A Local television station in Omaha, KMTV, investigated the ALEC connection to the proposed voter ID laws in Nebraska. Iowa is also part of the story. ALEC has been called the most powerful force in American politics. We need more hard-hitting journalism like this from our local media outlets.
Watch as the reporter presents the evidence to their GOP State senator who introduced the voter ID bill.
Video and text here:
Here’s an excerpt from the story
The watchdog group says ALEC is writing many of the hot bills our lawmakers claim as their own.
“These think tanks essentially hand state legislatures changes to our laws that they desire,” [Brendan] Fischer [Center for Media and Democracy] added.
Action 3 News’s Liz Dorland has studied both Iowa and Nebraska’s proposed Voter ID bills and both hit on every single point in the ALEC template for “Voter ID Act” that is provided by ALEC Exposed
The co-sponsor of Iowa’s bill is Senator Linda Upmeyer. She has clear ties to ALEC- in fact, she’s the Treasurer.
How about Nebraska’s bill?
Liz Dorland asked Senator Janssen, “I was looking at your bill and comparing it to Iowa’s bill and there’s a lot of similarities in the language.”
Senator Janssen responded, “I didn’t really use Iowa’s bill to draft my bill. I used Indiana’s bill originally.”
Dorland examined Indiana’s bill too. Again ever single point, down to an exception for nursing homes and a Monday deadline for bringing in your late ID, every single point matches the ALEC template.
Liz responded to Senator Janssen, “Indiana’s is very similar to this model draft that ALEC Exposed provides. They say this is the model draft for a lot of these bills across the entire nation. Do you know about ALEC?”
Sen. Janssen said, “You know what, the first time I’ve talked about ALEC in two years is when you inquired about it.”
“I’m not a member of ALEC. I’ve never attended an ALEC function either here in Lincoln or they have national conventions,” added the Fremont Senator.
Dorland handed him a document that still lists the Senator on a big ALEC committee.
Janssen admitted, “Yeah, on my first year here I, I signed up for ALEC and then let my dues lapse.”
Dorland asked him to explain why his bill is remarkably similar to ALEC’s model bill and handed both his bill and the ALEC template to him. “And so your bill is not similar to this? Have you seen that?”
“No. I do not look at any ALEC materials,” stated Sen. Janssen.
We did and the match is hard to ignore.
Nebraska’s Voter Id Bill, LB239 will be on the Agenda at the Nebraska State Capital on Monday.
Iowa’s Voter Id Bill passed the House in January and is waiting for the next round of approval.
Iowa’s Voter Id Bill can be found here: http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=billinfo&Service=Billbook&ga=84&hbill=HF95
Click on this link to find Nebraska’s Voter Id Bill: http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/Current/PDF/Intro/LB239.pdf
Indiana’s Voter Id Bill: http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/2010/title3/ar11/ch8.html
ALEC Exposed: http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed
ALEC Voter ID Act Template: http://alecexposed.org/w/images/d/d9/7G16-VOTER_ID_ACT_Exposed.pdf
American Legislative Exchange Council: http://www.alec.org/
Here are some links to Blog for Iowa’s coverage of ALEC:
Every member of the [Iowa] [update] House Republican delegation is a member of ALEC by virtue of not opting out of such membership. Membership dues are paid by the state, that is, by taxpayer money. At last check, all but one Democrat had resigned membership in ALEC.
And directly from the ALEC.org page:
“Among those who were involved with ALEC in its formative years were: Robert Kasten and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin; John Engler of Michigan; Terry Branstad of Iowa, and John Kasich of Ohio, all of whom moved on to become governors or members of Congress. “