Dear Ms. Hawkins:
Apparently you did not bother to do your research very well. Perhaps additional out-of-state funding is needed to strengthen you staff (whoops, sorry to mention that embarrassing ‘lack of’ feature). You state that you “exposed” ALEC based legislation in New Hampshire. You may be surprised to learn that when ALEC inspired legislation was presented to Committee it was proudly identified as based, either totally or in part, on ALEC Model legislation. I know I did, repeatedly. Some investigative work that, listening to public testimony. Please, if you want to do investigative reporting, investigate, do home work and present facts, do not regurgitate dictated party talking points. Now, if you admit that your organization is an Astroturf opinionated, narrow-minded, dogmatic, liberal, progressive, socialist, communist advocacy group, fine. Please do not insult others by pretending to be anything but such a prejudiced organization.
Florida legislators introduced the personal defense legislation to ALEC, not vice versa. That is an easily verifiable fact – if you are interested in facts. I am sure they taught you better at Gonzaga than to cast accusations without facts to substantiate them. With regard to the Florida law, may I point out that the head of the NAACP made the point that the personal defense legislation in Florida had nothing to do with Mr. Martin’s death: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/03/robert-farago/naacp-stand-your-ground-law-not-to-blame-in-trayvon-martin-shooting/ & http://content.bitsontherun.com/previews/zzrWTwGH-dh3Zgtip.
As an aside, the publicly released information now suggests that Mr. Zimmerman may be a victim as is Mr. Martin in the incident. No Grand Jury has made an indictment and no trial has been held. Perhaps we should allow our system of justice to do its work, rather than allow vigilante justice to prevail. It is pathetic grandstanding for any person, advocacy group, political party; any politician to use this tragic incident for supposed political gain. Shame, shame, shame on you Ms. Hawkins for such an action. To quote the famous phrase: “Have you no sense of decency?” At the same time the death of Mr. Martin is making headlines, scores of other youths are being killed directly as a result of a government that treats minorities as wards and children rather than as adults capable of making their own decisions, living their own lives. Where is the American press to report on these killings? Where are special interest groups like yours?
You mention 2011 SB88 as ALEC Model Legislation. Perhaps you should read the bill and compare it to the model legislation, something any beginner in the reporting profession would do. There are substantial differences, and to blatantly say the two are the same is just outrageous and frankly unintelligent.
ALEC Model Legislation is produced by elected State Legislators from across the county, not by some elite cabal. It is a model for other states to consider, accept or reject. The proposals are debated, discussed and dissected in ALEC Task Force meetings in much the same way NH legislation is developed. If you had done even freshman level reporting, if you had an inkling of the legislative process you would have known that fact.
Your suggestion that Coke and Pepsi and Kraft did not renew their corporate sponsorship is a result of the Martin incident is false. What you insinuate is simply not correct as the statements from each entity affirm, but what are facts when a “story” makes so much better play. It is true that the left-leaning US press published near identical statements issued by the progressive entities about the use of the threat of economic violence, but read what the companies had to say: http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/4-coke-withdraws-group-backs-230010337.html [funny, had to go to foreign press to get information on a US story – gee I wonder why?]
“The Coca-Cola Company has elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry.”
"We review all organizations in which we have membership each year to assure they serve a critical purpose for PepsiCo and its priorities," Paul Boykas, vice president of public policy and government affairs said in the letter.
Late on Thursday, Kraft Foods Inc said in an emailed statement: "We belong to many external groups, including ALEC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes growth and fiscal responsibility.
"ALEC covers numerous issues but our involvement has been strictly limited to discussions about economic growth and development, transportation and tax policy. We did not participate in meetings or conversations related to other issues.
"Our membership in ALEC expires this spring and for a number of reasons, including limited resources, we have made the decision not to renew."
You listed only the Republican Party Members of ALEC, where are the dozen or so Democratic Party Members? Did you forget somehow that ALEC is non-partisan? Does that failure suggest that your “reporting” is biased?
As for the majority of the other pieces of legislation you cite: they are good for the people of New Hampshire, they are good for the people of the United States. They are bad for those who wish to take away freedom, individual rights and liberty. They were discussed in Committee and voted upon by the entire House. Several had bipartisan support.
Thank you for illustrating the good work ALEC has done in educating New Hampshire legislators and for promoting the organization to all who receive your outrageous thoroughly misinformed malicious musings.
I speak for myself, but I am proud to say that I am also Co-Chair ALEC-NH
Please visit :
From: Zandra Rice-Hawkins [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2012 2:51 PM
Subject: Corporate Sponsors Quit ALEC; Granite State Progress Urges New Hampshire House Republicans To Do the Same
Please see below for this important call to action, and let us know if you are severing your ties with ALEC so we can be sure to share it with reporters. Thank-you.
Zandra Rice Hawkins
Granite State Progress
Office: (603) 225.2471
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 06, 2012
Corporate Sponsors Quit ALEC; Granite State Progress Urges New Hampshire House Republicans To Do the Same
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods leave conservative group over controversial stands
CONCORD, NH — To date, 3 major corporate sponsors of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have indicated they will not renew their memberships to the controversial conservative organization. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Kraft Foods, Inc. made the announcements in recent days amid mounting criticism over ALEC's backing of "Stand Your Ground" gun laws, which have been implicated in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin – and which is the same model legislation used in crafting New Hampshire’s SB 88 that became law last year.
Granite State Progress is now urging several prominent New Hampshire Republicans to terminate their ALEC memberships as well. These known ALEC members include (but are not limited to):
· ALEC State Co-Chair Rep. Gary Daniels, House Labor Chair (R-Milford)
ALEC State Co-Chair Rep. Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson)
Rep. Pam Tucker, House Deputy Speaker (R-Greenland)
Rep. Carole McGuire, House Exec Departments and Admin Committee Chair (R-Epsom)
Rep. John Reagan, House Health, Human Services & Elderly Affairs Committee Chair (R-Deerfield)
Rep. Andrew Renzullo, House Resource Recreational and Development Chair (R-Hudson)
Rep. Will Smith, Special Committee Public Employee Pensions Reform Chair (R-New Castle)
Rep. Ken Weyler, House Finance Chair (R-Kingston)
Rep. Jen Coffey, House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee Vice Chair (R-Andover)
Rep. Warren Groen, House Environment & Agriculture Committee Vice Chair (R-Rochester)
Rep. Marilinda Garcia (R-Salem)
Rep. Dan McGuire (R-Epsom)
Rep. Mark Warden (R-Weare)
Rep. Moe Villeneuve (R-Bedford)
Granite State Progress also encourages lone ALEC-affiliated House Democrat Kris Roberts (D-Keene) to sever his ties with the corporate-driven organization.
Recent Granite State Progress reports exposed that ALEC-affiliated and other corporate-influenced legislators have pushed several pieces of ALEC model legislation in the New Hampshire State House this year, including:
HB 1607 and SB 372 Private School Voucher
HB 1560 Health Care Compact
CACR 6 Super Majority Act
SB 289 and SB 318 Photo ID to Vote
HCR 2 Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law
HCR 40 Regarding National Debt