A Children's Treasury Of ALEC Protester Funtimes

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ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business-casual matchmaker service between corporate interests and sympathetic lawmakers. They operate mostly in state legislatures, where they have used "model legislation" to enact such beneficial statutes as Stand Your Ground and Block Your Ballot and, most recently, a tidy fee for the society-destroying radicals who capture sunshine on their own homes, making them "freeriders"  who steal from power companies by sometimes contributing surplus energy back to the power grid.

Shockingly, not everyone was happy to see ALEC come to DC for its States & Nation Policy Summit this week. On Thursday, the front of the Grand Hyatt was pretty well covered with AFSCME protesters with the bullhorns and the chanting and the WAR ON WORKERS signs.

Their dark lord, in the form of giant inflatable ALEC Fat Cat, watched approvingly from across the street.

The malcontents were kept outside the hotel for the most part, though one well-spoken gentleman stepped into the lobby briefly to inquire about the cost to purchase a congressman.

ALEC is notoriously secretive about the relationships it fosters between its corporate sponsors and the legislators who do their bidding. Less than half of the sessions and meetings at this week's conference are open to the press, a policy that set off a Twitter tussle between ALEC and a Greenpeace researcher after WaPo's Dana Milbank tried to walk into one of the top-secret huddles and got bounced.

One of the few functions where press attendance was allowed was Thursday's luncheon with remarks by the Honorable Ted Cruz. After a brief intro that included an uplifting story about Queen Esther (Mordechai was right! we were "raised up for a time such as this"), Ted took the stage. He opened with his new go-to joke about promising to keep his remarks under 21 hours, then jumped into meatier topics, like ALEC's Public (servant) Enemy #1, Dick Durbin. Dick, Commie-Illinois, revived the Spanish Inquisition by asking corporations to acknowledge their affiliation with ALEC ahead of hearings about the organization's role in passing Stand Your Ground laws following the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida.Durbin's inquiries were not the only offense against ALEC by the Senate Democrats. Ted found Harry Reid's dirty bomb to be not only a hideous "abuse of power" but also a transparent attempt to distract from (all together now) Obamacare. He decried Democrats' attempts to fill the long-standing vacancies on the DC Circuit Court as "packing" the court in order to "rubber-stamp" Obama's "lawless" agenda, a fight that appears settled now that the filibuster cannot be used to hold up cabinet and non-Supreme Court judicial nominees.

But all was not lost for the forces of freedom! Ted had some great advice for the conservatives in attendance. In addition to telling them to tattoo the words "growth" and "opportunity" on their hands to remind them of the only things they should care about legislatively, Ted exhorted them to fight back against the image of Republicans as "the party of the rich" since, of course, attempts to keep citizens from voting, unionizing, or staying alive by not being shot just scream The People's Party.

ALEC will soon leave Washington, DC, but its dirty tentacles will continue to writhe in the many dark corners of state legislative chambers as long as it has a steady flow of corporate munnies.

So, maybe a bake sale for the next conference?  If they're a little short, their new friends at Google might be able to help them out.

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