by Max Brantley
But when they are right, by golly, they are right.
Several have forwarded me the latest Secure Arkansas alert to followers about the Jason Rapert-led charge to enlist Arkansas in the fight to put a majority of state legislatures in charge of the federal budget. His proposal, if enough state legislatures pass it, would set in motion the first state-called constitutional convention in U.S. history to amend the Constitution to allow their terrible idea. A majority of state legislatures (not a majority of the American people, even) would be required to approve increases in the federal debt.
Secure Arkansas is less worried about putting yahoos in charge of national defense spending than it is in who's behind the movement, their motives and unintended consequences.
The Koch brothers and their proxies, the American Legislative Exchange Council and Americans for Prosperity, are among those shilling this plan, which would merely cut the knees out from under federal government and its services to U.S. citizens on the whim of people like, well, Jason Rapert. Read on the jump for the Secure Arkansas e-mail missive on the point. Here's a recent link to their website on the issue.
Unintended consequences? The backers of this nutty idea assure all that convened delegates would stick to budget matters if a convention was called. That's bad enough. But there'd also be no limitation to subject matter and this group, particularly given its roots, could cause some great mischief to the U.S. Constitution. Do you think for a minute that religionists like Jason Rapert and Jerry Cox wouldn't seize this moment to correct all the ills imposed by judicial interpretation of our founding document? Do you think for a minute some little ol' add-ons wouldn't be added to agenda? Rapert, for one, would surely be happy to allow religioius proselytizing with public dollars; criminalization of homosexuality; bans on not just abortion but also contraception. Trans-vaginal probes for all women! Check the list of Arkansas sponsors if you think I exaggerate.
Rapert may get a hearing in the Senate on this terrible idea next week. Sad to report that three Democrats are on the list of Senate sponsors, so it could pass that end of the Capitol, unless some of the tiny GOP Sanity Caucus declines to go along. Gene Jeffress and Jerry
Brown Taylor are not too surprising as sponsors, neither particularly inclined toward the Democratic Party's principles or common sense. David Wyatt is a slightly more disappointing addition to the loony list. PLEASE NOTE MY CORRECTON: I goofed and wrote Jerry Brown when I meant Jerry Taylor in original post.
For your study: Ernie Dumas' explanation of Rapert's Folly.
So there it is. Debbie Pelley, Jeannie Burlsworth and me. Together at last. They do occasionally make sense. See some good, factual stuff on the Kochs and ALEC in Secure Arkansas's e-mail blast:
SECURE ARKANSAS E-MAIL MESSAGE FOLLOWS
SJR1 Must be killed
Senator Rapert is the key sponsor of this bill.
SJR1 legislation came from model legislation from American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Be sure to click this explosive link.
American Legislative Exchange Council
Click this so you can see for yourself how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is ghostwriting the law for corporate America.
(ALEC) is one of many NONGOVERNMENT groups behind the model legislation that gets implemented in all the states around the country. You need to ask the elected politicians who the author is. We need to know who the author is and where the legislation came from on every bill. All our politicians are real proud to get their name on legislation as a sponsor or co-sponsor to make them look good to the folks back home. Most legislation is promoted by lobbyists and special interest groups.
ALEC's main goal is privatization which has been done extensively to prisons, thus making corporations quite wealthy on prison labor, keeping them in for longer periods of time. ALEC is also at the head of the pack calling for a Constitutional Convention, which would totally destroy the nation.
State Chairman (legislative and corporate) for ALEC are Arkansans
Representative Linda Collins Smith (R) and Senator Michael Lamoureux(R)
Ted Mullenix, AT&T
ALEC Corporation Members
Michael Lamoureux is a Republican member of the Arkansas State Senate. He is a member of the following committees: JBC-Personnel (Chair); ALC - Personnel (Chair); Revenue and Tax - Senate (Vice Chair); Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC); Joint Budget Committee, ALC - Charitable, Penal and Correctional Institutions, ALC - Administrative Rules and Regulations, ALC - Litigation Reports Oversight Subcommittee, City, Council and Local Affairs Committee - Senate, Energy - Joint, Legislative Facilities and Senate Efficiency.
Lamoureux is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), serving as ALEC State Chairman for Arkansas, as well as on the Board of Directors for ALEC, as of July 2011.
Linda Collins-Smith was a Democratic member of the Arkansas State Assembly. On Wednesday, August 10th, 2011, she announced that she had switched to the Republican Party. She is on the following committees: Revenue & Taxation (Vice Chair); Revenue and Taxation - House, City, County and Local Affairs - House Finance Subcommittee; Energy - Joint and the Judiciary Committee - House.
Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve "model" bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) They fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations - without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a group that fronts special interests and was started by oil billionaire David Koch and Richard Fink (a member of the board of directors of Koch Industries). AFP's messages are in sync with those of other groups funded by the Koch Family Foundation. According to an article in the August 30, 2010, issue of The New Yorker, the Kochs are known for "creating slippery organizations with generic-sounding names," that "make it difficult to ascertain the extent of their influence in Washington." AFP's budget surged from $7 million in 2007 to $40 million in 2010, an election year. This is according to Sourcewatch.org.
Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) (1984-2004) was a conservative political group operating in the United States, whose self-described mission was "to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation." In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two new organizations, with Citizens for a Sound Economy being renamed as FreedomWorks, and Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation becoming Americans for Prosperity.
Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) was established in 1984 by David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch of Koch Industries. "CSE received almost $5 million from various Koch foundations between 1986 and 1990, and David Koch and several Koch Industries employees serve[d] as directors of CSE and the CSE Foundation. This is according to Wikipedia.org.
Koch brothers gave ALEC over $200,000 in 2009.
Click here for a diagram of the Koch Brothers and their connections. THIS IS A MUST CLICK!!!
The Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which Charles Koch, his wife and kids help run, donated $125,000 to ALEC. His own Charles G. Koch foundation kicked in an additional $75,000.) That $200k is before whatever is the undisclosed amount of membership "dues" paid by Koch Industries, which is run by Charles and David Koch. There is no public disclosure of annual gifts the company gives to take part in the one-stop shopping ALEC conventions provide to meet with legislators from every state about their wish list. There are many documents that state that the Koch Brothers have given anywhere from $600,000 up to a Million in the last decade or so and Koch Industries has donated an untold amount. The Kochs also bailed out ALEC with a loan of nearly half a million dollars in the late 1990s. Koch Industries has also chaired ALEC's corporate board and has had a seat on its board for over a decade. Plus, another subsidy unaccounted for by ALEC is the money corporations like Koch have spent on having the head of its lobbying arm involved in ALEC's leadership as well as whatever amount of time the company spends crafting ALEC "model" legislation.
Koch Brothers Exposed - Cancer Risks for Koch Profits
Any politician that will not pull their name from this legislation does not understand the Constitution or how a Constitution Convention (Con-Con) works. It is the delegates to the Con-Con that control the outcome.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is behind a large portion of the model legislation that they are trying to get implemented. This is being done in all the states all around the county via the ALEC State Chairmen and members.
Metro 1313 also plays a major part in bringing model legislation into the state, county, city and school governments.
We do not disagree with every issue ALEC promotes, but we do disagree with their methodology.
Securing the blessings of liberty,