Idaho lawmakers in Salt Lake this week for ALEC conference, including defeated Rep. Hart

The Idaho delegation is led by the American Legislative Exchange Council's Idaho chairwoman, Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston. The 39th annual meeting began Monday for board members and other leaders. Regular sessions begin Wednesday and run through Friday.

Lodge, as a state chair, said she'll be in Salt Lake City today through Thursday, and expects to be joined by Reps. Steve Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, and Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls. Lodge said she pays her own expenses. The group also offers scholarships.

Two other lawmakers are attending at state expense, Reps. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, and Phil Hart, R-Hayden. Travel expenses for Barbieri and Hart have been approved by House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale. Hart was defeated in the May GOP primary.

ALEC is a privately funded conservative group that writes model legislation that lawmakers use as templates in many states, including bills on privatizing K-12 education, tougher voter registration requirements and taxes. The group's agenda and supporters were the subject of 2011 article in the liberal magazine, The Nation, titled "ALEC Exposed."

Lodge said she attends because of the programs. "They just have some great speakers," she said. This year's lineup includes pollster Charlie Cook and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

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1343159312 Idaho lawmakers in Salt Lake this week for ALEC conference, including defeated Rep. Hart Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

What's up with Phil Hart?

I think it's great the state pays to send legislators to these kinds of conferences as they help lawmakers gain more knowledge. And I applaud Idaho for paying to send Phil Hart, because he is still a sitting legislator.

But I wish Phil paid his taxes like the rest of us who are paying for his trip. Seems a little odd that he helps himself to tax-funded programs, but declines to pay taxes himself. Hopefully there will be a presentation on civic responsiblity at the conference and Hart will attend it.

Hart lost a primary...

Which means he won't be re-elected. Which means, when the next Legislature begins a session, Hart won't be there. There is no reason for him to do anything for the state, except pay his taxes.



What's up with Lawerence Denney?

who APPROVED FUNDING for Idaho's most prominent state and federal deadbeat to attend a conference for the job he won't have much longer. Maybe it's so Phil can lobby for a lobbying job?

Every time I think Denney couldn't show worse leadership, he outdoes himself.

The American Legislative Bribery Council...

...and the bribed legislators getting together for a little pow wow, eh? Republicans - working together to work against the citizen's best interests.


These legislators work tirelessly to ensure that Idaho enacts bad laws that will cost plenty of taxpayer money to defend in court. ALEC is an insult to democracy. It's a way of making sure all states end up with the same pathetic laws drafted by the same fat cats, instead of being independent and responsive to their constituents.

Pure corporate Plutocracy subverting democracy.

So state taxpayers money was approved to send two republicans, including a defeated tax dodger, to a corporate lobbying organization that makes model legislation that the one who's coming back to the legislature can sponsor and thus create laws that funnel more public dollars into ALEC companies' private coffers.

What is ALEC:


This is absolutely an abuse of tax dollars. Hart will not be in legislature next session and so will not be involved in making model legislation. What an abuse; shameful and what a slap in the face of Idaho taxpayers. Enough of this crap.


If you're waiting for Phil Hart to show any semblance of shame, don't hnold your breath.


ALEC 'templates' legislation for representatives that are too lazy to do what they are mandated by the people to do?
Guess what, Lodge---Hitler and Charlie Manson were also "great speakers".
What a tax-payer funded crock.

approved by House Speaker Lawerence Denney

I knew as soon as I seen Denney's name there was going to be an integrity issue somewhere.

Phil Hart is not alone

Even though Idaho Republicans voted out Phil Hart in the Republican primary election, Phil Hart has endorsed Mark Patterson in the District 15 House race this November. Idahoans - Republican, independent, and Democrat - need to remember that Mark Patterson willingly accepts Phil Hart's sense of ethics and personal conduct. Idaho does not need another Phil Hart. Idaho does not need Mark Patterson. Voters, remember Mark Patterson and the type of people he associates with. We don't need him in the State Capitol.

Lodge said she attends because of the programs.

"They just have some great speakers," she said.

Uh huh. And people buy Hustler for its literary value.

ALEC is a purveyor of simple-minded, ideological political pron. We can't afford this kind of knee-jerk, cookie-cutter thinking in government any more, no matter what side of the political spectrum it represents.


HP, CVS, BestBuy, Deere, and MillerCoors have all recently left the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This now makes 29 groups to leave the right-wing lobbying group that’s destroying America.


These same lawmakers criticize school districts for wasting taxpayer money.

Appropriate use of taxpayer money?

Gosh, I'm a little surprised that the two Tea Party, "limitted government" legislators are the guys who have the taxpayers cover the expenses for their trip. At least Sen. Lodge has the integrity to pay for her own trip. How can Lawrence Denney justify paying for Hart's trip when he is no longer going to be in the legislature? These guys drive me crazy.


What a loser.

Marching Orders

I see the legislature has sent representatives to get their marching orders from the Koch brother sponsored, John Birch influenced, kleptocracy of America, ALEC. I wonder what slimy scam they will perpetrate on the taxpayers this year to line the pockets of their wealthy sponsors and future employers. Hang on to your wallets folks, they are coming for your tax dollars and they won't be happy until you have nothing left to give, then they will harvest your organs for fun and profit.

Are you kidding me???

Denny O.K.'s flipping the bill for a legislator who is questionable at best and was defeated in the primaries??? Am I missing something? Can the State address Denny's continued terrible leadership? Doesn't the rest of the Republican leadership "elect" his position? I would think his actions are pretty obvious that they do not represents the average conservative Idahoan and yet his foolishness continues...where are the folks in Midvale??? He is embarrassing.


someone from Midvale had to take up where Craig left off.

ALEC anti-tax collection is perfect for Hart

A sample of ALEC's template bill says, a state may not pay a tax collector based on the amount collect.

No incentive to work?
Where is the Free Market in that idea?

Politics as usual

Denny represents everything that is wrong with politics in this country.