American Legislative Exchange Council

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pages: 484 words: 131,168

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop, Robert G. Cushing

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, assortative mating, big-box store, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, War on Poverty, white flight, World Values Survey

The ballroom at the Gaylord Texan hotel, a continent-size resort near the Dallas airport, holds just over 7,000, and in the summer of 2005, it was packed with mostly Republican state legislators, staff, lobbyists, and representatives from the Fortune 500, the Russell 1000, and, it seemed, half the businesses found in the Dallas yellow pages, all trampling over the gold and maroon carpet decorated with massive woven belt buckles, Stetsons as big as Pontiacs, and longhorns that stretched twenty yards tip to tip—a rug clearly ordered from the J. R. Ewing Collection. At that time, there were about 7,500 state legislators in the United States. Some 2,000 of them were there for the thirty-second annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). President George W. Bush addressed the crowd from a riser set between jumbo screens that later listed the event's sponsors: Boone Pickens, Exxon, Peabody Energy, Pfizer, R. J. Reynolds, and the National Association of Home Builders. Nothing is really hidden about this joint venture of legislators and industry. The organization's budget ($6 million in 2003) is funded primarily by corporations who "pay to play" on ALEC's committees.

By the 1990s, ALEC had become the "voice of corporate America in the states."5 The story ALEC members tell of the organization's founding is somewhat less awe-inspiring. Mark Rhoads was working for a member of the Illinois senate in 1973 when he proposed a "caucus for conservative lawmakers with a conservative staff." Rhoads called this new outfit the Conservative Caucus of State Legislators, switching to the American Legislative Exchange Council after consulting with other activists. "Times were different in 1973," Rhoads told me. The word "conservative" wasn't a particularly good draw. Conservatives at the time felt powerless. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, every institution appeared to be under the dominion of big-government types—the foundations, the mainline denominations, Congress, the existing organization of state legislators.

siteNodeId = 136 &languageId=1&contentId=35924. 2. Greenblatt, "What Makes ALEC Smart?" 3. Sarah A. Binder, "Elections and Congress's Governing Capacity," Extensions: A journal of the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center (Fall 2005). 10–14. 4. Defenders of Wildlife and Natural Resources Defense Council, "Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States. The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council," 2002, http://alecwatch.org/report.html. 5. People for the American Way and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, "ALEC and the Battle of the States," January 2003, http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/dfiles/file_169.pdf. 6. Jason DeParle, "Goals Reached, Donor on Right Closes Up Shop," New York Times, May 29, 2005, p. A1. 7. Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy From Membership to Management in American Civic Life (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003), p. 230. 8.


pages: 273 words: 87,159

The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy by Peter Temin

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, clean water, corporate raider, Corrections Corporation of America, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, income inequality, intangible asset, invisible hand, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, mortgage debt, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nixon shock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, price stability, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, white flight, working poor

They can, however, support points of view by choosing who to hire and retain in return for tax-exempt contributions by corporate interests. This kind of influence extends from general think tanks like the Brookings Institution, which supports corporate efforts to rebuild damaged cities, to the United States Institute for Peace, which supports defense spending here and abroad.11 The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC, was formed in 1973 in order to influence state legislation. Charles and David Koch founded and funded ALEC as a nonprofit corporation to advance conservative principles of free market, limited government, and individual liberty. ALEC drafts model legislation to achieve these ends and distributes them to state legislation. Around one-fifth of its proposed legislation gets passed somewhere in the country.

And of course, they have all experienced disappointments as whatever they were able to do was limited in the face of the forces of racecraft.12 Unlike the 1 percent as a whole who give money and talk to government officials, some members of the Forbes 400 formed a secret organization in the 1970s to promote their ends. Charles Koch, who with his brother, David, is in fifth place in the 2015 Forbes 400, was energized by Powell’s secret memo of 1971. He started ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, in 1973. This state lobbying organization operates under the radar of most people interested in national politics because even interested observers cannot keep all states in view. But, as explained in chapter 2, ALEC is most successful when state legislators lack resources of their own to investigate proposed laws. States are increasingly strapped for money given that Nixon’s New Federalism as implemented by Reagan and succeeding administrations deprives state government of resources.

