UPDATE #3 6:45PM: Apparently security is very tight. We haven’t learned much more other than the event is reportedly focused on education (not confirmed), and smart, evasive people are keeping anyone not on the list well away. We may not be able to get much more without some intrepid journalist actually heading over to the Hyatt and waiting for people to leave.
Which they have been known to occasionally do…
UPDATE #2: Uh-huh:
UPDATE: We’ve confirmed that the event is taking place–in fact getting underway as of this writing–at the Grand Hyatt. Details reportedly coming.
We just got a tip that there is some kind of significant event this evening at the Denver Grand Hyatt on behalf of the infamous American Legislative Exchange Council, a very well-funded conservative thinktank that drafts legislation on a variety of subjects to be carried by Republican state legislators around the county. Think Progress reported just a couple of days ago on ALEC’s latest campaign to legislatively repeal local paid sick days ordinances:
[T]he Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch has published an expose of how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – a corporate front group that farms out legislation to almost a third of state legislators nationwide – is drafting legislation on behalf of its wealthy conglomerate funders to repeal these ordinances.
PR Watch obtained documents from ALEC’s 2011 Annual Meeting showing that one of the group’s committees – the Labor and Business Regulation Subcommittee of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force – focused its entire meeting on the issue of paid sick leave. Task force members, who are legislators, were given copies of a bill that enables state legislatures to override municipal paid sick days laws. The same bill was used in Wisconsin to override Milwaukee’s paid sick days requirement.
It occurred to us there are some proponents of paid sick days who might want to know these ALEC folks are in town–and maybe who attends? Last spring, Campus Progress reported on ALEC’s legislative “election reform” efforts, which have an odor you might also recognize:
ALEC charges corporations a fee and gives them access to members of state legislatures. Under ALEC’s auspices, legislators, corporate representatives, and ALEC officials work together to draft model legislation, generally on business-related issues. As ALEC spokesperson Michael Bowman told NPR, this system is especially effective because “you have legislators who will ask questions much more freely at our meetings because they are not under the eyes of the press, the eyes of the voters.”
Tea Party organizations, like the Wisconsin Patriot Coalition, also look to ALEC for guidance. The group lists the Voter ID Act in its legislative agenda and directly links back to ALEC as its source…
The real effect of these Voter ID laws is to deter and prevent entire categories of potential voters from casting ballots-students and other young people, and minority voters. It’s unclear how disenfranchising any voter relates directly to ALEC’s stated principles of “limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty.” Efforts by corporate, conservative, and Tea Party interests to enact laws that would disenfranchise progressive-leaning constituencies-without evidence that vote fraud is a widespread issue-can only be viewed as a cynical, hardball tactic.
That seems awfully mean, doesn’t it? After all, Colorado House Bill 11-1003 didn’t impose any requirements that you already didn’t need to rent a movie or buy a beer, right?
Oh sorry, that’s an ALEC talking point too! They’re so, you know, ubiquitous.
Anyway, we haven’t seen any news reports about this event tonight, and we’re working to confirm our good-authority tip. We thought that perhaps shining a light on this, with our crack readers often able to confirm things faster than our local press…might be a good idea.