Earlier today, in Greg Davids and ALEC: SE MN representative was Minnesota legislative state chair in 1992, Bluestem posted that Representative Greg Davids said that he had been a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council in the early 1990s, when he served as Minnesota state legislative co-chair for "a couple of years" then quit the organization "20 years ago," although his memory wasn't precise.
According to a Sunday, April 21, 2002 item in the Winona Post's "Campus Notes," Davids remained a member of ALEC into the new century. In 2002, the Republicans controlled the Minnesota House and Davids chaired a powerful committee, as well as serving on other important committees, according to a bio in the Winona Post article:
He has been serving as the Minnesota State Representative for District 31B ever since, and currently serves as Chair of the House Commerce, Jobs and Economic Development Committee, in addition to serving on the House Economic Development and Tourism Division; Ethics; Jobs and Economic Development Finance; and Regulated Industries Committees. He also serves on the Joint House-Senate Subcommittee on Claims and the Legislative Electric Energy Task Force.
Here's a list of Davids' memberships from the Winona State U Distinguished Alumni Award announcement:
He holds professional affiliations with several organizations, including the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, the Minnesota Association of Life Underwriters, the National Association of Life Underwriters, and the American Legislative Exchange Council. Gregory remains active in the Preston United Methodist Church and the Preston Lions Club. He currently lives in Preston with his wife, Bonnie, and has three children.
Davids had mentioned on the phone that he had been active in the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. Online minutes show (example 2002) that he had attended NCOIL committee meetings across the country. He served as the vice chair of NCOIL's Life Insurance Committee in 2000.
NCOIL and Greg Davids: Flack from the homies
His frequent travel for NCOIL became an issue in the 2006 campaign, with letter writers scolding him for NCOIL and other travel in the past sixteen years in which he had been in office. Witness Letter about Rep. Davids and out of state meetings by Harlin Taylor in the March 31, 2006 Fillmore County Journal:
In last week's Journal, Greg Davids defended his attendance at many out-of-state meetings of NCOIL (National Conference of Insurance Legislators). Taxpayer dollars have been used to finance these trips. Mr. Davids presented a number of misleading "facts" in his letter.
First, Davids' travel to Santa Fe, Savannah (twice), San Francisco (twice), Boston, Scottsdale, Chicago, New Orleans, Burlington, Orlando, Cincinnati and Williamsburg occurred between February 1999 and November 2003. These 13 trips were in 5 years, not spread out over 16 years as Davids implied. Maybe he is confusing these out-of-state trips with other out-of-state trips.
Second, Davids stated that both DFL and GOP Speakers of the House had approved his out-of-state travel. There was no DFL Speaker of the House during the years 1999-2003. Again, perhaps he is confusing these trips with other trips.
It is a fact that Davids has attended many out-of-state meetings in the last 16 years. It is a fact that those travels have been paid for by taxpayer supported campaign funds as well as public funds appropriated to the state Legislature. It is also a fact that Rep. Davids has carried many pieces of insurance legislation over the years. . ..
An earlier letter in the March 17, 2006 Fillmore County Journal damned Davids with effusive praise:
Jeff Redalen says "It is time to quit all the negative comments about our legislator Greg Davids." (March 13 Journal) That's clear enough. Call Jeff if you don't understand "all" or "negative." Tell him if you are a Davids contributor or a mere taxpayer with a mind of your own.
Let's try a positive comment. Nobody works as hard for the insurance industry as our legislator, Greg Davids. No other legislator delivers as much for them. At great personal sacrifice he attends grueling meetings of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL). He has suffered through airline travel and banquet meals at luxury resorts and hotels in Santa Fe, Savannah, San Francisco, Boston, Scottsdale, Chicago, New Orleans, Burlington, Orlando, Cincinnati and Williamsburg. These meetings are very expensive to attend and a drain on his campaign committee funds.
Fortunately for NCOIL and insurers, Davids proudly collects and spends more political funds than any other member of the Minnesota House ($298,476 in the last six years). Thanks to taxpayer subsidies, modest contributors like Jeff and large contributors (and their spouses) in the insurance and finance industries, Davids can attend NCOIL meetings all over the United States.
Send in those Legislative Surveys Jeff Redalen likes so much. Tell Greg about your health insurance premiums and deductibles. Ask about his. Print your name and address clearly. Otherwise, how is NCOIL member Davids going to solicit you for money to attend future junkets planned for Boston, Napa Valley, Savannah, Seattle and New Orleans?
Well, then. Voters had enough that year and fired Greg Davids in the fall; they ended up being disappointed with his replacement, escaped-cow farmer Ken Tschumper, and took him back.
Perhaps this is when Davids dropped his club memberships. He doesn't serve on any NCOIL committees now.
How do NCOIL and ALEC interact? From the looks of documents online, there's some overlap between legislators, model bills and other business--though independence as well. Reading this material, it's clear that transparency about model bills and lobbying is vital, ifcitizens are to know where laws come from and how the get to the floor of our state legislatures.
Photo: Greg Davids.
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