Monday, May 12, 2014

District 6 Legislative Members Bank Tax Payer Money for ALEC

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an organization that encourages mostly conservative republicans to sit down with corporations and business leaders to take lessons and notes about how to write legislation that supports corporations and businesses.  Even though it tries to pass itself off as an organization open to all to improve state legislation, it can be nothing than a Republican dream vacation spot.  The board of directors is made up entirely of Republicans (and only 2 women) and on the corporate side the advisory council include Exxon, Kock Brothers, PhRMA, Pfizer Inc., and AT&T. ALEC encourages our Republican legislative members to come and sit down and write legislation back in our state.  It also provides a great opportunity to network with Republican supporters.

Cory Heidelberger at Madville Times shows us how much South Dakota Republicans love support this organization.  District 6 legislative members, Ernie Otten and Issac Latterel both are asking for money when they attended the national meeting held in Washington D.C. in 2013.  Isaac Latterel wins the big spender prize.  He is hoping for another $2,048.01 for an Annual ALEC Meeting in Chicago in December.  According to my math, that is more $4,000 of taxpayer money to support his networking.  No wonder he desperately wants people to pay for for his governance.

It doesn't appear that these District 6 members will stop spending our money to go on a vacation.  Recently, the GOP made sure that more money can be funneled to ALEC.  Not every Republican seems to support this idea.
Tieszen called the inclusion of ALEC “troublesome” and said ALEC “isn’t compatible” with the three other organizations for which travel reimbursement is allowed, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and the Midwestern Legislative Conference.
Craig Tieszen from Rapid City is willing to stand against the waste of our taxpayer money going to let Senator Otten and Representative Latterell hang out with big corporations and Republicans.  I guess it will be up to those of us in District 6 to make the message clear, stop using taxpayer money for your advantage and start focusing on representing the people that live here!

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