The shadowy trail of prisons for immigrants provides glimpses of what goes on in the varied jails and prisons around our country.21 The private prison firms communicate their interest in more prisoners to state legislators in various ways: by campaign contributions, personal relations, and lobbying. The Corrections Corporation of America has spent over $20 million on political campaigns and lobbying and is continuing these efforts today. They also lobby through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative, nonprofit organization founded and funded by the Koch brothers in 1973 and described in chapter 2. ALEC promoted model bills on mandatory minimum sentencing and three-strikes legislation that helped promote the growth of mass incarceration in the 1990s. The influence of the private prison firms and ALEC impedes efforts to reduce American incarceration. Lobbyists from the private prison industry actively campaigned for three-strikes laws.22 ALEC is one of the ways that the Koch brothers and their supporters affect political outcomes.


pages: 406 words: 113,841

The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, basic income, big-box store, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, job automation, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

As was the case in Victorian-era England, millions of twenty-first-century Americans, living in a period during which trade unions were on the wane and the power of employers on the rise, were having to work jobs that didn’t even get them up to subsistence-level living.9 While some liberal states created their own higher-than-the-federal minimum wage, and a handful of cities, from Santa Fe to San Francisco, adopted what they called “living wage ordinances,” other states moved in the opposite direction during the latter years of the twentieth and early years of the twenty-first centuries. By 2012, twenty-three states had adopted so-called “right to work” laws, which made it harder to organize workers into trade unions. The “right” they codified was, in reality, a right to work for lower wages than was the case in states where unions retained more power. A majority of these states were in the South; but, increasingly, as conservative groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce championed the legislation, this was a movement with national legs. States such as Utah and North Dakota adopted these laws in the 1950s; Idaho, which had once had a proudly militant union culture, in 1985; Indiana, in 2012. In states with these laws, union membership plummeted, and, predictably, wages fell.10 As a result, even before the Great Recession hit, real incomes for working-class Americans were lower in the early 2000s than they had been a generation earlier.

For employers, Perry’s Texas was a low-wage, low-regulation paradise. For employees, too often it was a place of crushing drudgery.12 Unfortunately, where Texas goes, so goes much of the nation, an argument developed by New York Times columnist Gail Collins, in her 2012 book As Texas Goes. Increasingly, at the state level, conservative GOP legislators and governors, at the urging of groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Legislative Exchange Council, have moved against public sector unions, welfare recipients, against services offered by federally funded programs like Medicaid, and even against the unemployed—in Florida and elsewhere, legislators have pushed for unemployment insurance applicants to have to be fingerprinted and drug-tested, essentially putting in place practices that send out the none-too-subtle signal that the unemployed are to be viewed and treated as criminals.

That we have been slow in calibrating the true extent of poverty and remiss in crafting ambitious, big-picture solutions to that poverty is, I believe, manifested in three main ways. First, existing programs, both for the unemployed or jobless, and also for the working poor, have withered, either through benign neglect or through active political opposition—an assault on the Keynesian project, launched by think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, policy-crafting entities such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, and business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 1996, 45.7 percent of poor kids were getting some form of cash assistance from the government. Thirteen years later, only 18.7 percent received such aid. “The Great Recession,” Randy Albelda wrote in a report for Dollars and Sense, “pushed 800,000 additional families into poverty between 2007 and 2009, yet the TANF rolls rose by only 110,000 over this period.”1 And, she might have added, most of those receiving TANF benefits were getting far smaller monthly checks than they had been a few years earlier.

Because We Say So by Noam Chomsky

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Chelsea Manning, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Slavoj Žižek, Stanislav Petrov, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

Also in that year, 87 percent favored tax breaks for utilities that produce more electricity from water, wind or sunlight. . . . These majorities were maintained between 2006 and 2010 and shrank somewhat after that. . . .” The fact that the public is influenced by science is deeply troubling to those who dominate the economy and state policy. One current illustration of their concern is the “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act” proposed to state legislatures by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded lobby that designs legislation to serve the needs of the corporate sector and extreme wealth. The ALEC Act mandates “balanced teaching” of climate science in K–12 classrooms. “Balanced teaching” is a code phrase that refers to teaching climate-change denial, to “balance” mainstream climate science. It is analogous to the “balanced teaching” advocated by creationists to enable the teaching of “creation science” in public schools.

