Archive for April 17, 2012
[Note from BFIA: This just in from Dave Bradley - ALEC continues to slowly come apart: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/04/17/465775/alec-retreat-non-economic-issues/ There was a brief discussion of ALEC on River-to-River yesterday. Slowly they are being exposed to light and it is killing them.]
Progress Iowa launches campaign to demand Legislators stop sending tax dollars to ALEC
Campaign launches on tax day calling on Legislators to opt out of taxpayer-funded memberships
DES MOINES – Progress Iowa today called on all Iowans to contact their legislators and demand they opt out of a taxpayer funded membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing corporate front group.
“Today we are asking every Iowan to contact their legislator and tell them that sending taxpayer dollars to ALEC is unacceptable,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Our legislators need to opt out of ALEC immediately. If a legislator has already opted out of ALEC, they need to speak out against the organization. We have a right to know that our tax dollars aren’t being spent on a shadowy group promoting an extreme right-wing agenda.”
Yesterday State Representative Kevin McCarthy spoke about the issue on Iowa Public Radio, saying “39 of (the) 40 members of our caucus have opted out so that we’re not having taxpayer dollars sent to this organization that advocates for things like ‘Stand your Ground’ which is why the Gates Foundation, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, and other entities are withdrawing their financial support from this organization.”
ALEC is a secretive, corporate front group that drafts legislation, allowing Iowa legislators to pass it off as their own. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC has provided model legislation in Iowa to suppress voter rights, withdraw from regional environmental partnerships, and require ‘intellectual diversity’ reporting from our college campuses.
During the past few weeks, ALEC has received mounting criticism for their role in promoting controversial legislation, such as “Stand Your Ground” laws, which have been implicated in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
As a result, a number of high profile corporations and organizations have ended their financial support of ALEC, including: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, Intuit, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Mars, Inc.
ALEC-modeled legislation in Iowa (click here for full information including links to Iowa legislation and ALEC model legislation):
HF6 (introduced 1/11/11) “an act requiring the development of a searchable budget database.” Compare to ALEC’s “Transparency and Government Accountability Act.”
HR4 (introduced 1/26/11), a “A resolution calling for the withdrawal of the State of Iowa from the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord.” Compare to ALEC’s “State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives.”
HF95 (passed by the House 1/27/11) “establishing a requirement for voters to provide certain identification when voting in person.” Compare to ALEC’s “Voter ID Act.”
HSB19 (recorded 1/20/11) “concerning state preemption of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition regulation by political subdivisions and providing a remedy.” Compare to ALEC’s “Consistency in Firearms Regulation Act.”
HF285 (introduced 2/15/11) “relating to intellectual diversity in community colleges and institutions of higher education under the control of the state board of regents and providing a reporting requirement.” Compare to ALEC’s “Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education Act.”
Sen. Sandra H. Greiner (R-45)
Sen. Tim L. Kapucian (R-20)
Sen. James A. Seymour (R-28)
Rep. Richard T. Anderson (R-97)
Rep. Richard Arnold (R-72)
Rep. Betty De Boef (R-76)
Rep. Dave Deyoe (R-10)
Rep. Greg Forristall (R-98)
Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa (R-99)
Rep. David Heaton (R-91)
Rep. Stewart E. Iverson, Jr. (R-9)
Rep. Mark S. Lofgren (R-80)
Rep. Linda Miller (R-82)
Rep. Steven Olson (R-83)
Rep. Kim Pearson (R-42)
Rep. Dawn E. Pettengill (R-39)
Rep. Brian J. Quirk (D-15)
Rep. Thomas R. Sands (R-87)
Rep. Charles Soderberg (R-3)
Rep. Linda Upmeyer (R-12)
Rep. Ralph Watts (R-47)
Action Alert From the Iowa Sierra Club:
The Iowa House of Representatives will soon consider House File 2449, referred to as the “efficiency” bill, that directs the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to inventory all of its public lands (Division V, Section 16) and prohibits the DNR from purchasing any additional agricultural land (Division V, Section 17).
Tell your Iowa House Representative that you oppose these sections of the bill.
Risks Iowa’s Water Quality. Iowa law defines agricultural land as virtually all land in Iowa. The DNR would be prohibited from purchasing wetlands, prairies, parks and river buffers to protect water quality.
Sacrifices the Natural Legacy. This land does not belong to the government. It belongs to Iowans. Don’t let anyone hijack our state’s future.
Is Fiscally Irresponsible. Public land in Iowa generates nearly $4 billion annually. HF2449 sacrifices the land we all share, land that is important to our economy.
Rep. Chris Hall (D-Woodbury) and Rep. Mary Gaskill (D-Wapello) have introduced H-8403 that strips all references to public lands from HF2449.
Neila Seaman, Director
Iowa Sierra Club