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E-M:/ Tom Alley and ALEC



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Enviro-Mich message from "Jeff Surfus" <jeffsurfus@email.msn.com>
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Friends,

Having never heard of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), I
decided to do a little internet research, primarily at the Environmental
Working Group's Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR)
web page.  For those of you who haven't visited the EWG web page
(http://www.ewg.org), it is a fantastic source of information on the "wise
use" movement and corporate America's tactics against environmental
regulation.

For those of you who would like to see info on ALEC, go to

http://www.ewg.org/pub/home/clear/view/CV_Vol4_No1.html

Some of the lowlights on this organization follow:

ALEC is a key organization in the "wise use" movement.  It has been
identified as a member of the Grassroots ESA Coalition, a collection of over
two hundred 'wise use' groups with the common goal of substantial weakening,
if not repeal of the ESA.  ALEC is a member of Get Government Off Our Back
(GOOB), an ad-hoc coalition of thirty-nine anti-regulatory, conservative
public policy organizations.

According to CLEAR, "In addition to its membership of elected officials,
ALEC includes representatives of the corporate world as both active members
and funders of the organization. Literature lists over 300 corporate
sponsors of ALEC.  In its literature, ALEC states that it "ensures loyalty
from its legislative and corporate constituencies by involving them directly
in the operation of the organization." ALEC accomplishes this by pairing
state legislators, who serve as ALEC State Chairs, with representatives of
business who serve as
ALEC State Private Sector Chairs. According to current ALEC literature,every
state in the nation, as well as Puerto Rico, is represented by at least one
legislative ALEC State Chair, and most also have a Private Sector
Chair."

The list of corporate sponsors is a virtual corporate who's who of corporate
bad actors (environmental and otherwise), including:  Browning Ferris
Industries, WMX, all the major petroleum companies, most major electric
utilities, most major paper producers, most major tobacco companies, most
major chemical companies and the Chemical Manufacturers' Association, the
National Rifle Association, the Christian Coalition, Amway, Walmart, many
mining companies, etc., etc.  A complete list is at the above web site.

According to CLEAR, "ALEC is in a key position to affect the political
direction of public policy. ALEC is well
organized, well funded and perfectly poised to take advantage of the
resurgence of state power that has come about as a result of the
conservative shift in Congress.  State-based progressive activists should be
aware of, and concerned about, the activities of ALEC representatives on the
state level. ALEC is present in each state, with elected officials and
business people as active members."

We can all now glow with pride that a fellow Michigan resident has taken a
leadership position with this fine, upstanding organization!  It sounds like
it was a marriage made in heaven!

Jeff Surfus





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