Index Abrams, Elliott, 87 Abu Muamar, Mustafa, 27 Abu Muamar, Osama, 27 Acheson, Dean, 138 Adamsky, Dmitry, 164 Affordable Care Act, 136 Afghanistan, 33, 84, 116, 154, 160, 178 Africa, 26, 86, 155, 176, 180 African National Congress, 32 African Union (A.U.), 25–26, 179–180 AFRICOM, 25 Ageel, Ghada, 101 Ahmed, Akbar, 160 al-Khawaja, Abdulhadi, 48 Allende, Salvador, 111 al-Libi, Abu Anas, 137 Allison, Graham, 55–57 Al-Muslimi, Farea, 105, 106 Alperovitz, Gar, 93 al-Qaida, 178 American Enterprise Institute, 135 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), 95 American Newspaper Publishers Association, 29 Anaya, James, 47 Anglosphere, 100 Angola, 156 Arab League, 26 Araboushim, 74 Arafat, Yasser, 125 Aristotle, 150 Asia, 171, 176, 191 Assad, Bashar, 190 Assange, Julian, 61 Atwan, Abdel Bari, 178 Australia, 100, 118 Austria, 122 Baghdad, 189 Bagram, 32 Bahrain Center for Human Rights, 48 Baker, Peter, 169 Barsamian, David, 89 Baskin, Gershon, 79 Basque region of Spain, 93, 147 Batniji, Rajaie, 74 Becker, Jo, 52 Bedouin, 27 Belgian Congo, 180 Belloc, Hilaire, 165 Ben-Gurion, David, 100 Benn, Aluf, 79 Besikci, Ismail, 49 Bill of Rights, 31 bin Laden, Osama, 105, 106 Birol, Fatih, 23 Blackstone, William, 51 Blair, Tony, 189 Bolender, Keith, 56 Bolivia, 54, 123 Boron, Atilio, 121 Bosch, Orlando, 124 Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica, 46 Boston, 105, 107, 109 Brandeis, Louis, 62 Branfman, Fred, 107 Brazil, 25, 42, 140, 153 BRICS countries, 25 Britain, 25, 36–37, 116, 174 Brookings Institution, 160 Brooks, David, 131, 132 Brzezinski, Zbigniew, 143 Burchinal, David, 55 Bush, George H.


pages: 128 words: 38,187

The New Prophets of Capital by Nicole Aschoff

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3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, basic income, Bretton Woods, clean water, collective bargaining, commoditize, crony capitalism, feminist movement, follow your passion, Food sovereignty, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global value chain, helicopter parent, hiring and firing, income inequality, Khan Academy, late capitalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, means of production, performance metric, profit motive, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

The response by parents, students, and communities is building, but they face an uphill battle, because despite their frustration and anger they have little say in the education reform process. The Gates Foundation is a private institution that is free to use its money as it sees fit. It’s not just Bill and Medinda Gates. Education reformers lobby Congress to pass legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of conservative legislators and business groups that writes sample legislation for political representatives to present to Congress and state legislatures. When Mark Zuckerberg decided to donate $100 million to “fix” the Newark Public School System, the foundation board established to decide how to use the money had only a single community member on it—(former) Mayor Cory Booker.48 Foundations are not only unaccountable and undemocratic—they often also implement programs and structures that are undemocratic.

Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomksy

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American Legislative Exchange Council, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, energy security, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

