Red Rover, Red Rover, let ALEC come over

 

Red Rover, Red Rover

In the Porch’s last blog post, we talked about ALEC, its legislator members and how it works in secrecy to pair large corporations and lawmakers.  ALEC holds private meetings at posh resorts where members and big corporations secretly vote on model laws that the legislators then take back to their states as their own and introduce.

The first question for Oklahoma voters is…. which Oklahoma representatives and senators are members of ALEC? Membership information is not widely available, but some public documents and watch groups have listed some members’ names.

 

Oklahoma Members of ALEC 

In September of 2014 Google decided to “bow out” of its membership in ALEC.  ALEC didn’t take kindly to losing such a big and powerful entity from its club, so, ALEC penned a letter to GOOGLE protesting its withdrawal and listing the names of 214 legislators who “signed” the letter.

Oklahomans who are listed as signing the letter as ALEC members are:

  1. Rep. John Enns
  2. Sen. Kim David
  3. Sen. Rob Johnson
  4. Sen. Gary Stanislawski
  5. Rep. Tom Newell
  6. Rep. Mike Sanders
  7. Rep. Jason Murphey
  8. Rep. Harold Wright
  9. Rep. Ann Coody
  10. Sen. Cliff Aldridge
  11. Rep. Mike Jackson
  12. Rep. David Derby
  13. Sen. Bill Brown
 
 
Sourcewatch lists the following former and current Oklahoma legislators as ALEC members:
 

Oklahoma Legislators with ALEC Ties

House of Representatives

 

What are we entitled to know?

ALEC operates in a secret manner in secret votes alongside our elected officials.  So what are Oklahoma voters entitled to know from their legislators?  

At a minimum, we need to ask our state representatives and senators the following:
  1. Are you currently a member of ALEC?
  2. Have you ever been a member of ALEC?
  3. If so, when did you withdraw from membership?
  4. Have you ever received any money from ALEC in the form of a scholarship?
  5. Have you ever attended an ALEC meeting?  
  6. Are you planning on attending the ALEC meeting in July of this year?
  7. What corporations have you met with at an ALEC meeting?
  8. What votes did you make at an ALEC meeting — on what proposed legislation?  When?
  9. Have you introduced any legislation that was obtained from ALEC?
  10. Do you plan on introducing any legislation in the future that is model ALEC legislation?
  11. Have you reported the money you have received from ALEC to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission?

Not everything that ALEC introduces as model legislation is bad policy. But it is the method of access, the secrecy, the payment of money for the access and private vacations that are absolutely unacceptable in a democracy. Big money has decided it doesn’t want to “lobby” anymore — it wants to usurp us working folk.  

ALEC has been able to undermine our legislative process because we have allowed it to.  

Don’t Underestimate the Power of One

  • If you haven’t registered to vote, DO IT. 
  • We know how tiring politics can be – the ads, the ads, the lies, the ads, and more ads and more promises. But people like ALEC and the big companies they represent are counting on us to continue to be disgusted – and apathetic.
  • VOTE!  
  • E-mail your legislator.  
  • Decide that your senator and representative need to know that you, the voter, will hold their feet to the fire over these secret votes, secret vacations, secret agendas. 
  • Isn’t it time? Join the good folks on our porch. Let’s take our country back.