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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Remember ALEC? It sort of hopes you don’t ...

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive right-wing group that encourages state legislatures to deregulate some things — like polluters and guns — and crack down on others — like poor folks and ethnic groups who vote — met in Salt Lake City in the summer of 2012. Stirred up some fuss.

ALEC works in secrecy, Utah activists in public — Peg McEntee | The Salt Lake Tribune 7/27/12

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More fuss has turned up more recently:

ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row — The Guardian

"An influential US lobbying network of Republican politicians and big businesses is seeking to avert a looming funding crisis by appealing to major donors that have abandoned it over the past two years following criticism of its policy on gun laws. ..."

Internal documents reveal so-called ‘Prodigal Son Project’ — The Guardian

ALEC stands its ground, behind closed doors — Dana Milbank | The Washington Post, via sltrib.com

" ... When I first dealt with ALEC as a state government reporter 18 years ago, it was right of center but known for thoughtful policy research. But it has since adopted an aggressive agenda to pass legislation expanding gun rights and voter-identification requirements, and limit the reach of public-employee unions, social-welfare programs, consumer and environmental protections, and Obamacare. ..."

If You Liked ‘Stand Your Ground,’ You’ll Love the Jeffersonian Project — David Firestone | The New York Times

" ... The internal documents obtained by The Guardian show that ALEC is setting up the Jeffersonian Project ‘to avoid any argument that ALEC has engaged in lobbying.’ Even more important is this reason: "ALEC has been approached by donors who are willing to make sizable donations, but insist that the donations go to a section 501(c)(4) organization. Jeffersonian Project would provide a vehicle to accept such contributions.

"And why would anyone insist on donating only to such an organization? Precisely because those donations can be anonymous while supporting lobbying. ..."

ALEC sought a loyalty oath from key state lawmakers — Barbara Shelly | The Kansas City Star

" ... One of the most interesting documents is a proposed job description for the legislators designated to head up their state delegations. Along with striving to increase membership in ALEC by 10 percent a year and informing the group of all public information requests that include ALEC documents, it was proposed that state chairs take a loyalty oath: ‘I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first.’ ... "

Powerful right-wing lobby ALEC desperate and hurting after Trayvon Martin — David Ferguson | The Raw Story

Ted Cruz To ALEC: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Against Criticism — Amanda Terkel | The Huffington Post

Related??

Lee receives endorsement from Tea Party Express — Mike Gorrell | The Salt Lake Tribune

Conservative group endorses senator, blasts talk of a primary.



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