John Donnelly, “Price Rise and New Deep-Water Technology Opened Up Offshore Drilling,” Boston Globe, December 11, 2005; Mark Finley, “The Oil Market to 2030—Implications for Investment and Policy,” Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy 1, no. 1 (2012): 28, doi:10.5547/2160-5890.1.1.4. 3 Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (New York: Nation Books, 2011), 226. Abbreviations ACHRE: Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments AEC: Atomic Energy Commission ALEC: American Legislative Exchange Council API: American Petroleum Institute ARPA-E: Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy BIOT: British Indian Ocean Territory BLEEX: Berkeley Lower Extremity Exoskeleton BP: British Petroleum CDB: China Development Bank CIA: Central Intelligence Agency CND: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament COP: Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC CTBT: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty CW: chemical weapons DARPA: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DEFCON: defense readiness condition DOD: Department of Defense DOE: Department of Energy DU: depleted uranium EPA: Environmental Protection Agency GE: General Electric HEU: highly enriched uranium IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency IBM: International Business Machines ISN: Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies IT: Information Technology LEU: low-enriched uranium MAD: mutually assured destruction MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology NAM: Non-Aligned Movement NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization NAVSTAR GPS: navigation system for timing and ranging, Global Positioning System NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act NIH: National Institutes of Health NNI: National Nanotechnology Initiative NPT: Non-Proliferation Treaty NSC: National Security Council NSF: National Science Foundation NSG: Nuclear Suppliers Group NWFZ: nuclear-weapon-free zone OPEC: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OSRD: Office of Scientific Research and Development PNE: peaceful nuclear explosion POW: prisoner of war PTBT: Partial Test Ban Treaty R&D: research and development RADAR: radio detection and ranging SDS: Students for a Democratic Society START: Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty TRIPS: Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights UN: United Nations UNFCCC: UN Framework on Convention on Climate Change WgU: weapon-grade uranium WTO: World Trade Organization 1.


pages: 464 words: 121,983

Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Corrections Corporation of America, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks

“They leave the most expensive prisoners with taxpayers and take the easy prisoners.”22 This left an army of mentally ill inmates rotting away in state-run prisons that were often in worse shape than when they had arrived, according to a 2014 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center.23 According to a 2012 study by the same organization, 356,000 mentally disturbed people were held in prisons nationwide, while only 35,000 were housed in psychiatric facilities.24 This is how it worked. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was a body that brought together conservative legislators and the private sector to draft market-friendly policies around the country. In Arizona, ALEC routinely indulged politicians making decisions about immigration policy with parties and exclusive access to sports events—and yet the politicians only needed to disclose that they had attended an ALEC conference. Lobbying greased the wheels of a faltering democracy, handsomely filling re-election coffers.25 In recent years, Arizona’s approach to immigrants has been one of the most repressive.

