Mr. Edward R Bust, CEO
State Farm Insurance
One State Farm Plaza
Bloomington, IL 61710
cc: Debra Daniels, State Farm Insurance
October 15, 2012
Dear Mr. Bust:
This letter is to inform you as to why my husband and I canceled our policy with you after 28 years. I follow the Center for Media and Democracy postings on ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Commission. I met Lisa Graves a year ago and am deeply impressed with her work. So was Bill Moyers, who interviewed Lisa recently on his very informative program.
Your corporation holds a major role in some of the worst legislation this nation has seen over recent decades. I recently was part of a citizen group that influenced Amazon to drop its membership in ALEC. I will explain exactly why thousands understand what ALEC does, and the complicit, illegal actions you support.
The Center for Media and Democracy reports facts, and holds copies of over 1000 legislative bills that ALEC secretly developed, behind closed doors. A few of them follow:
ALEC's Legislative Agenda on the Economy
On American Legislative Exchange Council task forces, corporate lobbyists and special interests vote as equals with elected representatives on templates to change our laws, behind closed doors with no press or public allowed to see the votes or deliberations. ALEC economic legislation caters to those corporate interests. It includes proposals that would destabilize the economy and hurt working people by further tilting the tax code in favor of wealthy corporations, privatizing Medicare and Social Security, and removing protections for American consumers. ALEC's private sector co-chair of the Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force is Emory Wilkerson of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.
Creating or Expanding Loopholes for the Richest Corporations and Individuals
▪ ALEC's "Capital Gains Tax Elimination Act" protects wealthy investors and denies revenue from windfall income derived without labor that could help fund basic services.
▪ The "Resolution to Repeal the Federal Unified Gift and Estate Tax" is one of several model bills by ALEC that repeals taxes on large estates, giving more loopholes to the heirs of the wealthiest few.
▪ ALEC's "Flat Tax Option Act" would create a "flat tax" system that ignores the way such a tax would burden middle and working class families and would give big tax breaks to richer Americans, by abandoning progressive taxation rates.
▪ ALEC's "Automatic Income Tax Rate Adjustment Act" would automatically adjust individual and corporate income tax rates downward if income tax revenue collected by the state increased, without regard to needs for public services due to population growth or other circumstances such as the opportunity to invest in infrastructure.
▪ ALEC's "Real Estate and Economic Growth Resolution" is a resolution encouraging the end of capital gains taxes and the flow of more money into real estate, including greater investment of pension funds in real estate. The resolution advocates for similar policies to those that led to the housing bubble in the mid-2000s.
▪ ALEC's "Resolution Urging Congress to Permanently Extend the Bush Tax Cuts" urges Congress to extend the Bush administration's tax cuts, which favor the wealthy and corporations while expanding the federal budget deficit.
▪ ALEC's "Federal TABOR Resolution" calls to limit government spending and would require a "supermajority vote of both houses of Congress" to override the spending limit.
▪ ALEC's "Super-Majority Act" would amend the state constitution to require all tax and "license fee" increases or impositions be approved by two-thirds of all members of each house of the Legislature, except when there is insufficient revenue to pay interest on the state's debt.
Privatizing Medicare and Social Security
▪ ALEC's "Resolution Urging Congress to Create Private Individual Medical Accounts" proposes to privatize Medicare by permitting the creation of individual medical accounts. It is doubtful that such accounts would be able to cover the cost of necessary medical care for seniors, and this bill would probably serve as a tax shelter for the wealthiest few.
▪ ALEC's "Resolution Urging Congress to Modernize the Social Security System with Personal Retirement Accounts" advocates for the privatization of social security with personal retirement accounts, which would weaken the stream of income into the social security trust fund, undermining the long-term viability of Social Security Removing Protections for American Consumers
▪ ALEC's "Resolution Urging Congress to Oppose Measures Designed to Impose Ceilings on Credit Card Rates" advocates for consumers to be subjected to unlimited interest rates and fees for credit cards.
▪ ALEC's "Resolution on Negative Impacts of Pharmaceutical Price Controls" opposes all cost controls on prescription drugs.
▪ The "Resolution in Support of Preserving Reasonable Limits on Wrongful Death Actions" is one of several model bills by ALEC that attempts to stop efforts to allow a jury to fully compensate a victim's family for all their damages in the death of their loved one caused by a corporation. The resolution supports limiting damages to the killed employee's prospective earnings and medical costs and attempts to prevent juries from compensating family members for the emotional consequences of the loss of a parent, spouse, or child.
▪ ALEC's "Resolution in Opposition to a Consumer Financial Protection Agency" advocates against a consumer watchdog agency in the wake of Wall Street gambling that wrecked our economy.
ALEC's "Housing Affordability Impact Statement Act" is designed to interfere with regulations
aimed at ensuring safe and affordable housing.
We oppose the legislative actions taken, and especially the secret manner in which they were pushed through, using your amassed fortune in that process.