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Vicki Voldal Rosenau, Valley City, N.D., Published July 13 2013

Letter: Thoreson did not tell the full story

The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks. State Rep. Blair Thoreson, R-Fargo, that is.

In last Sunday’s (July 7) Forum, Thoreson oozed indignation over Dr. Eric Johnson’s 2-months-old public debunking of Thoreson’s failed resolution touting the discredited, unproven “tobacco harms reduction” scheme.

Thoreson testily asserted he “never had any affiliations” with the out-of-state “special-interest groups” referenced in Johnson’s May letter, but I think he forgot about ALEC. Disingenuously named, the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council is a corporate bill mill. It connects corporate lobbyists and right-wing politicians behind closed doors where they craft ALEC “model” legislation serving corporate interests over the interests of ordinary Americans. The bills get introduced in statehouses nationwide (after being stripped of their ALEC origin).

Two big tobacco companies on ALEC’s private board, Altria (formerly Philip Morris) and Reynolds American, have long worked through ALEC to push “harm reduction” as their alternative to actually preventing and reducing tobacco use.

Thoreson is public sector chairman of ALEC’s Communications and Technology Committee, and is a former ALEC state chairman for North Dakota.

Small wonder that Mark Twain reportedly loved to proclaim: “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”