Index Abbott, Tony 279, 286 Abdul (asylum seeker) 286 Abu Ghraib prison 15 abuse 258–62 aid 123 child 102 drug 37–9 human rights 110 labor 29 outsourced 260–1 in prisons 216–17, 218 sexual 252–8, 280–1 accountability 16, 30–1, 180, 277, 291, 310 Adam, Harry 118 AECOM 53–4 Aegis Defence Services 33 Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies 44 Afghanistan 12, 19–56, 59–63, 117, 175 arrival of PMCs 20 asylum seekers from 69–70 Australian contractors 60 casualties 32, 326n27 Chinese support for 37 contractors 28–31 corruption 22, 24, 27, 42, 45, 328n48, 329–30n58 counterinsurgency 43, 52–3 departure of foreign troops 62–3 dependence on America 45 development support 62–3, 324n2, 324n3 drug economy 37–9 election, 2004 31–2 election, 2009 32 election, 2014 32 entrepreneurs 56 fear of resurgent Taliban 44–5 financial situation 62–3 future of PMCs in 23 GDP 330n61 human rights 42 inequality 56 insurgency 12, 32 intelligence gathering 51–6 intelligence-sharing nations 21 invasion of 20, 31 labor abuses 29 laws against PMCs 21 locals’ view of 48 mineral rights 24, 330n65 mining industry 24, 49–50, 330n65 Ministry of Interior 21, 40–2 Ministry of Mines 50 natural resources 49 night raids 43, 46, 52, 54, 55, 328–9n50 occupation of 22, 31–5, 36, 43, 44, 52–3, 63, 325n10 official line 40–3 past conflicts 36–7 PMC numbers 20 population surveys 330–1n66 private military companies 16, 19–25, 33–5, 41–3, 44, 46–8, 48, 50, 59–62, 331n69 propaganda 26 reconstruction 325n11 resource exploitation 49–50 security forces 27, 330n61 Soviet invasion 37 suicide attacks 41 suicide rates 332n83 Taliban rule 25 translators 55, 325n19 USAID 327–28n46 US military bases 28 violence 20 war economy 25–31, 38, 63 warlords 32–3, 44, 326n28, 326–7n30 women in 44, 47–8, 48–9, 50–1, 330n59 Afghanistan Analysts Network 54–6, 328–9n50 Afghanistan Reconstruction Group 26 Afghan police force 27 Afghan Public Protection Force 21 Africa 23 African-Americans, incarceration rates 195, 196 Agility Logistics 124 aid Afghanistan 62–3 Australia 50 contracts 123–5 corruption 126, 171 criticism of process 144–7 food 145–6 fraud 123–4 Haiti 12, 108, 120, 144–7, 340n56, 342n89 human rights abuses 123 NGO-ization of 137–41 Papua New Guinea 13, 158–9, 167, 171–5, 179 profiteering 139 waste 146 aid dependency 121, 126 AIDS 89 Alexander, Michelle 195–6 Alex, Commander 156–7 Al-Hussein, Zeid Ra’ad 277 Al Jazeera America 29 American Correctional Association (ACA) conference, 2014 202–11 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 201 American University of Afghanistan 43–4 Amnesty International 259 Anastasiou, Vassilis 102 Anti-Defamation League 93 anti-fascist activism 93–4 anti-Semitism 90–1, 93 Arab Spring 97, 127–8 Arawa, Papua New Guinea 158, 167, 180–4 Aristide, Jean-Bertrand 26, 112–13, 151 Arizona 200–2 AshBritt 108 Ashton, Paul 201 assassinations 323n33, 331n69 Assessing Progress in Haiti Act (US) 124 Asylum Help 234 asylum seekers abuse 258–62 austerity 69 Australia 269–305 children 249–50 closed hospitality centers 67–8 costs 304 demonization of 77, 288 deportations 258–63 destinations 68 detention centers 13, 64–71, 76, 77–80, 230–5, 245–51, 271 detention costs 281–3 detention network privatization 77 Greece 64–71, 75–7, 77–80, 89 indefinite detention 68 lack of sympathy for 287–8 medical care 77–80, 256–8 mental health 254–5, 285, 286, 295, 302 motivation 68, 302–3 numbers reaching Europe 96 privatized housing 230–5 processing times 300–1 public sympathy 271 racist violence 71 reception centers 67 refugee crisis 95–8 self-harm 295–6 sexual abuse 280–1 Syntagma Square protest, 2014 70 United Kingdom 230–5, 244, 245–51, 252–8, 258–63 women 253–4 Athens 67, 102–3 Metropolitan Community Clinic 80–4 AusAID 158–9, 161, 171–5, 182, 189–91, 331–2n77 austerity, opposition to 72–5 Austin American-Statesman 108 Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility 190 Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) 282 Australia 8, 104 and Afghanistan 50 aid 50 asylum policy development 275–85, 286, 357n4, 357n9 asylum seeker network 269–305 asylum seekers 13 Community Assistance Program 304 complicity with BCL 160 Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) 271, 274, 279, 281–2, 284,286, 289–93, 295, 297–8, 300–1, 303 detention centers 13, 271, 274, 276, 278–9, 280–5, 285–305, 356n2, 357n11 detention costs 281–3 economic reforms 322n16 exploitation of Papua New Guinea 169–75 foreign policy 173–4 goals in PNG 172 immigration policy 278 “Mining for Development” initiative 190 the Pacific Solution 276–81 and Papua New Guinea 154, 160, 163, 167, 169–75, 176–7, 179, 188–91 PMC