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Senator Mary Lazich's Disturbing Love Affair With ALEC

This story has very little sex or romance. In fact, it has no sex - Zero. And it is a minus (-) in the romance category.

Who is Senator Mary Lazich? If you're like me and you live in Wisconsin's 28th Senate district, she is your state senator - like it or not.

Who is ALEC?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a task force of more than 2,000 Republican legislators ( and 1 known Democrat) and 300 unelected corporate representatives and registered lobbyists that gather strictly for the purpose of writing model right-wing bills for legislators to take to back to their states to implement. We know this because ALEC was recently outed to the media by a member who was sick over the way they do " business".

Every legislator who joins ALEC is carefully screened and vetted before being allowed to join this powerful conservative "think tank". Corporations assign unelected representatives to sit on ALEC task forces to help VOTE on the "model" bills and resolutions, and sit as equals with legislators voting on the ALEC task forces and various working groups.

Lazich's relationship with ALEC: She is a card-carrying, due-paying ALEC member whose infamous, irresponsible and intellectually dishonest "sex education" bill was an ALEC product. Also, Her ALEC dues were paid for with taxpayer $.

Restoring local control to instruction in human growth and development (LRB-2088) Sponsored by Senator Mary Lazich (and ALEC)

This bill reversed the comprehensive sexual education bill that passed here in WI during the Doyle administration. Lazich's first draft of the bill mandated the teaching of abstinence-only sexual education in our state despite the fact that only 15 percent of Americans say they want abstinence-only sex education in the schools. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1622610

The most controversial topics addressed in the "old" comprehensive approach to sex education — "that teens can obtain birth control pills from family planning clinics and doctors without permission from a parent" — was found to be inappropriate by 28 percent of the public, but even there, seven out of 10 (71 percent) thought it was appropriate. The other most controversial topics were oral sex (27 percent found it inappropriate) and homosexuality (25 percent).

Mary Lazich's new bill forgoes the requirement to teach puberty, pregnancy, parenting, body image, and gender stereotypes, the health benefits, side effects, and proper use of contraceptives and barrier methods approved by the FDA - in essence, white-washing real sex education and replacing it with a glorified home economics class straight out of 1951. See my old blog:

I know for a fact that the idea for this controversial and regressive sex-less sex education bill did not come from students, parents, teachers, school board members or Superintendents, but rather from ALEC itself - because I asked questions of Senator Lazich, the school board and Superintendent - and dug around.

As the bill was being debated in Wisconsin I asked a series of questions to our Superintendent of Greendale Public Schools, Dr. William Hughes, who did not take any sides in the matter, but answered some frank questions truthfully.

Have any parents or administrators come to you with concerns or complaints about comprehensive sex ed?  "Have not heard anything and have been in the schools and in gatherings with parents quite a bit these few weeks."

What is our current policy on teaching sex ed in the middle and high school levels?   "There is a comprehensive program - with a parent opt out that is almost never done by parents.  The program was reviewed by district staff when the the law was passed a year or two ago as part of Gov Doyle's agenda.  The Greendale Human Growth and Development program  included the components that the legislature mandated  then.  The curriculum was revised some years back and included parent discussion to have a program that reflected our parent's values rather than a state mandate."

Who teaches these classes or lessons?  "PE and Health Teachers @ GMS and GHS."

Has either Senator Mary Lazich or Assembly member Jeff Stone contacted you in regards to these bills? If so, what input did you provide? "Have not had any inquiries."

And the proof that ALEC helped write this sex-less sex-ed legislation: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/11/1044266/-ALEC-On-Corrupted-Sexuality ~ It's a long story, but it does mention the word "sex" a lot and tells how ALEC believes that ANY Law from 1950 to present that even mentions "The Kinsey Report" as supporting documentation or had anyone who testified about the law that mentioned the Kinsey report has got to go, per ALEC.

