ALEC In Denver Tonight?

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.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    That you attack ALEC with propaganda from CAP…

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      how the party goes. If Denver voters want a sick-leave ordinance, who are they to stand in the way of the Titans of Industry?

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      Based on your posts I believe you think it is better to push governing as close to the voters as possible. So better to have something handled by the states than the feds where possible. And better to have it handled by the cities than the state where possible.

      So do you think states should pass a law disallowing mandatory sick leave? Or should that be left to each city?

      And if so, do you then think it is equally proper for the state to pass a law mandating paid sick leave. (I’m not asking if you would support it, just would you find it a proper role for the state.)

      Enquiring minds want to know…

      • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

        You keep asking AGOP to think…

        ain’t happenin’, dude.

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        First of all, thank you for the very reasonable question.

        What I support is the most favorable economic conditions that can be created by government, which is the least amount of interference to free enterprise and the free market as possible. In the case of mandatory paid sick days, I believe this represents an unwarranted intrusion by government into the free market contract between employers and employees. Many employers do already offer this benefit, but others operate on thin profit margins and are unable to. In both cases, employees are in a better position with a job than without one. The additional cost of paying employees for days they are not working will result in job losses in businesses where their margin is already as thin as can be.

        I would absolutely then support a statewide law to ban these ordinances, for two reasons: first because they are harmful to business, and second, because the passage of local ordinances mandating paid sick days would place those communities at an economic disadvantage.

        Again, I really enjoy the chance to have a conversation instead of pointless name-calling. You’re a credit to your side of the aisle, David.

        • Irish Patti says:

          this proposition has saved employers $600 per employee per year. Turnover causes one of the highest cost to business.

          You need to stop talking out of your ass; but then we’d never hear from you

        • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

          but this little tidbit;

          which is the least amount of interference to free enterprise and the free market as possible.

          is at the heart of your problem. You have bought into the absurd notion that, somehow, American capitalists (of whom, I presume you are one, since your rhetoric indicates such) are seeking a “free market”.


          This is not, never has been (since the early 20th century) a “free” market, and not one republican I know believes in a truly “free” market. You want a market that favors the wealthy and the corporations at the expense of the environment and all of those people who aren’t like you.

          Will you agree to end ALL federal subsidies, outlaw lobbying, remove ALL taxbreaks for corporations, end all trade agreements with other nations, and and all policies that underwrite, support, or assist private enterprise in any way?

          The way you right wing idealogues throw around the phrase “free market” ranks as one of the most absurd, hypocritical, aspects of republican policy.

          Oh, and this…

          Again, I really enjoy the chance to have a conversation instead of pointless name-calling. You’re a credit to your side of the aisle, David.

          I hardly think you are qualified to determine who is a credit to Davids’ side of the aisle. You seem to have no ability to process progressive thought.

          You want to have a conversation with liberals?…stop thinking you are better than us.


  2. MichaelEllis says:

    It’s a mistake to classify ALEC as “conservative.” ALEC is not motivated by ideology; it exploits ideology as a pretext, a smokescreen for its real agenda: supplanting representative democracy with corporatism. Defining ALEC as “conservative” is rather like defining Scientology as “religious.”

  3. Awen says:

    I was told this by one of the legislators who went to the conference. Hope that helps.

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