate lawyers, to the “members” for discussion.
    4. The members from all over the U.S. and the corporations both get equal votes on the “model” legislation.
    5. ALEC “members” then take that “model” legislation back to their state and introduce it as their own sponsored bill, without any indication that it came from a corporate sponsored think tank.

Think of ALEC as a dating service for elected officials and rich companies.

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Not all model ALEC legislation is made public.
 
In recent years ALEC has opened its doors a little bit to appear to be “transparent.”
 
Many of the anti-public education and pro-oil and gas industry bills introduced over the past few years in Oklahoma are ALEC based.  
 
Some of these model bills have been passed and signed by our Governor.
 

Who are the current state chairs for ALEC?

The current House state chair for ALEC is Rep. Harold Wright, Republican from Weatherford.
 
The current Senate state chair for ALEC is Sen. Kim David, Republican from Porter.
 
In future blog posts we will attempt to identify those known ALEC legislative “members” from Oklahoma.
 

What can we do?

What can the average Oklahoma voter do to rid ourselves of this parasite?
 
Does Oklahoma require representatives to report “scholarship” money?
 
What does ALEC have planned as model legislation for this next legislative session?
 
How can we make sure that our hard working porch dwellers can be heard by our politicians?
 
 
Please share our blog so we can start a dialogue about how the good Oklahomans in the middle can stop this type of powerful influence.
 
 
To be continued……..
 
My Grandma’s Porch