ALEC released this statement: "Alfred Kinsey was a moral revolutionary in scientist’s clothing. The science was bad, even bogus; the man himself may now be forgotten; but the revolution came to stay, with a vengeance. Kinsey’s message—fornicate early, fornicate often, fornicate in every possible way—became the mantra of a sex-ridden age, our age, now desperate for a reformation of its own."

So what would go away because of its purported connection to Kinsey, according to ALEC and Mary Lazich and Jeff Stone?

SIECUS
Since 1964, the Sex Education and Information Council of the United States (SIECUS) has provided sex education materials to public schools.   …   SIECUS is dependent upon Indiana University’s Kinsey Reports, including the “scientific” tables documenting the Kinsey protocol.

AASECT
Just as SIECUS was founded to promote Kinseyan sex education to school children in 1964, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) was created in 1967 to train and accredit educators, health personnel and other “helping” professionals in the area of human sexuality based on the Kinsey “findings.”

. . . in other words, professionals who know what the hell they are talking about should just "Go Away" and let kids find out about actual sex, well, the hard way - no puns intended.

Besides our very own Senator Mary Lazich, some of these more (in)famous conservatives are alumni of ALEC:

  • George H.W. Bush
  • Michelle Bachman
  • Charles Koch
  • David Koch (yup, the prank phone call billionaire guy)
  • Tommy Thompson
  • Congressman Mark Foley (intern sex scandal)
  • former House Speaker Tom DeLay
  • Donald Rumsfeld
  • Governor Scott Walker
  • The Fitzgerald Bros.

(Find anybody on that list you despise? If you are liberal-minded, you probably can't find a single person on that list who does not make you cringe.)

Tommy Thompson is an alumni of ALEC and was quoted as saying, " Myself, I always loved going to these meetings because I always found new ideas. Then I'd take them back to Wisconsin, disguise them a little bit, and declare that 'It's mine." And now this man is running for Senate - and to represent whom?

You may say "So what if my representative meets with business leaders and other reps to brainstorm about legislation." The problem is that nobody from the left, or even the center has a seat at the table during these ALEC meetings. "Representatives" who attend ALEC only hear from one side (the far right) when it comes to insight about future legislation.

I personally find it disturbing that many of our law-makers here in Wisconsin are current members of this organization and take the time to meet with the most elite of the upper class to create laws that rule the middle class. Where are the union reps at these meetings? Where are the actual laborers? Where are the moms? Where are the students, the poor, the elderly? They are all left out of a decision-making process that only goes to diminish the standard of living for millions of middle-class Americans so that big corporations can profit more from the laws they help to create.

ALEC helped to write these other WI Bills:

Wisconsin Omnibus Tort Act: TORT REFORM bills make it harder for Americans to sue companies whose products or services result in injury or death. Wisconsin Act 2 was the first bill Walker signed into law on January 27, 2011.

Voter Photo Identification Legislation: Wisconsin passed a "Voter ID" law introduced by Greendale Republican Rep. Jeff Stone and Sen. Joe Leibham. Stone is an ALEC member who received ALEC travel reimbursements in 2009. The legislation allows a narrow list of IDs for voting, including drivers licenses and state-issued ID cards. According to a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study, about 177,000 Wisconsinites aged 65 and older do not have state-issued IDs. Statewide, only 45 percent of African American males and 51 percent of females have a valid drivers license - but that's the point isn't it?!!!

Charter School Reform Bill (AB 51-SB2): This bill introduced by Republican Rep. Robin Vos eliminates the limit on the number of pupils who may attend virtual charter schools, and weakens teacher licensure requirements. The proposal draws from a number of ALEC bills. The ALEC "Charter Schools Act" and "Next Generation Charter Schools" include the idea of an authorizing board, which makes it easier to establish charter schools over the objections of public school districts and other school officials.

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 WI Legislators with ALEC reimbursements on their Statements of Economic Interests 2011 Senate (mostly consists of writing off travel expenses to go to out-of-state ALEC functions - at our expense, of course).