contractors 60 privatization 361n51 and Rio Tinto 162 state-ownership approach to resources 177 tender process 289–90 turnback policy 280, 286 Australian Mercy 285 Australian Navy 276 Australian Strategic Policy Institute 190 Autonomous Bougainville Government 161, 167, 178–80, 184, 346n33 Avera eCare 205 Avon Protection 203 Bagram prison 31 Bainimarama, Frank 346–7n41 Baker, Charles 117 Baldry, Eileen 285 Balkonis, Thomas 78–80 Bamazon (TV program) 306–7 Bangladesh 341n65 bank bailouts 3 bankers bonuses 4 Ban Ki-moon 113 Bank of America 3 Barnardo’s 249–50, 266 Barrick Gold 174 Batay Ouvriye 126 Bauer, Shane 204, 207–8, 210 bearing witness 9–10 Becket House, London 263 Bedford, Yarl’s Wood detention centre 252–8, 265 Behavioral International 227 Berati, Reza, murder of 283 Berghorn, George H. 204 Berman, Steve 187 BHP Billiton 172–3, 187, 189 Bigio, Gilbert 108 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 114 Bishop, Julie 176, 182 black sites 16 Blackwater 16, 35, 59, 323–4n40, 331n69 Blair, Tony 60, 236 Blanchard, Olivier 99 bloggers 308 Bloom, Devin D. 307 Blue Mountain Group 30 Boeing 15–16 Bolivia 26, 125 Booz Allen Hamilton 15 border controls, privatization 241 Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) 159, 159–61, 162, 163, 184–6, 188, 190, 343n6 Bougainville, Papua New Guinea 154–64, 167–9, 176, 178–80, 184–5 Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) 154–5, 163–4, 176, 343n6 Bougainville Women in Mining 183–4 Bozorg (asylum seeker) 232–3 Brand, Russell 267–8 bribery 22, 38, 41, 329–30n58 Brown, Bob 174 Brown, Michael, killing 203 Buckles, Nick 283 Burma 14 Bush, George W. 7, 25, 43, 118, 149 Cable, Vince 236 CACI 15–16 California 5, 196–7, 208 Callick, Rowan 176 Call Sense 210 Cambodia 276 Cameron, David 50, 62, 243, 244, 252, 263 Campbell, Chad 201 Campbell, David 284, 359n30 Campsfield detention facility 246–9, 266–7 Canada 120, 304 Capita 241–2 Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty) 6 capitalism 1–2 critiques 361n5 disaster 6–9 Klein’s critique of 7–8 predatory 11, 13–14, 162, 310–11 unregulated 135–6 Caracol industrial park, Haiti 116, 128–33, 133–6, 148 Carol (senior analyst) 54–6 Carr, Bob 188–9 Cash, Linda 279 Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) 124–5 Centre for Public Integrity 34 Chalmers, Camille 151–2 Chaman (Afghan refugee) 64–71 Channel 4 News 253, 267 Chaparro, Enrique Mari 137–9 cheap labor 117, 127, 132, 133, 144 Chemonics 123 Cheney, Dick 28, 30 CHF International 138–9 child abuse 102 children detention 249–50, 272 immigrants 212, 225 malnourished 82 in prisons 208 child slaves 145 China 14, 16, 24, 37, 49, 170 China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) 24 cholera 113–16 Chomsky, Noam 238, 310 Christmas Island 269–75, 356n1 Christmas Island Community Reference Group 356–7n3 Christmas Island detention facility 271, 272–3, 274, 276, 278–9, 285–9, 299–305, 356n2 Chrysohoidis, Michalis 67–8 CIA 15, 59, 110, 331n69, 331n73 Citizens for a Free Kuwait 25 City AM (newspaper) 236–7 civilian casualties, Afghanistan 32 Clarke, Victoria 26 Clayton Homes 118 climate change 1–2, 8 Clinton, Bill 116, 118–19, 122, 123, 135 Clinton Foundation 118, 126, 136 Clinton, Hillary 8, 30, 118, 125, 131, 135, 171 Clive (information management consultant) 51–2 Clive (Serco contractor) 289–92 Coffey International 162 Colas, Landry 131 Cold War 33, 111 Collective Against Mining 121 colonialism 109, 160 Comcast 5 Commission on Wartime Contracting (US) 34 Community Assistance Program, Australia 304 community mapping 58 Conflict Mapping in Afghanistan since 1978 (Independent Human Rights Commission) 32 Congo, Democratic Republic of 120 contractors, Afghanistan 28–31 Conway, Jim 208–9 copper mining, ecological damage of 173 Corcoran, Thomas J. 110–11 Corinth detention centre 64, 78–80 Corizon 209 corporate ideology 14 corporate power 7 Corporate Responsibility Coalition 187–8 Corporate Watch 255, 263 CorrectHealth 199 Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) 13, 197–8, 199, 201–2, 211–22, 227, 228, 284–5 corruption Afghanistan 24, 27, 42, 45, 328n48, 329–30n58 aid 126, 171 Greece 64, 72 Haiti 141 overcharging 240–1 Papua New Guinea 170, 171, 188 price-gouging 292 counternarcotics information campaign 26 Crocker, Ryan C. 43 Crockett, Greg 204–5 Crossbar 204–5 Cuba 122 cultural sensitivity 21 Daily Mail 235 Daily Telegraph (Sydney newspaper) 172 Damana, Chris 184–5 Das, Satyajit 309 Daveona, Lawrence 177–8 David (Serco source) 292 Davis, Raymond 57, 331n73 Davis, Troy 199 Davos conference, 2015 2–3 debtocracies 99 Defence Logistics Agency 29 democracy 16, 311 Democracy Now!

