On the same day that ALEC claimed that they support the First Amendment, they circulated a secret enemies list in order to prevent the press from covering their activities.
According to The Center For Media and Democracy (CMD), “In anticipation of protests at ALEC’s recent meeting in Oklahoma City, state legislators were handed a set of talking points that read “The American Legislative Exchange Council recognizes the first amendment rights of free speech and assembly, and asks that _____ do the same,” apparently to prepare legislators for press questions about citizen activism. But ALEC didn’t live up to those spoon-fed talking points: ALEC assembled a dossier of disfavored reporters and activists, kicked reporters out of its conference who might write unfavorable stories, and managed to boot a community forum critical of ALEC from its reserved room.”
ALEC was so determined to keep journalists who might spill the beans on what they were up to in Oklahoma City out that they created a document with images and photos of eight journalists who were forbidden to enter the event.
The Koch connected ALEC claims to believe in free speech, but it does not believe in freedom of the press. ALEC also doesn’t think that the American people need to know about the legislative agenda that they are trying to implement behind closed doors. Last year’s successful boycott of ALEC members taught the organization that they needed to become even more secretive, and clamp down on media access.
Instead of trying to work within our system of representative government, ALEC is working even harder to make sure that Republicans in state government only represent their agenda. This behind closed doors, no critical media allowed way of policymaking is completely cutting out the will of the people. ALEC’s extremist agenda of suppressing the vote while pushing an extreme ideology of privatization has gone even deeper underground.
ALEC is doing everything they can to stop you from finding out what they are up to, including creating a Nixon like enemies list.
The right loves to fantasize about a mythical Obama enemies list, but ALEC really has one. And all you have to do to get on it, is tell the truth about about corporate America’s strategy to steal our democracy one state at a time.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association