Sen. Scott Fitgerald – (R) ALEC: $1,529.93

2011 Assembly

Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald – (R) ALEC: $1,329

Rep. Dan Knodl – (R) ALEC: $2,000

Rep. Patricia Strachota – (R) ALEC: $1,404

Rep. Robin Vos – ALEC: $? (R) (No specific amount)

2010 Senate

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald – (R) ALEC: $1,466.93

2010 Assembly

Rep. Scott Suder – (R) ALEC: $1,200 and Heartland Institute: $1,400

Rep. Michael Huebsch – (R) ALEC: $2,000

2009 Assembly

Rep. Kitty Rhoades – (R) ALEC: $575

Rep. Jeffery Stone – (R) ALEC: $1,200 (our very own Jeff Stone from Greendale- when the hell was the last time he asked to hear from anyone around here? Wouldn't it be free to hold a listening session downtown?)

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/07/10880/alec-bills-wisconsin

http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/What_is_ALEC%3F

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bren February 09, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Cow, sorry if I wasn't clear. The legislators who introduce ALEC-written bills belong to ALEC. They agree to the bills written by the special interest task forces, and ALEC's corporate members have veto rights. So it's not an issue of being forced/not forced to introduce legislation, presenting those bills is the entire purpose of being associated with ALEC.
Bren February 09, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Cow, please see my response above. In a nutshell, the legislators who introduce ALEC legislation belong to ALEC. They sign off on bills written by the special interest group's task forces. This isn't simply a case of a lobbying group convincing legislators to introduce bills--the legislators themselves are part of the egregious process.
Bren February 09, 2012 at 08:16 PM
J.B., I just skimmed the MJS article about this. I believe the collective bargaining should be restored as that had no financial impact as was proven. It's probably too late to do anything about the financial concessions 6 months into the budget. Frankly I'm more concerned about other ALEC legislation that got pushed through, such as the Voter ID bill and its $5m price tag. I'd do my best to restore the $1.6b slashed from K-12 education and repeal the power plant/leasing privileges in the new budget. I'd repeal the corporate tax breaks especially because those don't seem to have had much impact (unless more dealings are being hidden from us). I'd also repeal any changes to the high school sex-ed curriculum as I believe that's a decision best made by teaching and medical professionals. The point is, if the state is in financial trouble, wringing more financial concessions from public union employees and then not putting those dollars toward the projected deficit is offensive and fiscally foolish. Spending $5m on a Voter ID bill right now is unnecessary and a hideous waste of money. Please, whoever finishes Scott Walker's term, please bring Wisconsin back to political balance and fiscal common sense!
CowDung February 09, 2012 at 08:20 PM
How is that different then legislators introducing bills that are given to them by the labor unions or any other lobbying group? Do you really think that the Democrats in congress wrote the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act all by themselves?
CowDung February 09, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Once again, so? It's not like the legislative process is being bypassed or anything. The legislators are still accountable to the public for the bills they introduce and vote for (or against).
J. B. Schmidt February 09, 2012 at 09:08 PM
@Bren What you think should happen is why you side with the unions and Falk. What think should happen is why I side with Lazich and the policies proposed by ALEC. There is no difference between us, which is exactly my point. This blog wants to demonize the republicans while turning a blind eye to what democrats are doing.
Bren February 09, 2012 at 09:41 PM
J.B., you and I agree that both parties engage in strategy (and spend way too much time and money on it, in my opinion!). The public unions definitely have a stake in this recall election and are making their opinions known. However, they should also remember that the effort is not just about them, and it's a mistake for them to believe otherwise--214,000 (or now about 207,000) public employees v. 1m signatures prove that this is a much larger issue. I'm against the ALEC agenda because it is destabilizing our economy and government system to benefit a few. Why is it all right for a bank CEO to make terrible decisions and get a huge bonus, but not all right for someone else to make a family-sustaining wage right here in America? Since when do we make the distinction that only the rich deserve opportunities to succeed in our country? And I can't answer for Jason about wanting to demonize Republicans overall. I would myself say that the Republican Party has been overshadowed by the Koch/Tea/ALEC agenda. Consider the rapid and outraged response to the radical actions taken by Karen Handel at Susan G. Komen Foundation (Handel was previously a failed Tea/GOP candidate for governor in GA). People in both parties are tired of these shenanigans. They hurt us and our country.
