IndianALEC rep David Wolkins?*

Below is by no means a comprehensive accounting of the flippant Duke Energy puppet, David Wolkins, but it should serve to illustrate why the system will never be fixed but likely must be burned to a blackened char.

Let us be clear.  You are now being managed by ALEC.  David Wolkins, like so many others in the states and the federal government, represents the interests of the corporations that fund ALEC.  David Wolkins is a “member” of ALEC (pays 50 bucks a year for that privilege!) and speaks, when he speaks, for them.  Any time David Wolkins is expressing a legislative or political opinion it is an ALEC-authored opinion.  David Wolkins is a puppet.  By this time I don’t think it would be farfetched at all to call ALEC the author of our domestic policy and maybe Booz-Allen the author of our Foreign Policy.

David Wolkins has sold out Indiana to corporate malfeasance for 20 years and he’s quite arrogant about it.

A quote from Wolkins’ IN.gov page:  ”I believe that the best government is a small government. We need to end the bureaucracy and red tape and allow Hoosiers to make decisions for themselves.”

That’s nice.  Really, he means, “I believe corporations know what’s best for us and government is at best a commie intrusion into the goal of amassing wealth…um, for Hoosiers to make decisions for themselves.”

Let me ask, how does one “chair” ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture Committee AND serve his commoner constituents?  Here is Wolkin’s on EPA regulations:

“The latest regulations from the EPA do not only infringe upon matters of state sovereignty, but they also show a complete disregard for fiscal responsibility.”

The American Legislative Exchange Council applauds the 34 states that have taken measures to demonstrate their disapproval with the onslaught of regulations and restrictions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA’s policies are economically damaging and will not result in a significant environmental impact. The greenhouse gas regulation alone has the potential to reduce the GDP by $500 billion and increase unemployment by around 2.5 million jobs.

Here’s the full title of that news release: “ALEC State Legislators Push Back EPA’s Onslaught of Regulations: ALEC’S EPA Regulatory Train Wreck proving to be successful.”  That makes it clear doesn’t it?  David Wolkins is the Republican Representative for the great state of ALEC.  He appears to be working overtime for the citizens of ALEC.  Good job, David.

There is some real synergy between his state rep gig and his ALEC responsibilities. Here are his committee memberships in the Indiana House of Reps.:

Environmental Affairs, Chairman
Government and Regulatory Reform
Select Committee on Government Reduction

Here’s some of Wolkins’ work in 2010 posted on the site Democrats.org:

Rep. Wolkins Asks the Fed to Stop the EPA
Letter on Indiana website
STATEHOUSE – Rep. Dave Wolkins (R-Winona Lake), along with over 90 legislators representing 41 states, sent a letter to U.S. Senators expressing concerns over the EPA’s plan to regulate greenhouse gases. The letter, sent by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), was to encourage bipartisan efforts in Congress to prevent the EPA from taking action.

“ALEC calls on our national leaders to prioritize jobs and economic growth over zealous regulatory interests,” said Rep. Wolkins, the Co-Chair of ALEC’s Natural Resources Task Force. “The EPA rule is an attempt to skirt the national legislative process which to date has been more conscientious about the economic impacts of regulating greenhouse gases.”

ALEC believes the EPA rule would hinder economic growth and job creation. This contradicts national leaders’ goals to increase economic growth. The rules would apply to a large range and number of local businesses across states.

ALEC is the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators.
A copy of the letter is available online at ALEC’s Web site, http://www.alec.org/ .

Here’s a bit of vacation fun via a “task force” on “trendy environmentalism” in Phoenix:

December 2, 2011
ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit
Phoenix, AZ

On December 2, Leonard joined with CLA’s Jeff Case in Phoenix, AZ at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) States and Nation Policy Summit. LPG presented his Talk on the Importance of Herbicides in Sustainable Crop Production. Leonard’s presentation followed Todd Myers of the Washington Policy Center who described Eco-Fads — How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism is Harming the Environment — which was a perfect introduction to Leonard’s explanation of how herbicides were critical for sustainable agriculture and that doing without them (trendy environmentalism) would lead to environmental degradation. Leonard’s presentation was part of the Meeting of the ALEC Task Force on Energy, Environment and Agriculture, of which Jeff Case is a member.


