ALEC – the Trojan Horse in the North Dakota Republican Party

Although it was founded almost 40 years ago, the activities of the  have only recently come under any real scrutiny. Conservative activist , co-founder of the right-wing think tank, launched ALEC to promote his anti-abortion, anti-feminist, anti-voting social agenda. In the late 1980’s, Weyrich realized that ALEC would need to attract corporate donations to survive and began to highlight a more business-friendly platform, attacking government regulation of dangerous industrial activity.

"I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the 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." – Paul Weyrich, ALEC Founder

ALEC quickly recognized a vulnerability in states like North Dakota: part-time legislators with little or no paid legislative staff. State lawmakers, like those in North Dakota, are often overwhelmed by the hectic pace of biannual legislative sessions. ALEC took advantage of this weakness by producing on issues that the 炒外汇入门 ALEC staff had prepared and handed off to the ALEC state members in a ‘ready to vote’ form, making the job of a state legislator much easier. Unfortunately, the impact and intent of many of the bills is never fully understood by the short-handed and busy lawmakers who are ill-equipped to fully recognize hidden agendas.

In North Dakota, the  (adopted 3/28/11), sponsored by Republican ALEC Representatives Patrick  Headland, Bette Grande and  Republican ALEC Senator Rich Wardner, was an ALEC ‘Model Bill’ prepared as part of ALEC’s “EPA’s Regulatory Trainwreck” campaign. The campaign aimed at rolling back and dismantling environmental regulation that, if successful, would benefit many of  – including Bakken oil patch interests such as ‘s Continental Resources, , and the Koch brothers .

Some have said ALEC is like a dating service – at it’s meetings, legislators from around the nation fly in to be matched up with corporate lobbyists. One such ALEC corporate donor,  (API), has a lot to gain by wooing North Dakota’s legislative team. The API lobbies on behalf of the oil and gas industry, claiming to represent around 400 corporations engaged in oil production and extraction (including ). The API is also a major political spender, and has created numerous  to advance its political agenda. Along with ALEC, the group also funds other right-wing activities like the Koch Brother’s tea party group .

In recent years, while continuing to defend the corporate rape of America, ALEC has returned to it’s roots – promoting right-wing social issues in it’s ‘model legislation’. These bills have been finding their way into law across the nation. One series of bills that put ALEC in the spotlight have been the voter suppression legislation that has already cause widespread voter disenfranchisement in the 2012 election. One by one, large corporations have abandoned ALEC as their unconstitutional activities have come to light.

Recently, retailing giant Wal-Mart announced that they have abandoned their ALEC membership. Maggie Sans,  a Wal-Mart vice president who has served as ALEC’s Secretary of the Private Enterprise, sent a letter to ALEC leaders saying ALEC had strayed from its core mission “to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets”.  Other corporate sponsors who have withdrawn thier membership include Amazon.com, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, Pepsi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This fall, and in the elections to come, we have an opportunity in North Dakota to regain control of our own legislators by voting out the anti-American and anti-democratic Trojan Horse NDGOP ALEC members. Let’s make the North Dakota legislature the ‘People’s House’ once again.

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North Dakota Legislators with ALEC Ties

[box style=”note”]Those on the ballot this year are highlighted in bold[/box]

House of Representatives

  • Rep. Wesley Belter (R-22), ALEC  Member
  • Rep.  (R-41), ALEC  and  Member
  • Rep. Jim Kasper (R-46)
  • Rep. Bette Grande (R-41), 
  • Speaker David Monson (R-10), ALEC  Alternate
  • Rep.  (R-44), former  and  Co-Chair
  • Rep. Dan J. Ruby (R-38), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Lisa M. Meier (R-32), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Darrell Nottestad (R-43), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Don Vigesaa (R-23), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Alon Wieland (R-13), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Chet Pollert (R-29), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Jeff Delzer (R-8), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Mike R. Nathe (R-30), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Patrick R. Hatlestad (R-1), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Lawrence R. Klemin (R-47), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Craig Headland (R-29), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Scott Louser (R-5), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Kim Koppelman (R-13), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Randy G. Boehning (R-27), ALEC  Member
  • Rep. Ken Svedjan (R-17)

Senate

  • Sen. Dave Nething (R-12), ALEC  Member
  • Sen. Jerry Klein (R-14), ALEC  Alternate
  • Sen. Karen K. Krebsbach (R-40), ALEC  Alternate
  • Sen. Rich P. Wardner (R-37), ALEC  Member
  • Sen. Gerald Uglem (R-19), ALEC  and  Member
  • Sen. Judy Lee (R-13), ALEC  Member
  • Sen. Dick Dever (R-32), ALEC  Member
  • Sen. John M. Andrist (R-2), ALEC  Member