CowDung February 09, 2012 at 09:48 PM
What 'ALEC legislation' guarantees huge bonuses for bank CEOs that makes terrible decisions? I must have missed it when Walker passed that one. I also don't see where they are trying to take away anyone's 'right' to a family sustaining wage, other than perhaps emphasizing that earning a 'family sustaining' wage is really not a right, and people should be paid according to the value of their work.
James R Hoffa February 09, 2012 at 10:57 PM
@Bren - How does any of ALEC's proposed legislation act to "destabilize our system of government and turn it into something we would decry in another nation?" In fact, the sex-ed bill addressed in the article actually returns the power about what to teach on such subject to the local level school boards, thus making it all about the parent-teacher and community sentiment relationship with public education. That's not only a good thing for local level community involvement, but it's also a principle that's deeply rooted in our system of government going back to the founding of our nation. The bill was a proper application of our Constitutional set-up and permits for the greatest exercise of individual liberty and freedoms. But for some reason, on this issue, you seem to support sweeping top down dictatorial / mandated decisions from the few in power at the very top. Why? And yet you claim that ALEC is trying to 'destabilize our system of government?' Based solely on the sex-ed bill, it look to me like they're trying to preserve our system of government before it has been perverted into something that our traditions, principles, and founders never intended.
James R Hoffa February 09, 2012 at 11:03 PM
@Jason - This is nothing more than another hit piece on conservatives, and you know it. Could you explain for us why you don't mention anywhere in the article how the bill actually returns decision making to the local level school boards, as it most definitely does? I thought that local level control was something that we favored in our system of government, but I guess that liberals prefer top down dictatorial mandates from the very few with power at the very top, don't you?
James R Hoffa February 09, 2012 at 11:07 PM
@Bren - "I'd also repeal any changes to the high school sex-ed curriculum as I believe that's a decision best made by teaching and medical professionals." I guess that in Bren's world, the parents of those children aren't entitled to any say in this decision at all? Very interesting position to take.
James R Hoffa February 09, 2012 at 11:12 PM
@Bren - If the legislators have an active role in drafting the legislation proposed by ALEC, then how or why is that any different than if the legislator had come up with the same bill on their own accord? And if a legislator has a good idea and wants to share it with others or receive input to make it an even better idea, then what is so wrong with that? And yes, the left also has their own versions of ALEC - they just aren't as big or well organized, but I don't see screaming about any of the boogie-men on the left. Why not?
James R Hoffa February 09, 2012 at 11:18 PM
@Bren - The big difference between teen pregnancies then vs now is that back then, most people still took personal responsibility for the teen pregnancies. Now, most people expect the government to take responsibility for them. I don't know about you, but I'll take the personal responsibility sentiment of then vs the expected government responsibility of today's sentiment.
James R Hoffa February 09, 2012 at 11:27 PM
I too give Jason credit for voicing his opinion in public and opening the door for discussion and criticism of that opinion. I also give him credit for being willing to defend that position in the discussion/commentary portion of the blog. He is an admirable person of good character and I deeply respect him, even though I don't think we've agreed on a single issue yet. I'm still waiting and holding my breath though that maybe one day there will be something that we can agree on :-) One thing Jason needs to do is to make sure that his next auto purchase is of an American union assembled model, as his Hyundai just isn't cutting the mustard as far representing himself as being a man of his personal convictions. I don't care if you only buy used, as it's still highly symbolic, and isn't that what most exercises of patriotism encompass today? Think about it!
James R Hoffa February 09, 2012 at 11:32 PM
