Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

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Meade
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Meade » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:56 am

bdog is right - Hank is trolling. Time to lock it down, Joyce.

Detritus
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Detritus » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:00 am

In any case, ALEC as an organization is not the target of the open records laws--the legislators are. ALEC cannot immunize elected officials from any relevant laws and regulations at any level, state or federal. Moreover, the idea that there is a medium (dropbox) that immunizes records from oversight is laughable. I don't know who is stupider, the ALEC staffers promoting this idea, or the legislators who believe them.

Just a thought: if these actions on the part of ALEC promote subversion of the laws of multiple states, does that make the organization open to federal RICO prosecution?

Meade
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Meade » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:18 am

Detritus wrote:does that make the organization open to federal RICO prosecution?

If it does, heads up - progressives also might want to watch out for that viewpoint indiscriminate RICO dragnet.

david cohen
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby david cohen » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:43 am

the key is "promote subversion of the laws of multiple states". When ALICE starts to do that, then trolls can grow balls.

Stu Levitan
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Stu Levitan » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:09 pm

Meade wrote:bdog is right - Hank is trolling. Time to lock it down, Joyce.


Pot, meet kettle.

Meade
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Meade » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:13 pm

Oh come on, Stu, that is one of the biggest clichés on the internet. Surely, you, of all writers, can do better.

Stu Levitan
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Stu Levitan » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:16 pm

For you, I figured I should keep it simple. (BTW - the phrase actually predates the internet. It's true!)

Meade
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Meade » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:29 pm

Most internet clichés predate the internet, Stu.
For example: duh.

Btw, are you high?

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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Galoot » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:24 pm

Sorry, I am done with this forum until Jason bans that troll. He serves no purpose other than shitting all over threads.

Francis Di Domizio
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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:28 am

Detritus wrote:In any case, ALEC as an organization is not the target of the open records laws--the legislators are. ALEC cannot immunize elected officials from any relevant laws and regulations at any level, state or federal. Moreover, the idea that there is a medium (dropbox) that immunizes records from oversight is laughable.


I guess I'm a bit hung up on the technical side of this question. Would changing it from a drop box to a private forum make a difference? And if not, does that mean every website a elected official reads should be public record even if it wasn't accessed from work?

For that mater if an elected official has lunch with a lobbyist of group of concerned citizens and pending legislation is discussed or new legislation is suggested, wouldn't that be doing the same thing as what ALEC is just in a less organized manner?

It's also common for lawmakers to meet outside of the workplace. If they are like any other group that works together, at some point business is discussed. Should the Madison Common Council be required to bring a stenographer to the bar after meetings?

Henry Vilas wrote:Then you further say they will find another way to get around it, so why bother. Throwing up you hands and giving up is just what the GOP ALEC cabal wants.


I guess what I really meant to say is that, I think applying the open records law beyond the official process of making laws goes a bit too far. Is ALEC feeding complete legislative proposals to lawmakers? Sure, we already know that and many lobbying organizations regularly submit similar suggestions. I don't see a problem with that. Lawmakers get suggestions and ideas from all sorts of places. I don't think it's appropriate to make that subject to open records laws.

And frankly I don't think the issue is what ALEC is proposing, so much as how quickly our current crop of elected officials jump to respond.

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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby HawkHead » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:33 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
For that mater if an elected official has lunch with a lobbyist of group of concerned citizens and pending legislation is discussed or new legislation is suggested, wouldn't that be doing the same thing as what ALEC is just in a less organized manner?

It's also common for lawmakers to meet outside of the workplace. If they are like any other group that works together, at some point business is discussed. Should the Madison Common Council be required to bring a stenographer to the bar after meetings?


I am not sure that a group of concerned citizens has millions of dollars in their pockets to get a representative to sitdown and listen. (Or fly them to a swanky location for a week long seminar)

I think all "offical" meetings with groups should be listed on our representatives calendars. Our governor use to do that but now he doesn't or waits until months later to post.

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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:43 pm

HawkHead wrote:I am not sure that a group of concerned citizens has millions of dollars in their pockets to get a representative to sitdown and listen. (Or fly them to a swanky location for a week long seminar)

I think all "offical" meetings with groups should be listed on our representatives calendars. Our governor use to do that but now he doesn't or waits until months later to post.


I'm sure some groups of "concerned citizens" do have the money, but some legislators are more willing to meet with their constituents as well.

I agree that a lawmaker's work calendar should be public record, but I don't think that means we need to hear everything that goes on in those meetings unless they are part of their official duties.

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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:52 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:... I don't think that means we need to hear everything that goes on in those meetings unless they are part of their official duties.

Writing laws is certainly part of their official duties. When groups such as ALEC ghost write those laws, the public should know about it.

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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby HawkHead » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:53 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
I agree that a lawmaker's work calendar should be public record, but I don't think that means we need to hear everything that goes on in those meetings unless they are part of their official duties.


My feeling also. A big 3 days at an ALEC convention on a lawmakers calendar should be a red flag to the public. You don't need to know that they discussed voter ID, guns, lowering the minimum wage, relaxing child labor laws or abortion.

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Re: Secret ALEC communications with Wisconsin lawmakers

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:36 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:... I don't think that means we need to hear everything that goes on in those meetings unless they are part of their official duties.

Writing laws is certainly part of their official duties. When groups such as ALEC ghost write those laws, the public should know about it.


Henry, can you please define "groups such as ALEC". Maybe give some examples of other groups like ALEC?

As I already pointed out plenty of other groups "ghost write laws". That's part of what lobbists do. With ALEC my bigger concern isn't that they write down proposed legislation but that our elected officials do not appear to be filtering or editing those proposals at all.

I have no problem with the public knowing about these activities. That's why we have a free press. I do have a problem when we expect that everything that a lawmaker discusses becomes public record. I also have strong suspision Henry that you don't want everything that a lawmaker discusses to be public record, just everything they discuss with ALEC.


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