Recently there has been a spat of hate letters regarding the nation’s oldest and largest public-private discussion group, American Legislative Exchange Council. This organization allows members of Legislatures from across the nation to gather to discuss common problems and developing issues. Joining the legislators are various advocacy groups including Amnesty International and various prison ministry groups. Yes, there are those “evil” business interests present. You know them, they are the ones that employ you, pay your wages, provide access to group health insurance, pay your vacation, pay for workers’ compensation. Businesses, the heartbeat of America without which this nation would fold. As that rather taciturn New England President “Silent Cal” once said; “the business of America is business.”
It is interesting that separate authors in separate newspapers penned exactly the same letter to the editor. It is almost as if the authors did not do any research, do any analysis and just sent in the letter they were told to send. Interesting indeed that separate people could present the same mischaracterizations, “less than accurate” statements and plain old lies. Yet, if you ask any of them they will likely say, ‘oh no, I did it all by myself.’
Let us be absolutely clear. Bills for introduction in New Hampshire come from New Hampshire, but may be similar to those in other states. That is the result of open and frank discussion between legislators without partisan bickering. The ALEC “model” legislation is debated in committee (called a Task Force) and often takes several years to reach a resolution that is acceptable to the broad majority, not an elite select few. A similar process is used by NCSL which former Speaker Terri Norelli will soon head. (aside: I wonder if Granite State Progress will attack former Speaker Norelli for proposing model legislation?)
After the idea is vetted by a Task Force it is presented to the Board of Directors and presented as a reference for members. It is not mandated, the model legislation is just that, a proposal vetted by legislators across the nation to address a common problem. It is available for any member legislator to modify to her or his state’s needs. Gee, efficiency, responsiveness and responsibility in the legislative branch to benefit each of us – what an idea!
As for not protecting individual taxpayer rights – that is a complete and total falsehood. Consider CACR 6 introduced to the House, passed the House, modified by the Senate and awaiting a Committee of Conference. That bill would modify the New Hampshire Constitution to require modification on spending (the exact wording varies by chamber). That bill was based upon a distillation of ideas presented at various ALEC conferences. Seems to me that protects taxpayers. HCR40 is a US Constitutional Balanced Budget petition to Congress. That ALEC inspired legislation had strong bi-partisan support in the House and is now before the Senate. The number of pro-taxpayer ALEC inspired bills is too long for a letter-to-the-editor. One need only go to www.alec.org and read the press releases on “Obamacare,” tax policy, over-regulation, energy efficiency (including green jobs) to see the broad scope of ALEC initiatives. Of course, that would presume the robot letter writers actually were interested in the truth, rather than the pre-fabricated political agenda of their commissars.
In case the next attack is that I have a vested interest in ALEC, let it be known that all legislators pay a membership fee to join. All legislators pay registration and room fees to attend conferences. No legislator member of ALEC receives “pay” or benefits from ALEC or from a corporation as a result of their membership in ALEC or as a result of bills brought forward or supported. These attacks are simply politically motivated ad hominem attacks designed to deflect attention from the real issues facing New Hampshire. The business loss because of many factors, including among the highest business taxes in the country, the resolution of a massive budget deficits (NH: est $ 900,000,000.00 – US: est $777,000,000,000.00), the lack of adequate funding because of over taxation and increased fees, the looming transfer of Medicaid costs to the State because of ObamaCare and the continual erosion of personal liberties and freedoms as the result of regulations, rules and federal laws.
NH State Representative
162nd General Court