@J.B. - Excellent point and I share your sentiments here!
Lyle Ruble February 09, 2012 at 11:33 PM
@JRH...There's only one problem with what you state about ALEC and how they come up with the model legislation. For the most part the legislators are actively involved in the actual drafting. It's done for them by the staff and industry members of ALEC. Please share with me what Democratic organizations do what ALEC does, I'm interested.
James R Hoffa February 09, 2012 at 11:39 PM
@Lyle - Republicans also in-fight just as much as the Dems do - especially since the inception of the 'Tea Party' sub-caucus. Need I remind how the Tea Partiers stood firm against TARP, the debt ceiling deal, etc. while a majority of the traditional Republicans caved on those votes?
Lyle Ruble February 09, 2012 at 11:43 PM
@JRH..The standard sex education program is created by professionals. Parents do have a say and can opt out their children from receiving the instruction. As far as dealing with unwanted pregnancy like they did in the 1950s, no thank you. I was alive and well then and the system didn't work to well. Families tried to hide it, but everyone knew what happened. I had classmates in the early sixties who went away to live with an aunt in a far away city. Only to return a changed person. I knew a lot who went away for a special medical procedures. Don't romanticize the past. Believe me, society is better off now than then.
J. B. Schmidt February 10, 2012 at 12:01 AM
@Lyle There is nothing romantic about getting pregnant while in high school. Unless you find out you can watch Teen Mom on MTV and relate with those teens and realize it can be a fun experience or even better you get your own TV show. Then I can do a google search for my favorite teeny bopper singer and find the actually video that create her child out of wedlock. The difference is as Hoffa pointed out is that 50 years ago it was looked on as bad. Maybe you had sex, however, your risk for being excluded from life (ie go to your aunts) was greater then today. With all behavior being best controlled by public stigma, we are making sex appear the proper activity during your high school years. If teen pregnancy really wants to be curbed, we need to have REAL parents teacher their children. Not a sterilized nursed with a banana and a condom.
J. B. Schmidt February 10, 2012 at 12:09 AM
P.S. Just a quick explanation. Googling my favorite teeny bopper was purely a hypothetical situation and not a description of my free time.
Bren February 10, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Cow, I have made a note to remind myself that paragraphs are our friends! You're right, ALEC isn't connected to those business practices except in my paragraph. Mea culpa! In that context, I reiterate my observation that some people seem to be more concerned about the welfare of the rich instead of everyone's welfare. I hear people verbally roasting public sector employees over an open fire for making $50-$60K year while defending Wall Street bonuses and I'm incredulous. Certainly people should be paid for the value of their work, but I will argue that pay for CEOs should align with worker wages a la the Japan model.
Bren February 10, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Mr. Hoffa, I was writing about external decision-making only. I don't believe politicians who are not licensed teachers or medical doctors are qualified to make decisions on health curriculum.
Lyle Ruble February 10, 2012 at 02:05 AM
@J.B. Schmidt...J.B. you're going to have to come to grips with the changes in society. We are no longer living at a time where people will accept the social stigma associated with teenage sex and possible pregnancy. That kind of stigmatization will no longer work anymore. We have to deal with the reality as it is, not what we wish it to be. Quite simply all kids need sex education provided by trained professionals. If a parent wants to handle this without the school, then they can opt out and handle it in a way they feel is appropriate. If the parents want their children to be taught abstinence, then they should be the ones to teach it. No sex education class teaches kids to engage in premarital sex. To require abstinence only sex education is taking a religious imperative and legislating it and forcing it on everyone. If you insist the denial of modern sex education, then you will be partially responsible for every unwanted pregnancy that could be prevented, every case of STD that could be prevented and every abortion of a pregnancy that could be prevented. Sex before the age of 18 in this state is illegal and look at how well that has worked. You can't legislate morality. That's like trying to inspect quality into a product after its already been built, it doesn't work.
J. B. Schmidt February 10, 2012 at 03:12 AM
