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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 11, 20174min344

As noted here last week, Denver will host this year’s annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Better known in political circles as simply ALEC, the national conservative, pro-free market group has been an advocate of limited government and a resource for model legislation to state legislators in Colorado and around the country for 44 years.

And that hasn’t sat well with assorted critics on the left for almost as long. Among them is venerable liberal group Common Cause, which has scheduled a “teach-in” this Saturday for the press and the rest of the public “to discuss the national secret lobbying group’s influence in Colorado politics” in advance of ALEC’s July 19-21 gathering at the Hyatt Regency Denver. A Common Cause media advisory promoting its teach-in promises:

Expert panelists will discuss how ALEC’s agenda on healthcare, workers’ rights, public education, climate change, media access, voting rights, and criminal justice have found its way into the Colorado legislature. The event will also focus on an upcoming Colorado Common Cause report on ALEC’s influence in Colorado politics, explore ALEC’s lack of transparency, and highlight ways ALEC is abusing its public charity tax status as a lobbying group.

As we noted the other day, liberal critics and some mainstream media long have been critical of ALEC. They cite its close ties to business and accuse it of doing the business world’s bidding in America’s statehouses. There’s even an “ALEC Exposed” website set up by the left-leaning Center For Media and Democracy.

Common Cause also is touting another website meant to counter the ALEC meeting; site visitors are greeted with the warning, “ALEC is not your friend; the biggest threat to America you’ve never heard of.”

Here are more details of the Common Cause presentation from its announcement:

WHAT:

Teach-In about the American Legislative Exchange Council’s influence in Colorado

WHEN:

10am-2pm, Saturday July 15

WHERE:

First Baptist Church of Denver

1373 Grant Street

Denver, CO, United States

WHO:

Carla Castedo (Colorado Director for Mi Familia Vota)

Pamela Resendiz (Executive Director of FRESC)

Gena Ozols (Political Director at NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado)

Ilana Spiegel (Colorado Public Education Advocate)

Paul Booth (President of Take a Stand for Democracy)

Luis Toro (Director of Colorado Ethics Watch)

Thamanna Vasan (Economic Policy Analyst at the Colorado Fiscal Institute)

Hilda Nucete (Program Director at Conservation Colorado)

Dr. Blake Reid (University of Colorado-Boulder Law School)

Elena Nunez (Executive Director of Colorado Common Cause)


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John TomasicJohn TomasicMarch 29, 201711min465

Opening the hood of Colorado's Open Records Act to change out even a few parts is a massive undertaking — too many of the components in this aging machine are moving. Aiming to make some long-overdue digital-era updates to CORA, state Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, started that process months ago and has been wrestling in the legislative and political wiring ever since.


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Lynn BartelsLynn BartelsJune 24, 201610min519

The invite from attorney Martha Tierney took me by surprise: “Friend, I would be delighted if you would join me at my table in support of Colorado Common Cause for a Champions for Democracy luncheon and fundraiser.” As a journalist, I tangled over the years with Tierney and Common Cause on several issues, including Amendment 41, the ethics measure that is less than crystal clear, and ballot proposals that limited campaign-finance donations, which critics said just drove the money underground. And so I e-mailed Tierney, the attorney for the Colorado Democratic Party, to say that if I had been put on that list by mistake I totally understood. To my surprise, she actually had invited me.