Leonard presenting with Task Force Chair Rep David Wolkins (IN), Michael McGarey (Nuclear Research Institute), and Alec’s Todd Wynn, Director of the Task Force

Here’s a piece exposing Wolkins’ “work” in the Indianapolis Star in November of 2009 titled “Citizens left out in the cold.”

State Rep. David Wolkins isn’t shy about what he likes: golf, basketball and football.

As ranking Republican member and former chairman of the Indiana House Environmental Affairs Committee, he’s in a position to indulge his interests thanks to the very companies he’s supposed to help regulate.

In a single year, Wolkins, a Republican from Winona Lake, accepted more than $3,200 in tickets and lodging at major sports events from Duke Energy, Vectren Corp., the Indiana Energy Association and the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cos.

Wolkins is hardly alone.

***

One lawmaker’s bounty

Legislator: Rep. David Wolkins, R-Winona Lake

His reported gifts, their value, and the lobbyists who gave them:

• Ryder Cup tickets; $1,025; from Duke Energy.

• Ryder Cup gift and lodging; $662; from Duke Energy.

• Pacers tickets, $748; from Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cos.

• Colts ticket; $198; from Vectren Corp.

• Tickets and dinner, $276.75; from Duke Energy.

• Sporting event ticket and meal; $322; from Indiana Energy Association.http://btownerrant.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Total value of gifts: $3,231.75

What he had to say: “In my 20 years, I’ve gained a lot of friends in the lobbying community. They know that I like sporting events.’’

Source: Indiana Lobby Registration Commission

From Truthout on the fight in Indiana to eradicate worker protections and return to slavery (who do you think is going to dig all those tunnels when the ozone is finally destroyed and methane tornadoes are a constant?) :

Duke Energy came under fire last year in Indiana for trying to pass off onto customers hundreds of millions in over-budget costs for the Edwardsport Plant in Knox County. That coal gassification plant has gone so far over budget, to the tune of a billion dollars, that the state of Indiana has been looking into whether there was fraud or concealment. Duke has also been called out for paying no net taxes between 2008 and 2010 on over $5 billion in pre-tax profits, according to the Corporate Tax Dodgers Report of the Citizens for Tax Justice (which is uploaded below).

Duke’s state co-chair for ALEC is Senator Jim Buck of Kokomo, who also sits on ALEC’s Board of Directors, which approves “model” legislation in every area of the law. He is the co-chair of the ALEC Tax Task Force, which has previously opposed taxes on windfall profits of global energy companies and sought to eliminate combined reporting for corporations, thus making it easier for companies to use gimmicks to hide profits out of state.

State Rep. David Wolkins of Winona Lake is also an ALEC statewide co-chair, along with Senator Buck and Duke Energy. He is also the co-chair of ALEC’s Energy Task Force, and in 2011 ALEC named him a “State Legislator of the Year” for advancing ALEC’s vision. (In some prior years, legislators receiving this designation also received cash “awards,” although it is not certain if Wolkins did.)

But here is a bit of proof that, at the very least, David Wolkins is an ALEC handmaiden.  From the LA Times, “State legislative bills raise conservative group’s profile,” a report on the template legislation offered in the state houses, including Indiana:

The Indiana bill, for example, was introduced by Republican state Rep. David Wolkins, who is co-chair of ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force. In Virginia, state Delegate James W. “Will” Morefield said he took the EPA resolution verbatim from the ALEC website after it had been presented to him by the coal industry, according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

And finally this from Indiana Distributed Energy Advocates (IDEA) Blog details a bill proposed by Wolkins that is taken directly from ALEC (pdf from ALEC Exposed).

HB 1235 Climate expenditure accountability. (Author: Wolkins)

In case you were unaware of who David Wolkins really works for (um, not you 18th District citizens), here is how ALEC is funded, again from SourceWatch, “What is ALEC?“:

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 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.

David Wolkins looks old enough to have grandchildren who might come visit him in IndianAlec.  They should be proud.

*photo by didbygraham

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Douglas Storm is a host and producer for Interchange on Bloomington, Indiana's community radio station WFHB. "Why then do you try to 'enlarge' your mind? Subtilize it..."

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  1. Travels with Tony; Race to Coerce; ALEC as Paramilitary State; Land of Goshen Teaching "science" - January 24, 2012

    [...] and be told what to do, how to do it, when to do it.  Recently we profiled local Indiana ALEC star David Wolkins.  As local and as much a “good ol’ boy” as you can get in Indiana.  Owned by [...]

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