Do BlueOregon readers want to help expose what the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been up to?

Kyle Curtis Facebook

A dump of "thousands" of documents from Anonymous reveals inner workings of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the Mackinac Center.

An early morning scroll through my Twitter feed brought me to this Daily Kos diary. It appears that the fine anonymous folks who comprise, well, Anonymous have successfully breached the security of some of the top conservative organizations, releasing a ton of documents from the inner workings of the Chamber of Commerce, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the Mackinac Center, a Michigan-based state conservative think-tank. (In all honesty, is there a bigger oxymoron than "conservative think-tank?" I mean, seriously...)

I wrote about ALEC previously, and how this organization serves as an association of dues-paying conservative state lawmakers who rely on ALEC's various task forces to develop "model legislation." Such "model legislation" is necessary as these conservative state lawmakers must be too lazy to responsibly legislate by themselves to address the problems facing their state and their constituents. As a result of ALEC "model legislation" a spate of similarly worded bills suddenly appear in Republican-dominated statehouses simultaneously, all offering the same solutions to shared problems. For example, are states facing budget shortfalls at a time of unprecedented low taxes? (Look it up: Americans are, indeed, paying the lowest taxes in decades.) Well, then, ALEC "model legislation" suggests that Republican lawmakers suspend collective bargaining and silence public employee unions- with exemptions for the police and fire fighters unions (as long as they endorsed the Republican slate in the prior election, of course).

Of course, I am merely hypothesizing here regarding ALEC model legislation to ban collective bargaining for public employee unions, as there really was no way for non-ALEC members to have access to their "model legislation" even though, once passed, we'd all be affected by it. That is, however, until this recent document dump by Anonymous. The details of ALEC's "model legislation" will hopefully be made available for the public eye. Thanks to Anonymous, the efforts by ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce- and other similar conservative organizations- to undermine our democracy and replace it with a plutocracy have now finally been revealed!

The file of documents can be found here. Its a torrent file, which means that you're going to need a program like BitTorrent or uTorrent to download and access it. It is also encrypted with TrueCrypt, which you would also need to decrypt it. Considering these various steps- and the sheer size of the file (it is 1.2 Gigabytes, after all)- you may want to use the Kos diary above to connect with somebody who has already downloaded the file and offer help going through the supposedly thousands of .pdfs the file consists of. I understand it's a beautiful sunny day and everything, but doesn't the idea of sifting through a pile of documents to understand what nefarious things the Chamber of Commerce been up to the past couple of years- such as, you know, the Chamber's efforts to "discredit, confuse, shame, combat, infiltrate, fracture" progressive critics- sound appealing to others, or is it just me?

Granted, you can always get your share of documents and read them by yourself in the middle of the night if you want to, you know, give yourself nightmares. As described by the diary's author, the documents will "make your teeth curl" as they make for "filthy, nauseating reading."

So, how 'bout it BlueOregon readers? Anyone willing to step up and sift through these documents to find out how ALEC-associated Oregon conservative lawmakers are planning to cripple our state?

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    I know this is a bit of a nitpick, but could you be sure to add U.S in front of Chamber of Commerce in the future to draw the proper distinction between that group and local Chambers of Commerce.

    As a member of several local Chambers, I can assure you there are vast differences and a distinction is necessary and warranted.

    Thank you.

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    I attended an ALEC conference when I was covering the 1992 Presidential election for my college newspaper.

    After President Bush the elder gave the keynote speech, all of the legislators filed out of the convention hall and got into about 20 lines. I thoughr they were getting tickets for something.

    At the end of the lines were ersatz reporters doing friendly video news release interviews to send back to tv stations in the legislators home districts.

    I remember thinking how well organized they were at working the media.

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