Saturday, October 19, 2013

Arrivederci, ALEC? Representative Senger's Movin' on Up.

Representative Darlene Senger

Arrivederci, ALEC?
(Representative Senger’s Movin’ on Up.)

Some members of ALEC in Illinois’ General Assembly will be busy this fall and spring to make some headway politically and personally in Illinois, especially those in the House. 

ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is a corporate bill industry.  An organization heavily funded by the Koch brothers, it is a strategic bill-making plant providing expensive getaways for state legislators to meet in luxury or exotic haunts to generate model bills with the assistance of corporate benefactors or legal advisors.  ALEC itself proudly boasts it emphasis on restoring the balance; “An Initiative to Restore Federalism in America.” 

According to one constituent who called retiring Representative Renee Kosel’s  (R-37) office regarding her close ties to ALEC, we “wouldn’t understand the tremendous benefits that are gained through her (and others?) connections to ALEC.”  Representative Kosel is proud of her chairmanship in the state with ALEC and uses her website openly to emphasize her loyalty. 

Personally, I probably would not understand those ‘tremendous benefits.”  Banning the opportunity for a living wage, crippling collective bargaining rights, privatizing the school systems, undermining voting rights, and promoting privatization of our prison systems would just be a few of ALEC’s major “goal of restoring the founding fathers’ intent for the states.”  These kinds of activities are much too complicated for any constituent like me to comprehend ( . 

Retiring Representative Kosel
ALEC member Representative Tom Cross (R-97)  is moving up this year too, making a run for the Treasurer in Illinois.  Part of Tom Cross’ campaign is to point out that he was early to spot the problem with pensions (note: he doesn’t say he spotted the debt caused by his and others’ theft of funds diverted from pensions).  But Representative Cross has done his work according to those who would describe the unfunded liability (call it DEBT) a crisis, so he has the commensurate backing of power-brokers like Ty Fahner, Sam Skinner, Ron Gidwitz and others. 

Taking Representative Cross’ position as House leader on the Republican side will be ALEC member Representative Jim Durkin.  Durkin is listed as a member by AlecExposed due to his promises to participate in this fall’s annual meeting in Chicago.   Reviewing Durkin’s legislative website, he does not boast his fellowship or connections with ALEC, unlike his team member Representative Patti Bellock or gubernatorial candidate Senator Kirk Dillard.   He does like his picture posted with other ALEC loyalist Senator Christine Radagno.  Like Representative Kosel, they prominently place their strong affiliation with all things Koch on their websites.

This brings us to ALEC member Representative Darlene Senger (R-41), member of the Pension Task Force about to deliver its verdict for “pension reform” during the Veto Session or shortly thereafter.  True, Representative Senger is just one of twelve (Republican) congresspersons in Illinois who work with and for ALEC, but she is about to move on up in attempting to secure a seat at the federal level. 

Representative Senger, unlike many of her fellows, is more understated about her membership in the “initiative to shift power back to the states and away from the federal government.”  Her website is not exactly an avowal of her association with ALEC or her serving for so many years on the influential International Relations Task Force

Needless to say, serving on this committee will certainly prepare her for the more global aspects of politics on the federal level, just as her earlier vocation in selling investment instruments has helped her to propose the turning of the pension system into a 401K program for “the betterment of its members.” 

And what has the International Relations Task Force promoted in its attempts to provide “Limited Government, Free Markets, and Federalism”? 

 - An attempt to prevent Australia and other countries from imposing “plain packaging” rules on cigarettes in an attempt to reduce consumption by their public due to the disastrous health consequences.   LSMFT!

 - To deny federal mandates (like the Affordable Care Act) in any of the states due to the affirmation of the Tenth Amendment Rights, making such mandates a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.  If we can’t shut it down…

 - To exchange the international monitoring and prevention of “blood diamonds” being harvested from places like Africa with private companies and/or local governments.  Wal-Mart security in charge…

 - The banning of any unilateral trade sanctions against other governments as our prosperity is tied to participation in a global economy.  Maybe the Somalis just need private schools?

 - The averting of any defense limitations in spending or more in sequestration as for the harm such reductions in defense spending would have on our economic prosperity.  Make war, not love, people.

 - Attempt to provide enhancements in monetary or reduced taxation for “small business” expansion into foreign markets.  Pandemic strip malls for all. 

 - Returning federal parks and eco-reserves to the people and governments of the particular states in which they are located.  Wolf pelt jackets or pants, sir?



  1. Senger stated at the forum entitled “Fixing Illinois’ Public Pensions” Better Government Association on April 9, 2012

    “SB 512 wasn’t unconstitutional. It wasn’t taking away benefits. We have a system that is failing” and “every time you delay a solution, it becomes costly.” Senger also declared that the employers (school districts) should pay the normal costs since the employer makes the contracts, and that “the COLA is the problem” and “should be suspended like in Rhode Island.”

  2. In Illinois, as elsewhere, the scum rises to the top. The pension crisis is nothing to fear for these legislators who no longer need mere salaries or pensions because they sold everyone else out and will be using the ALEC revolving door for their personal benefits.