Public Enemy

It seems like the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) isn’t so happy about being less of a secret now:

Yesterday, at a conference in New Orleans, two ThinkProgress reporters were attacked by security guards for no apparent reason. Reporters Scott Keyes and Lee Fang were at the Marriott Hotel for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting, an event that brings together state lawmakers with corporate lobbyists to draft “model” legislation.

While we stood by the second floor lobby of the conference hotel, security guards surrounded us, demanding that we leave. As we were leaving, they approached us, violently pushed us and twisted our arms. A guard approached Fang from behind, tackling him and later bending his arm to take his camera. Keyes, faced similar treatment: two security guards roughed him up on the escalator, taking his video camera, and cutting Keyes’ hand as he attempted to leave the premises. As Keyes asked why he was being forced to leave, he was shoved from the back.

Asked why they were being so belligerent, the security guards said they were acting on instructions from ALEC.

The video is here.

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Someone needs to get the names of every elected official who attended this closed and secret corporate influence-buying meeting.

  2. 2

    Cpl Nobby spews:

    ALECexposed is a good source on the organisation. I think six washington legislators are listed there.
    Jan Angel is listed as the state contact person. In a few exchanges with her via email, she ended up claiming ignorance of the groups overal strategies.
    Whoever runs against her next, and the other state members, has an easily availible line of questions to ask. Starting with, Who are you representing with this group? What laws have you introduced in state from the ALEC catalog? What state monies do you use in connection with this group?

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    ALEC is a right-wing group founded by Paul Weyrich that has received Koch money.

    http://www.thenation.com/artic.....ec-exposed
    http://www.thenation.com/artic.....connection

    Here are Washington legislators with ALEC ties. Note there are 3 Democrats on this list:

    House:

    Rep. Jan Angel (R-26), ALEC State Chairman[137] and Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Member
    Rep. Matt Shea (R-4), ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Member
    Rep. Gary C. Alexander (R-20), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Member
    Rep. Troy Kelley (D-28), ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force Member
    Rep. Charles R. Ross (R-14), ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force Member
    Rep. Barbara Bailey (R-10), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force Member
    Rep. Joe Schmick (R-9), ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Member
    Rep. Kevin W. Van De Wege (D-24), ALEC Education Task Force Member
    Rep. Kevin Parker (R-6), ALEC Education Task Force Member
    Rep. Mike Armstrong (R-12), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force and Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Member

    Senate

    Sen. Don Benton (R-17), ALEC State Chairman[138] and International Relations Task Force Member
    Sen. Val Stevens (R-39),[15] ALEC International Relations Task Force Member
    Sen. Linda Evans Parlette (R-12), ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Member
    Sen. Joseph Zarelli (R-18), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Member
    Sen. Michael Carrell (R-28), ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force Member
    Sen. Pamela Jean Roach (R-31), ALEC International Relations Task Force Member
    Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-42), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force Member
    Sen. Janea Holmquist (R-13), ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Member
    Sen. Brian Hatfield (D-19), ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Member
    Sen. Randi Becker (R-2), ALEC Education Task Force Member
    Sen. Mike D. Hewitt (R-16), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Alternate

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/ind....._ALEC_Ties

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I also note that 4 of the 6 Wisconsin state senators up for recall this Tuesday are on ALEC’s list.

  5. 6

    rhp6033 spews:

    Well, if I were a state legislator, I’d probably want to be a member just to get a little advance knowledge of what they are going to do.

    But one of the things which disturbs me is that ALEC and the “security guards” (i.e., Brownshirts) will probably get away with assault and battery, not to mention theft (the cameras). We really need to prosecute these issues every time, both civily and criminally.

    One of the advantages of a civil lawsuit is it opens the door to some pretty extensive discovery. Name the security guard company which was contracted by either the hotel or ALEC, and depose each and every security guard. Then depose the hotel management, and any employees who witnessed the asault.

    Sure, they will probably deny all knowledge of the events, and throw a few of the lowest-level security guards under the bus
    as scapegoats. But in the meantime the entire ALEC organization can be deposed.

    Yes, it’s expensive. But get a few unions to help fund the effort (they are the ones which ALEC is painting a big target on their backs), find a law firm interested in pursuing this on a reduced rate using Union volunteers to do legwork, and it could yield some interesting results.