Masters of Mankind by Noam Chomsky

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affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, failed state, God and Mammon, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, Martin Wolf, means of production, nuremberg principles, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

Also in that year, 87 percent favored tax breaks for utilities that produce more electricity from water, wind, or sunlight. . . . These majorities were maintained between 2006 and 2010 and shrank somewhat after that.8 The fact that the public is influenced by science is deeply troubling to those who dominate the economy and state policy. One current illustration of their concern is the Environmental Literacy Improvement Act being proposed to legislatures by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded lobby that designs legislation to serve the needs of the corporate sector and extreme wealth. The ALEC act mandates “balanced” teaching of climate science in K–12 classrooms. “Balanced teaching” is a code phrase that refers to teaching climate-change denial in order to “balance” mainstream climate science. It is analogous to the “balanced teaching” advocated by creationists to enable the teaching of “creation science” in public schools.9 Legislation based on ALEC models has already been introduced in several states.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

In an earlier time, we called this greenwashing. Jane Mayer quotes public-relations expert Fraser Seitel about the Koch brothers’ effort to remake their image: “They’re waging a charm offensive to reset the image of the Kochs from bogeymen shrouded in secrecy to philanthropists who are supporting black colleges and indigent defense.” By 2013 both Google and Facebook followed Koch Industries and joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Founded in 1973 as the Conservative Caucus of State Legislators, ALEC states that its current goal is to further “the fundamental principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism.” ALEC is the principal climate-change opposition group at the state level, but it also has focused on “opposing insurance coverage for birth control in the US; opposing the individual health insurance mandate enacted by the Affordable Care Act; expanding the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws that allow citizens the right to self-defense if they feel their property is under attack; prohibiting cities from building public broadband networks; urging state legislatures to demand voters produce state-issued IDs.”


pages: 558 words: 168,179

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working poor

For years, Heritage Foundation personnel were the only outsiders allowed to regularly caucus with Republican members of Congress because of this hybrid organization. “We are basically a conduit to and from the Heritage Foundation to and from conservative members of the House,” its director, Don Eberly, said in 1983. Weyrich, with Scaife’s financial backing, launched several other ingenious political organizations during this period. One was the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group aimed at waging conservative fights in every state legislature in the country. From 1973 until 1983, the Scaife and Mellon family trusts donated half a million dollars to ALEC, constituting most of its budget. “ALEC is well on its way to fulfilling the dream of those who started the organization,” a Weyrich aide wrote to Scaife’s top adviser in 1976, “thanks wholly to your confidence and the tremendous generosity of the Scaife Family Charitable Trusts.”

In 2011, the State Policy Network’s budget reached a sizable $83.2 million. Coordinating with the think tanks were over a hundred “associate” members that included conservative nonprofit groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, which the Kochs also helped to fund. Adding clout to the Right’s reach at the state level was the American Legislative Exchange Council. Weyrich’s brainchild had grown impressively since the 1970s, when Richard Mellon Scaife had provided most of its start-up funding. Critics called it a conservative corporate “bill mill.” Thousands of businesses and trade groups paid expensive dues to attend closed-door conferences with local officials during which they drafted model legislation that state legislators subsequently introduced as their own.


pages: 377 words: 110,427

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz by Aaron Swartz, Lawrence Lessig

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affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, deliberate practice, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, failed state, fear of failure, Firefox, full employment, Howard Zinn, index card, invisible hand, John Gruber, Lean Startup, More Guns, Less Crime, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, semantic web, single-payer health, SpamAssassin, SPARQL, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, unbiased observer, wage slave, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

