Tuesday, May 15, 2012

14 PA Legislators flee from corporate front group ALEC

Huge exodus from American Legislative Exchange Council is largest in nation

HARRISBURG, PA  — Fourteen Fifteen Pennsylvania legislators with ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have publicly stated that they are no longer affiliated with the controversial corporate front group.1  They join dozens of legislators across the country who are fleeing ALEC in response to public pressure from constituents.

ALEC is behind the efforts to pass bills that strip away union rights, scale back child labor laws, attack the regulation power of environmental agencies, suppress voter rights with strict identification requirements, eliminate the social safety net, and privatize public services. ALEC is not just another public policy organization, it is a corporate front group supporting some of the most radical and dangerous legislation in the nation. 
The fourteen legislators come from both major parties, with eight Democrats and six Republicans separating from ALEC.  All legislators listed as being affiliated with ALEC have documented ties, either publicly stating their prior affiliation or from public documents (Right to Know Law documents, DOS campaign finance reports, or PA Ethics filings).2

“We are thrilled that so many Pennsylvania legislators have decided to quit ALEC,” said Keystone Progress executive director Michael Morrill.  “They have courageously decided to stand with the people instead of the corporate lobbyists.”

This is the list of PA legislators with ties to ALEC who are now saying they are not members:
·         Rep. Harhai, Ted (D) H58
·         Rep. Harper, Kate (R) H61
·         Rep. Keller, William (D) H184
·         Rep. Kotik, Nick (D) H45
·         Rep. Markosek, Joseph (D) H25
·         Rep. Major, Sandra (R) H111
·         Rep. Micozzie, Nicholas (R) H163
·         Rep. Mustio, Mark (R) H44
·         Rep. Readshaw, Harry (D) H36
Rep. Petrarca, Joseph (D) H55
·         Rep. Turzai, Mike (R) H28)
·         Sen. Boscola, Lisa (D) S18
·         Sen. Pippy, John (R) S37
·         Sen. Washington, Leanna (D) S4
·         Sen. Williams, Anthony (D) S8

Sen. Anthony Williams, who has used state funding for ALEC3, vociferously protested being identified with ALEC. “As a staunch advocate for school choice, I’m often invited to attend and speak at myriad events, locally and nationally, held by those who share my beliefs and those who vigorously oppose them. I make no apologies for my views on choice, because a broad set of educational options is among the best hopes students have to attain the skills needed to be productive and competitive in a global, 21st century society. However, I’ve never sought membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council nor have I ever been a member,” said Williams. “Lastly, ALEC does not represent my values or beliefs.”

Sen. Williams’ inclusion is based on information obtained from Right to Know Law requests filed by Keystone Progress with both the House and Senate.3Thirty other legislators, with no prior ties to ALEC, have also publicly stated that they are not affiliated.1

Fifty-one legislators are known to be members of ALEC.2 There may be other PA members, but because ALEC does not publish its membership list it is impossible to know the entire list with certainty.(Members in bold rednewly listed from new RTKL information3)     
·         Rep. Adolph, William R 165
·         Rep. Baker, Matthew R 68
·         Rep. Barrar, Stephen R 160
·         Rep. John Bear (R, 97,Lancaster)
·         Rep. Boback, Karen R 117
·         Rep. Boyd, Scott      R 43
·         Rep. Clymer, Paul     R 145
·         Rep. Cox, Jim R 129
·         Rep. Day, Gary        R 187
·         Rep. Delozier, Sheryl R 88
·         Rep. Evans, John      R 5
·         Rep. Gabler, Matt     R 75
·         Rep. Geist, Richard   R 79
·         Rep. Gingrich, Mauree R 101
·         Rep. Godshall, Robert R 53
·         Rep. Grell, Glen R     87
·         Rep. Grove, Seth      R 196
·         Rep. Hahn, Marcia     R 138
·         Rep. Harhart, Julie (R, 183, Lehigh, Northampton)
·         Rep. Helm, Susan     R 104
·         Rep. Tim Hennessey (R, 26, Chester)
·         Rep. Hess, Dick        R 78
·         Rep. Hutchinson, Scott R 64
·         Rep. Killion, Thomas R 168
·         Rep. Knowles, Jerry R 124
·         Rep. Marsico, Ron     R 105
·         Rep. Metcalfe, Daryl R 12
·         Rep. Miller, Ron        R 93
·         Rep. Joseph Petrarca (D, 55, Armstrong, Westmoreland)
·         Rep. Pickett, Tina      R 110
·         Rep. Rapp, Kathy      R 65
·         Rep. Saylor, Stan     R 94
·         Rep. Schroder, Curt R 155
·         Rep. Smith, Sam (R, 66, Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson)
·         Rep. Stephens, Todd R 151
·         Rep. Stern, Jerry      R 80
·         Rep. Stevenson, Richard      R 8
·         Rep. Taylor, John      R 177
·         Rep. W. Curtis Thomas (D, 181, Philadelphia)
·         Rep. Toepel, Marcy   R 147
·         Rep. Toohil, Tarah     R 116
·         Sen. Argall, David (R, 29, Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Monroe, Schuylkill)
·         Sen. Lisa Baker (R, 20, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming)
·         Sen. Browne, Patrick (R, 16, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton)
·         Sen. Corman, Jacob (R, 34, Centre, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Union)
·         Sen. Earll, Jane (R, 49, Erie)
·         Sen. Eichelberger, John (R, 30, Bedford, Blair, Fulton, Huntingdon, Mifflin)
·         Sen. Greenleaf, Stewart      R 12
·         Sen. McIlhinney,Charles       R 10
·         Sen. Piccola, Jeffrey R 15
·         Sen. Robbins, Robert D.      R 50

The 14  15 PA legislators disaffiliating from ALEC is the largest number from any state, with 12 Texas legislators the second largest group.

1www.justsaynotoalec.com Website maintained by Keystone Progress
2ALEC membership summarized here
Right to Know Law information obtained by Keystone Progress from PA Senate. http://www.scribd.com/collections/3614031/PA-ALEC-FILES
4ALEC Exposed, 

Keystone Progress is Pennsylvania’s largest online progressive organization, with over 270,000 subscribers. KP uses the Internet and new media to organize online at the state and local level; and utilizes cutting-edge earned media strategies to promote a progressive agenda and counter right-wing misinformation. 

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