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The Kochtopus In Minnesota: Laura Brod, ALEC Stalwart

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 26, 2011

As you may have heard, the Wisconsin Republicans are trying to make life hell for a college professor who dared exercise his First Amendment rights. His subject: The influence of ALEC, the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, which crafted the templates for the anti-worker legislation being pushed nationwide by Republicans at the state level.

Who are the representatives of the Kochtopus in Minnesota? Hard to tell, as ALEC is a very secretive group that likes to fly under the radar. But Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie has a few clues:

Laura Brod is a past state chairman for ALEC; current state senator Gen Olson was her co-chair in 2010. (Current chair? Mary Kiffmeyer).

Want to set the Red Alert klaxons screaming at GOP Central? Dare to talk about ALEC.

Just as Professor Cronon’s ALEC phillipics have frightened the Wisconsin Republicans enough for them to try some really breathtakingly stupid intimidation and silencing tactics, Sally Jo Sorensen’s dissemination of the fact that Laura Brod, Gen Olson and the supremely nutty Mary Kiffmeyer are all prominent ALEC operatives has sent the Republicans into a Twitter frenzy. As Sorensen Tweeted in reply: “Love it when people spend hours insisting something isn’t important. Nice work if you can get it.”

4 Responses to “The Kochtopus In Minnesota: Laura Brod, ALEC Stalwart”

  1. Charles II said

    I certainly hope they charge the Republican Party for the work involved in finding those e-mails. Maybe they could make up the shortfall caused by the Lege’s axing of the budget.

    This is something that all professionals know, however. You are never off the record. You have to make your public life consistent with your private thoughts. No human being can meet the ideal, but a professional has to make the effort. Hypocrisy works fine in right-wing politics, but it’s much dicier in academe.

  2. metiche said

    Here is a partial list of ALEC “public members” currently operating in St. Paul. These Senators and Representatives have confessed. Others have not yet been outed. There may be as many as 50 ALEC members in the state Legislature.

    Sen. Mike Parry (R)
    Sen. John Sterling Howe (R)
    Sen. Chris Gerlach (R)
    Sen. Gen Olson (R)

    Rep. Paul Anderson (R)
    Rep. Mike Benson (R)
    Rep. Matt Dean (R)
    Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R)
    Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)
    Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (R)
    Rep. Joyce Peppin (R)
    Rep. Linda Runbeck (R)
    Rep. Ron Shimanski (R)

    • Charles II said


      No Democrats.

      What are the odds?

      And stranger still: “The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.”

      We really need to repeal the charitable deduction. If people want to give to causes, fine. But letting these b—–s get a write off for a political operation, while middle class people and poor people give their money to food banks to counter the damage done by the b——s is … criminal.

      • metiche said

        Surprising, given that ALEC advertises itself as a non-partisan group. There are some Blue Dog Dem members but the ALEC legislator online application form has a field to till out for Party affiliation. Why would they want to know that when the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures award membership to all elected state legislators (and more.) Doesn’t matter what Party you’re in. Now that’s the way to do it.

        I agree on taking another look at ALEC’s non-profit status. They are clearly lobbying for legislation. Look at this evidence that they lied on their 2009 Tax Return when they claimed they did not engage in “lobbying activities” yet filed written testimony in support of a ND bill and had two lobbyists registered in the state. They are shameless.

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