Interesting ALEC Quotes
(This is an ongoing list of interesting quotes by people with ties to ALEC, started in July 2011. CMD encourages reporters, citizens journalists, and others to add verified quotes to this list.)
- The New Hampshire State Legislature tried and failed to pass ALEC's Voter ID legislation this past year (the bill was vetoed by the state's democratic Governor). New Hampshire House Speaker William O'Brien was caught on camera explaining the motivation for the legislation, saying that college kids are "foolish" and lack "life experience." He added that students "just vote with their feelings" and "Voting as a Liberal. That's what kids do."
- In 1980, ALEC co-founder Paul Weyrich told a group of 15,000 conservative preachers in Dallas:
"Now many of our Christians have what I call the "goo goo" syndrome. Good Government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."
- In December, 2008, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels crowed to an American Legislative Exchange Council State and Nation Policy Summit, “this is a terrific time to shrink government.”
- In August, 2005, "Dr. John Kalmar, an oral pathologist and professor at Ohio State University, said during the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington, DC that smokeless tobacco products can play ‘a positive health role’ because it is more effective in delivering nicotine than current alternatives such as nicotine gum and the nicotine patch. He criticized the US government and anti-smoking campaigners for overlooking the potential benefits of smokeless tobacco in helping smokers quit. He said nicotine gum takes 30-50 minutes to give a blood level that is equivalent to a cigarette, while smokeless tobacco provides it in 10-15 minutes. He said no correlation has been shown between smokeless tobacco and heart disease or lung or throat cancer. Steven Milloy, author of JunkScience.com, also criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for claiming that 400,000 people die every year from alleged smoking-related illnesses, saying that studies linking smoking to heart disease are not entirely reliable. He pointed out that smokers have higher heart disease rates than non-smokers partly because smokers also tend to be people who do not exercise, have worse diets, avoid doctors and havc less healthy lifestyles overall."
- In a luncheon speech to ALEC in 2002, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, later the Bush administration's Health and Human Services secretary, is quoted as saying:
Myself, I always loved going to these meetings because I always found new ideas. Then I'd take them back to Wisconsin, disguise them a little bit, and declare that 'It's mine.'
- In a June, 1989, letter from Margaret Rita, Manager of Legislative Issues for the Tobacco Institute, to Norman Sharp, President of the Cigar Association of America about planning of an ALEC Task Force meeting, tobacco lobbyist Rita wrote:
For your information, yesterday I attended two workshop planning meetings for the toxics and degradable packaging workshops being held at the ALEC Annual Meeting in Monterey. ... Michele and I will be involved in the planning of the toxics workshop only to the extent of ensuring that there is no industry bashing in the panel presentations.
- The late Paul Weyrich helped Eric Heubeck pen a radical-right manifesto in 2001.
"This essay is based on the belief that the truth of an idea is not
the primary reason for its acceptance. Far more important is the energy and dedication of the idea’s promoters—in other words, theindividuals composing a social or political movement..."
"There will be three main stages in the unfolding of this movement.
The first stage will be devoted to the development of a highly motivated elite able to coordinate future activities. The second stage will be devoted to the development of institutions designed to make an impact on the wider elite and a relatively small minority of the masses. The third stage will involve changing the overall character ofAmerican popular culture..."
"Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive.
We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of ourown institutions..."
"We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We
will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment's rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American. We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today’s American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pullingthem simultaneously."
"We must create a countervailing force that is just as adept as the
Left at intimidating people and institutions that are used as tools of left-wing activism but are not ideologically committed, such as Hollywood celebrities, multinational corporations, and university administrators. We must be feared, so that they will think twicebefore opening their mouths..."
"We will be results-oriented rather than good intentions-oriented.
Making a good-faith effort and being ideologically sound will be lessimportant than advancing the goals of the movement..."
"We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the
dominant regime. We will take advantage of every available opportunity to spread the idea that there is something fundamentally wrong with the existing state of affairs. ... contribute to a vague sense of uneasiness and dissatisfaction with existing society. ... We need to break down before we can build up. We must first clear away theflotsam of a decayed culture."
"We need more people with fire in the belly, and we need a message
that attracts those kinds of people...We must reframe this struggle as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between good and evil. And we must be prepared to explain why this is so. We must provide the evidence needed to prove this using images and simpleterms..."
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
- In states, parties clash over voting laws that would affect college students, others, Washington Post, March 8, 2011.
- Governor Mitch Daniels, "Address, Part 2," speech at the American Legislative Exchange Council States and Nation Policy Summit, December 4-6, 2008
- Oral Pathologist Says Smokeless Tobacco Safer Than Smoking,CNS News, article archived in Tobacco Library (Bates No. 5001084588/500108460), August 1, 2005
- John Biewen, Corporate-Sponsored Crime Laws, American RadioWorks, April 2002
- Margaret Rita, Tobacco Institute, Letter to Norman Sharp, Cigar Association of America, document archived in Tobacco Library (Bates No. TI14120098), June 2, 1989
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