The Senate held the long awaited hearing on Stand Your Ground laws today. They addressed issues of the involvement of ALEC in developing and disseminating this law as model legislation - and of the corporate involvement in funding ALEC's model legislation.
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) submitted testimony to the Senate on this issue. In the testimony provided, CMD acknowledged the work of "DK Bloggers" who have helped shine a light upon ALEC and their activities:
ALEC’s Corporate Funders Were Known Well before this HearingPlease take the time to read the full CMD testimony here.
Accordingly, it is astonishing ALEC and a small number of its legislators – many of whom get their trips to ALEC resort meetings paid for by corporations, whose identities are well known to them – are taking umbrage at this Committee for inquiring about ALEC’s legislative agenda and which corporations have bankrolled it. The lawmakers know who funds ALEC’s bill machine and their trips, but until we launched ALECexposed two years ago, the public was largely in the dark about these special interests and the one-stop shopping ALEC provides for corporations and trade groups to secretly advance the same cookie-cutter bills in nearly every state.
Despite the hoopla trumped up over Senator Durbin’s letter, quite frankly, every single for-profit and non-profit corporation this Committee asked about its support for ALEC and its long-standing gun agenda is a corporation that is publicly known to have funded ALEC or participated in its meetings about bills, based on the investigative research of CMD, along with others like Common Cause, DBA Press, VLTP, CAP, Greenpeace, bloggers at Daily Kos, and many, many ordinary citizen sleuths.
You are invited to also read my take on the hearing published at VLTP.net, here.
Getting governmental or legislative bodies to even acknowledge the existence of ALEC has been nearly a decade in the making. Today's hearing marks another "first"...as most are now aware the first ever ALEC protest and demonstration took place two years ago after DK bloggers called for protesting ALEC in Cincinnati at ALEC's Spring Summit.
Students and organizers put together a great program there in Cincinnati and ALEC's existence and nefarious legislative activities have been increasingly in the spotlight ever since.
Many of you here on DK share responsibility for the monumental feat of making ALEC a household word associated with disseminating legislation designed to garner the maximum corporate benefit for their members.
Stand your ground legislation is merely the tip of the model legislation iceberg. Thousands of other onerous laws are now on the books in every state and a few at the federal level that originated within ALEC's secretive chambers - a result of joint efforts between conservative lawmakers and corporate representatives to write and support them.
Kudos to all here at DK who have taken part in exposing ALEC - no matter how large or small your part was. The culmination of our work resulted in watching our senior Senators take part in a hearing that finally acknowledged the existence of ALEC - and how they and corporations are involved in redrawing our criminal justice laws.