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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Common Cause against ALEC, filibuster rule

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Dan Froomkin at Huffington Post reports on an unearthed memo in which ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) handlers brief state legislative stooges on talking points to invoke should someone ask embarrassing questions about the corporate subsidies and dominance of the corporate legislation factory so beloved by Republican legislators.

The report demonstrates that the talking points you'll hear are mostly disinformation.

Among the responses recommended in the memo: "Since ALEC is a legislative organization our state legislators take the lead on proposing legislation and only the public sector votes to adopt legislation as ALEC policy."

But Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which published an exposé of ALEC last year, told HuffPost in an email that's not true. Documents uncovered by her group and by public interest group Common Cause clearly show "that numerous bills were introduced where the corporate lobbyist or special interest group rep took the lead on proposing legislation."

ALEC meetings, she said, "are designed to spoonfeed ALEC legislators industry-funded science and corporate-based 'studies' that advance the corporate agenda."

Common Cause is leading the fight on ALEC. It is also leading the fight on the end of democracy in the U.S. Senate, where 60 votes are essentially now required to do anything. Common Cause has filed a lawsuit today arguing that the filibuster rule is unconstitutional and violates "the core American principle of majority rule."

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