Thursday, September 08, 2011

ALEC's Lackeys: Official King Edition

Earlier, I noted an eerie resemblance between Rep. King Banaian's budgeting "reform" ideas and ALEC's state budget playbook, erm, "toolkit." I was curious because neither of the stories about ALEC that came out in August (one from Minnesota Independent and the other from MinnPost) listed Banaian among ALEC members.

Well, now it's official. Spot reports that legislative staffer Kevin in Banaian's office confirms that King is a member of ALEC. While it's not surprising in the least, it fills in one of the blanks from the 30 members that ALEC state chair Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer claims belong to the organization. Previously, MnIndy reported 24 members, now we have 25.

No word, yet, on whether Rep. Keith Downey is a member of ALEC. Nor has ALEC chairwoman Kiffmeyer responded to Spot's requests for a list of the 30 members.

In his piece on ALEC and first-term state legislators, MinnPost's Jeff Severns Guntzel asks:
Going through four decades of ALEC coverage, the echo again and again was of a bold voice, determined to produce bold legislation. It makes all of the secrecy around the organization seem a little counterintuitive. When backing bold moves and following bold voices, why not be, well, bold about it?
It's a great question. Kudos to Rep. Banaian for being forthcoming about his ties to ALEC.

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