Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tim Jones, Jason Smith ALEC connections spelled out in campaign finance documents

For the most part, you won't see the wining and dining of Missouri GOP leaders by ALEC special interests spelled out in lobbying documents filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The operation is much more sophisticated than that.

The expenses, and there are plenty, are buried in finance documents filed with the Commission.

Newly-minted Eighth District Congressional candidate Jason Smith, currently House Speaker Pro Tem, paid the $475 registration fee for the Nov. 28-30 ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit in Washington, D. C. out of his campaign account, according to his 30 days after election report.

In less than a year, Smith has forked over $1,325 in registration fees to ALEC from his campaign account, including $475 for the national conference at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, in July.

But Smith's use of his campaign account for ALEC expenses pales in comparison to the operation of Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka.

In his most recent filing, Jones lists as "event expense"  six Nov. 28 payments to special interests, including $545.48 to Ameren, $60.83 to the lobbying firm of Gamble & Schlemeier, $136 to Pelopidas, the lobbying firm for Rex Sinquefield and his Show-Me Institute, and $136 to Penman & Winton, the lobbying firm that represents, among other clients, Michelle Rhee's Students First and AT&T.

The secretive meetings reportedly outlined ALEC's legislative agenda for 2013 and attempts by the organization to fight back against the public relations losses it has suffered in the wake of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida, which came about as a result of the "Stand Your Ground" laws written by ALEC and various Voter ID bills.

The Turner Report has previously noted that Jones has received shady, borderline illegal campaign contributions from ALEC. According to IRS rules, ALEC a 501(c)3 group, cannot become involved in politics, but Missouri Ethics Commission documents indicate Jones received $2,673,97 in contributions from the organization during the 2012 calendar year.

The contributions included $1,251.58 on September 4, $350 on June 21, and $1,071.39 on January 17.

Jones also picked up a $450 "sponsorship" from ALEC on Feb. 10, according to Ethics Commission records.

ALEC would appear to be getting its money's worth out of Jones since his first news conference as speaker included an echo chamber endorsement of ALEC's anti-teacher, anti-public school sentiment, and a promise to lead an attack on teacher tenure and after playing coy earlier, has jumped on the side of ALEC's cookie-cutter right-to-work bills.

More to come.


Anonymous said...

How about telling us what ALEC means?

Jo Ann Brown said...

Excellent article. Can't wait for the next one.

Randy said...

American Legislative Exchange Council. It is a group started by special interests which provides ready-made bills for legislators who don't want to do their own thinking. ALEC includes a number of bilion dollar corporations, such as WalMart, and other groups such as the National Rifle Association. They treat legislators to paid vacations (referred to as educational conferences) in which they spend most of the time having fun and the rest of it getting bills handed to them.

Jo Ann Brown said...

ALEC: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests In State Legislatures


When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced. It’s a win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

Who Founded and Funds ALEC?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was founded in 1973 by Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and Paul Weyrich, who helped build a nationwide right-wing political infrastructure following the reelection of Richard Nixon. In the same year, Weyrich helped establish the Heritage Foundation, now one of the most prominent right-wing policy institutes in the country. One year later, he founded the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the predecessor of the Free Congress Foundation. In 1979, he co-founded and coined the Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell, and in 1981 he helped establish the ultraconservative Council on National Policy.

ALEC’s major funders include Exxon Mobil, the Scaife family (Allegheny Foundation and the Scaife Family Foundation), the Coors family (Castle Rock Foundation), Charles Koch (Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation), the Bradley family (The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation) and the Olin family (John M. Olin Foundation). These organizations consistently finance right-wing think tanks and political groups.

Jo Ann Brown said...

I hope that this video helps.