ALEC is Using its Political Clout to Silence Dissent, Group Says

A room at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is reportedly pulling strings behind the scenes to shut down dissent at its annual meeting this summer. The Alliance for a Better Utah, a Utah progressive group, reports that after it reserved space at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City for July 25-28 — the same hotel and dates where ALEC will hold its 2012 annual meeting — the hotel called back and canceled the group’s reservation. The Alliance for a Better Utah says ALEC is using its political clout to get the hotel to refuse to rent rooms to other groups it doesn’t like during its annual conference. A hotel spokeswoman would not comment on the pulled reservation. ALEC has been under greater scrutiny since it was linked to the spread of “shoot first” laws like the one cited in the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. The good-government group Common Cause is seeking an investigation into the tax exempt status of ALEC, charging that ALEC is primarily a lobbying group and as such may be in violation of its tax exempt status.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, June 7, 2012

  2 comments for “ALEC is Using its Political Clout to Silence Dissent, Group Says

  1. …I will add that answering my questions as completely, publicly and transparently as possible is the difference between us being colleagues (perhaps friends) and a very long road in the other direction. I hope you understand my dedication and persistence in this regard. There is nothing of myself I value more than my reputation and the reputation of my family. Thank you.

  2. Hi Anne, I hope you saw the link that I provided showing the Colorado Restaurant Association’s recent opposition to a local smoking ban in Lakewood, CO. I look forward to seeing the promised blog post in the coming week or two.

    In the meantime, I would love it if you answered the following questions:

    1. Why did you single out CLBA, Chuck Ford and Ford Sovine & Ford in your attacks on Big Tobacco in Colorado?
    2. Why did you single them out in 2007 as opposed to 2006 if you weren’t being vindictive?
    3. And if you’re so opposed to groups like ALEC–which I happen to be–why haven’t you attacked ardent supporters of ALEC and Big Tobacco like CRA?

    Specifically, I’m curious how, in your efforts to research the “allies” of Big Tobacco, you missed approximately 80 mentions of Peter Meersman and the Colorado Restaurant Association and chose, instead, to focus on Chuck Ford who was mentioned once–as a write-in copy on a memo from the ACLU to the City of Snowmass.

    I’m also interested in how you make the leap from organizations like the CLBA being on a list of Tobacco Industry “targets” to characterizing them as “allies” of the Tobacco Industry.

    Would you call that “spin”? Or are you really trying to say that anyone who was targeted by the Tobacco Industry must be an ally? Do you plan to write Wikis and blog posts about how the American public must be in cahoots with the Tobacco Industry because they saw tobacco advertising?

    I’m just curious because, despite saying that you just published information from documents you researched, you seem to have been awfully selective.

    Did you realize, for instance, that the former Executive Director of the CLBA is actually paraphrased by Phillip Morris as “skeptical” of their efforts?

    “[Lyn] Hopwood [CLBA Director] thought the whole idea was going to be tough for Philip Morris to pass. He was very skeptical about this being nothing more than a ploy by Philip Morris to lock in market share.”

    Crazy that, with your extensive professional research background, you didn’t find that information. I mean, I found it the first time I searched the Tobacco Legacy documents.

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