Blog Roll
Who's My Legislator?

Virginia Blogs
All Things Education
Augusta Free Press
Crew of 42
Dixie Pig
Greater Greater Washington
Loudoun Progress
Ox Road South Blog
Pilot on Politics" blog
Power for the People
Richmond Sunlight
RVA Politics
Shad Plank
Vivian Paige

Find more about Weather in Arlington, VA
Click for weather forecast

Advanced Search

ALEC in Crisis; Virginia Speaker Bill Howell Tasked With Helping Save It

by: lowkell

Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 14:35:49 PM EST

Over at The Guardian, they've got a major scoop about our pals at the far-right-wingnut American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and their money and membership woes following the Trayvon Martin murder.
ALEC was embroiled in the controversy surrounding Florida's 2005 "stand-your-ground" law under which George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the 17-year-old Martin, initially claimed self-defence. The Florida law was picked up by ALEC, and, working in partnership with the National Rifle Association, used as a template for one of its "model bills", which was then taken up by other states across the country.

The Guardian has learned that by ALEC's own reckoning the network has lost almost 400 state legislators from its membership over the past two years, as well as more than 60 corporations that form the core of its funding. In the first six months of this year it suffered a hole in its budget of more than a third of its projected income.

The Guardian got a hold of internal ALEC documents from an August 2013 board meeting, in which they tried to figure out how 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." One of their strategies is what they call the "Prodigal Son Project" - an effort to win back some of the "more than 40 lapsed corporate members" who have ditched ALEC since February 2012. To accomplish this goal, ALEC tasks some of its biggest muckety-mucks - in other words, the biggest corporate crony capitalists - in the states. Here in Virginia, the dubious "honors" go to...our fine House Speaker Bill "ALEC" Howell (along with far-right-wing State Senator Ralph K. Smith). Yes, this is the same Bill Howell who attacked ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl as only understanding "little" words, after ProgressVA tore ALEC apart for a laughable "report card" ALEC issued, "marking Virginia's progress in instituting pro-corporate economic policies." Gotta love it.

P.S. By the way, in those ALEC documents, it lists the number of state legislature members who belong to ALEC. In the case of Virginia, it's 31 out of 140, or 22%. Every one of those corporate hacks richly deserves to be defeated, whether you're a progressive, a libertarian, or someone who believes in good government.

P.P.S. Does anyone else find it fascinating that it took a British newspaper to find this stuff out? Hello U.S. journalists?

lowkell :: ALEC in Crisis; Virginia Speaker Bill Howell Tasked With Helping Save It
Tags: , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Where might one find (0.00 / 0)
the list of the 31 corporate hacks? (preferably without wading through the document dump, for those of us who are search-challenged)   Thank you.

Not sure where to get a list of names. (0.00 / 0)
In the ALEC documents leaked to The Guardian, they just list total numbers.

Follow me on Twitter. Follow Blue Virginia on Facebook and Twitter.

[ Parent ]

Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?



Donate to Blue Virginia

The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

P.S. You can contact us at and you can subscribe to Lowell's Twitter feed here. If you'd like to subscribe to Miles Grant's Twitter feed, click here. For Teacherken, click here. For Kindler, click here.

P.P.S. To see the Blue Virginia archive, please click here. To see the Raising Kaine archive, please click here. To see the Blue Commonwealth archive, please click here.

RSS Feed

Subscribe to Blue Virginia - Front Page

Powered by: SoapBlox