Liberal groups try to smear model legislation ALEC

Washington Free Beacon:
Two more deep-pocketed groups—one funded by Iowa taxpayers—have joined the progressive campaign to dismantle the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

The Iowa Policy Project and Good Jobs First coauthored a recent report, “Selling Snake Oil to the States: The American Legislative Exchange Council’s Flawed Prescriptions for Prosperity,” that claims ALEC’s free-market policies have negatively impacted states in which they were implemented.

The report claims “states that were rated higher on ALEC’s Economic Outlook Ranking in 2007,” the first year the ranking was published, “have actually been doing worse economically in the years since, while the less a state conformed with ALEC policies the better off it was.”

ALEC is a private-public partnership of state legislators and businesses that works to advance free-market legislation. ALEC’s members craft model legislation that is introduced roughly 1,000 times a year in state capitals around the country by a group of about 1,600 to 2,000 legislators, most of whom are Republicans.

As reported by the Free Beacon, ALEC has been the target of a coordinated intimidation campaign by progressive groups.

ALEC members disputed the report’s methodology and conclusions.

“While statistical problems and cherry-picked data abound, the report fails to even meet the basic standards for intellectual honesty,” Indiana state Senator and ALEC member Jim Buck recently wrote. “The ultimate implication of the report is that states should avoid being like Texas, Utah, or Florida but instead should learn from the models of Illinois, California, and New York. Serious observers of state policy or even average taxpayers, will realize that these conclusions simply don’t pass the smell test.”

The Center for Media and Democracy—a hub for the anti-ALEC campaign—touted the study as a coming from two “nonpartisan” groups, but the organizations are closely tied to unions and liberal foundations.

The Iowa Policy Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group that offers “policy solutions that value the contributions of Iowa’s low-income and working families, increase economic opportunity, and reduce inequality,” according to its website.

Two former AFL-CIO officials sit on the Iowa Policy Project’s board of directors. The AFL-CIO blog also promoted the IPP’s ALEC report.

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has funded the Iowa Policy Project to the tune of $22,000, according to Department of Labor records.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Iowa Policy Project’s studies often seem to report conclusions favorable to its funders.
There is more.

The dishonesty in the pretensions of being non partisan should be enough to challenge the credibility of the report, but the suggestion that California, New York and Illinois should be a model rather than Texas, Utah and Florida does not pass the giggle test.  That is so ludicrous that it demonstrates the lack of integrity in the report.  The smart states will want to copy the Texas model.

The attacks on ALEC seem to start after the Trevon Martin death in Florida.  The libs did not like the stand you ground law in that state, although it is still not clear whether or not it applies.  I think the case brought by the prosecutors against Zimmerman is suspect and was probably motivated by political considerations.


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