BOCC to hire consultants funded by ALEC and Koch bros

Commissioners want prompt review of Roan drilling plan
Applaud the affirmation of leases in federal ruling

In this recent article in the paper the BOCC announced they will use the June 22 federal court ruling on the Roan Plateau, which set aside a U.S. Bureau of Land Management drilling plan for further review, to move forward with their agenda to uphold the existing Bush-era drilling plan.

And how do they plan to accomplish this?

On Monday, July 16 (meeting begins at 8:00 a.m.) the Garfield Board of County Commissioners will discuss retaining and contracting with the “American Stewards of Liberty” to further goals for developing the Roan Plateau.

BOCC Agenda
3. Consent Agenda
h. Consideration and approval of professional services contract with American Stewards of Liberty – Carey Gagnon

According to Robert’s Rules of Order:
“The consent agenda (or in some cases, the consent calendar) allows members to vote on a group of items en bloc (as a group) without discussion. This is a good way to dispose of business that is noncontroversial. Approving the minutes, paying the bills, and approving customary donations are examples of noncontroversial business. For an organization to use a consent agenda, it needs to adopt a special rule of order.”

The county is handling this as an expenditure item. Therefore it remains to be seen whether they will allow the public to comment on the contract.

What is American Stewards of Liberty?

American Stewards of Liberty is a non-profit, private property rights organization (consulting firm) which operates under the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). [scroll down to Not-For-Profit Organizations]

According to  “ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills.

Who funds ALEC?

The Koch brothers.

“More than 98% of ALEC’s revenues come from sources other than legislative dues, such as corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations. Each corporate member pays an annual fee of between $7,000 and $25,000 a year, and if a corporation participates in any of the nine task forces, additional fees apply, from $2,500 to $10,000 each year. ALEC also receives direct grants from corporations, such as $1.4 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2009. It has also received grants from some of the biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, such as: the Koch family Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Koch-managed Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Scaife family Allegheny Foundation, the Coors family Castle Rock Foundation, to name a few. Less than 2% of ALEC’s funding comes from ‘Membership Dues’ of $50 per year paid by state legislators, a steeply discounted price that may run afoul of state gift bans. For more, see CMD’s special report on ALEC funding and spending here.

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