ROSE NOLEN: Corrupt organizations exploit voters for personal benefits

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Of the men who have been president of the United States during my lifetime, there have been several with whom I have disagreed. Fortunately, my disagreement never got personal. I was never personally acquainted with these men, so they forever remained public figures for whom I had no personal feelings.

It is unfortunate that some people have developed a relationship with President Barack Obama that they have allowed to become obsessive. I always thought it was a bad idea for people, in an effort to be disrespectful, to attach the president’s name to his policies. For example, referring to the Affordable Health Care Act as Obamacare, in an attempt to be demeaning, actually comes across as childish and immature.

In any case, I’m  glad I have never gotten so involved with politics or politicians that they became a part of my everyday life. I did my time during the Kennedy years and then I grew up and got a life. To a large degree, politics have become so corrupt that it’s really not worth spending a lot of time talking about them.

What is worth talking about is the Center for Media And Democracy’s project on exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council’s efforts to change laws. It seems that the members of the council vote behind closed doors for what changes they would like to see in “model bills,” which are then handed to legislators to be introduced into their state legislatures. The “Stand Your Ground" laws,” which figure prominently in the Trayvon Martin case, are typical of laws passed through ALEC. The National Rifle Association is a primary advocate for these gun laws.

So, in reality, groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council are running a separate government. It is not the people’s will being carried out in legislatures across the nation. It is the will of that council that is behind the activities going on behind closed doors. The people in the states are being used by these corporations and legislatures to pass laws for the benefit of corporation.

For a long time I wondered how so many state legislatures come up with the same ideas for laws, such as women’s rights laws, to be passed. It’s easy to understand with organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council around. The problem is, now that we know about these organizations, are they against the law? What is it going to take to get rid of them? With so many government officials being part of such groups, it’s going to take a lot to put them out of business.

It is no wonder Americans lose heart with trying to keep the government on the straight and narrow path. Every time they get the country straightened out, another group of crooks starts up operations. At some point we are going to have to face up to the fact that many Americans do not want good government; they want a government where they can have their way. These people don’t care about the country. If it falls, they will just pick up their money bags, move to another country and start all over again.

Some of us still remember that this nation was founded as a "noble experiment," and it has taken years of building to make it as it is today. Some people work hard at it every day to try to make it live up to its promise. It is because of these workers, everyday citizens, striving for righteousness, justice and equality that this country works.

And it is because of people like the American Legislative Exchange Council that we must spend every day watching our backs. You never know when or where they’ll strike next.

Keep watching.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at

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Jimmy Bearfield April 17, 2012 | 11:16 a.m.

"For example, referring to the Affordable Health Care Act as Obamacare, in an attempt to be demeaning, actually comes across as childish and immature."

What about the "Bush tax cuts"? That term ignores the fact that Congress, not the president, determines taxes and spending. All that a president can do is lobby and choose whether to sign the bill, and even then Congress can overrule him.

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders April 17, 2012 | 11:50 a.m.

"Corrupt organization" is redundant. Which is why they work so well at exploiting individuals who fail to understand this fact.

(Report Comment)
Sandra Hayes April 17, 2012 | 1:32 p.m.

Let's not forget Reaganomics also, and Camelot as if Kennedy's presidencey was perfect. Ms Nolen really thinks ALEC is the only organization out there recommending new laws to Congress, how naive. I realize she uses an old pic but if she was around during the Kennedy years then she is old enough to know better. Is she aware of the liberal oraganizations that do the same or is this just another way to drag Trayvon Martin into another media biased story...oh and did you have to pay his mom to use his name since she trademarked it to make money from her sons death.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 17, 2012 | 2:07 p.m.

The problem isn't ALEC, it's legislators of both major parties blindly voting for bills (whether proposed by ALEC or other lobbyists) without reading them and understanding their impact. The solution isn't to outlaw ALEC as Rose and other seem to think, but holding the legislators' feet to the fire. We continually hear that term limits has created a generation of limp-spined lawmaksers who can be easily bent to the lobbyists' will. If true, then someone's electing the wrong legislators.

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