ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is coming to town to celebrate its 40th birthday! Are you invited? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be there.*
There’ll be some legislative movers and shakers there. Representative Darlene Senger, Senator Christine Radagno, and Representative Tom Cross: all of them and many more (mostly Republicans) are members at the state level as Task Force Members for ALEC. That means that they bring important legislative models drafted by ALEC into the Springfield General Assembly for passage into law in Illinois. Even an “ersatz” Democrat might show up – see picture.
These legislators don’t get paid for this involvement, at least not exactly, but they do get to take paid-for sojourns to places far and wide to meet with lawyers and corporate representatives to help craft proposals and bills that might move the conservative agenda mission of ALEC forward at the state level. And, of course, a corporation awash in money may be able to help someone find support in this new world of Citizens United to get serious backing come next election. More about that later.
“ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is NOT just a lobby (like the NRA) or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wish lists to benefit the bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations” (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Illinois_ALEC_Politicians).
The state chairman in Illinois for ALEC is Kirk Dillard, a Senator from Hinsdale (of all places), who has just recently announced his intention to run once again for the office of Governor for the State of Illinois. Last time around, Senator Dillard lost the primary by only 193 votes to Senator Bill Brady of Bloomington. But Dillard is unmoved and ready to be “all in” for this next battle for leadership in our state. He outlined for the Chicago Tribune his inability to run for another seat in the Senate this next year, given the timing of his run in the gubernatorial race, which will prevent his political office holding if he is defeated in the primary or the election.
According to Dillard, had he been elected last time as the Governor, we would not be facing the nearly $100 billion deficit in pension spending we now face. Of course, Dillard is careful not to mention that the deficit is actually money reneged from the necessary payments from other Republicans like himself (Jim Thompson and his supporter Jim Edgar). Dillard says that he voted for SB1, and Madian would have worked better with him than Quinn.
The other Chair for ALEC in Illinois is Representative Renee Kosel of Mokena. One imagines both Kosel and Dillard are ecstatic about the upcoming birthday of their ideological patrons. They may even desire to celebrate the origin and backers of the ALEC foundation, although quite honestly the Koch brothers (Charles & David) are often careful to avoid the limelight, preferring to work behind the scenes, greasing the legislative wheels with hundreds of millions of dollars to promote the agendas their father tutored them in their youthful and impressionable years. More…