Lee Liberman Otis was just a law student when she started pitching Scaife and others on the need for the Federalist Society.† The field even has its serial entrepreneurs. Paul Weyrich was the press secretary for a Republican senator when he met Joseph Coors. Over the next few decades, Weyrich used Coors’ money to start the Heritage Foundation, the Free Congress Foundation, Moral Majority, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and various other groups that haunt any history of modern conservatism’s rise. Just like the vendors at the inauguration, political entrepreneurs sought out people with money and tried to sell them something they didn’t even know they wanted. (Manne to Goodrich: “The Augean stables were cleaned by diverting a stream of water through them. . . . One law school dedicated to propositions like those you propound . . . would do more to discipline all the other[s] than anything I can think of.”


pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, American Legislative Exchange Council, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

See Charles Duhigg and David Barboza, “In China, Human Costs Are Built into an iPad,” New York Times, January 25, 2012; and Spencer Soper, “Inside Amazon’s Warehouse,” Morning Call, September 18, 2011. All the tech giants are getting in on the lobbying game, but for one particularly controversial initiative, consider the Facebook-led lobbying group FWD.us. In 2013, Google, Facebook, and Yelp all joined ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council—a lobbying organization notorious for supporting climate change denial, undermining gun control, and busting unions—even as companies including Kraft Foods and Pepsi left due to consumer pressure. 1: A PEASANT’S KINGDOM 1. For the 450,000 jobs figure, see Sarah Lacy, Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good: The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0 (New York: Gotham, 2008), 13.


pages: 391 words: 22,799

To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton

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affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, global village, informal economy, invisible hand, liberation theology, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, price anchoring, Ralph Nader, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, walkable city, Washington Consensus, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, Works Progress Administration

As liability insurance premiums grew by as much as 500 percent, liability reformers could look for federal support from the Reagan administration’s Tort Policy Working Group and from their number-Â�one conÂ�gresÂ�sional champion, Senator John Danforth, a Missouri Republican. But much of the fight would take place in the states.64 Concerned, the chemical companies joined a coalition under the auspices of the American Legislative Exchange Council and set out to generate a citizen outcry against tort abuse.65 It was an uphill battle, but as the SIFE competition demonstrated, Dow and the industry group Chemical Manufacturers Association had a valuable asset in Mrs. Nute, wife of Dow lobbyist Leslie F. “Lee” Nute. At an association meeting, Mrs. Nute described Dow’s grassroots campaign. “Everyone was very impressed with the quality and comprehensiveness of this program,” the minutes recorded, “and it was recommended that evÂ�ery company strongly consider such a program.


pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

As public outrage grew, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which set the stage for the food and drug regulations of today. If a would-be Sinclair tried to document today’s food horror stories, there’s a good chance he’d be fi ned, jailed, or even labeled a terrorist. In Iowa, Utah, and Missouri, undercover investigations of factory farms are illegal. Nearly every major agricultural state has proposed similar legislation. A shadowy corporate-government partnership known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has proposed “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” to deter filming that is designed to “defame” such facilities or their owners.176 Any violators would end up on a “terrorist registry.” Good luck fi nding out exactly how ALEC came to propose that law: a Washington Post reporter who tried to attend a gathering found that its “business meetings are not open.”177 Police escorted him away, and if he had persisted, who knows—maybe he’d have been labeled a terrorist, too.


pages: 651 words: 161,270

Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder

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American Legislative Exchange Council, battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning

Lucas, a developer, had bought some land for building two houses. He sued for the loss in real estate value of his property when the Coastal Commission changed their management plan so as “to prevent development on sensitive coastal land”. 76 It is claimed that “almost all of the ‘takings’ bills that have been proposed in state legislatures around the county are written by a little right-wing think-tank, the American Legislative Exchange Council, funded by the usual long-lived cast of conservative businesses and foundations.”77 The Council is aiming to introduce stronger takings laws in various states with its model takings legislation, which gives property owners automatic compensation if the value of their land is diminished by fifty per cent or more by government regulations or plans. In 1995 thirteen states passed takings bills, and the Private Property Protection Act, part of the Republicans’ Contract with America, was passed in the House.