@Lyle I disagree. We all want a society based on what we wish. I would rather assume that culture can return be changed, it is for the kids. How much 'training' is required for sex ed? For all the talk of conservatives attempting to get into the bedrooms of American's, we must question what needs to be taught? We don't have this problem because kids are using their parts incorrectly. We don't have this problem because the instructions of our contraceptives are printed in Chinese. We don't have this problem because STD's are a new disease to the human race. We have this problem because sex has become an act of nature instead of an act of devotion (I would say marriage). The teaching of abstinence is no different in its extremes then the current teaching of sex. Sex education without morals is as much a 'religion' as sex with morals. As for opting out, try telling your middle school kid that he will be the only one not taking a class the rest of the school is enrolled in. I just ran into this with a different subject. The teacher proposed something and then asks the parents. It should be an opt-in program. However, that would break the progressive control of the school system.
J. B. Schmidt February 10, 2012 at 03:13 AM
@Lyle (cont) Don’t legislate morality when it comes to sex and reproductive health. However, you have no problems with regulation if it is the morality of the environment, or if it is the morality of gun ownership, or the morality of wealth or the morality of public education. Those you appear not care about the regulation.
Lyle Ruble February 10, 2012 at 03:49 AM
@J.B. Schmidt...Teaching morality is the domain of the parent and not the school. Sexual morality is no different. Associating morality with the environment, gun ownership, wealth and public education is a red herring. I would suggest that you take a course in the philosophy of morals and ethics. Not all values are manifested in an effort to demonstrate moral imperatives.
CowDung February 10, 2012 at 02:59 PM
The level of compensation that the CEO enjoys is an issue for the boards of directors and stockholders, not the government, ALEC or anyone not associated with of the CEO's company. Wall Street bonuses are paid according to the contract that was agreed upon--if the conditions for the bonus have been met, the bonuses have to be paid. I also don't believe that CEO pay should be tied to the wages of the workers. To me, that makes little sense, and doesn't consider the work or responsibilities of the CEO at all. Should a CEO of an engineering firm necessarily make more money than the CEO of a factory that employs lots of relatively low wage laborers? As far as 'roasting' those making $50-60k, it's not about how much they are earning, nor is it about them. The issue is the system that allows the public unions to be 'negotiating' with the people that they helped put into office (public union money elects a lot of people). How is that not a conflict of interest? Such arrangements eliminate the adversarial relationship that typically exists between the union and management in the private sector. This is what causes the compensation packages to grow to unsustainable levels and allows groups like WEA Trust to come in and overcharge for the benefits they provide.
J. B. Schmidt February 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I agree with parents teaching morality. However, there is a false notion about morality that is attempting to be portrayed here. The idea that the absence of morality is therefore neutral morality. That is not true. A class taught void of morality has the same divergence from neutral morality as a class taught with only religious morality. Simply because a class about sex void of morality goes against the morality of religion. Hence, the progressive education system has installed its own morality into the sex ed class. That is why an approach of abstinence fits both objectives. "But kids are going to have sex anyway and they will not understand how to protect themselves." Oddly enough, we don't teach kids how to consume alcohol safely. Nor do we teach kids how to safely make meth or how to smoke pot. Yet, we teach that morally the abuse of those substance is wrong. Why is sex treated differently then other harmful activities that kids could be involved with?
robert heule February 16, 2012 at 03:09 AM
More interesting information about Senator Lazich will be posted shortly
Keith Best February 21, 2012 at 12:47 PM
As it says here in the article. ALEC is a "Think Tank". Yes, they come up with ideas. What do liberal Democrats do? Do they have "Think Tanks" as well. The answer; it could be. But usually their answer is to raise taxes and throw more of our taxpayer hard-earned dollars at something.Tax and spend is what they do. Well Wisconsin chose a new direction, for we can't spend money we don't have.

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