It's a slow news day--with many of the state's finest journalists fretting about their place in Minnpost's list of who has the most twitter followers.
At times like this, Bluestem flees to the refuge of a good archive, and thus it was that we found an interesting historical item in the American Legacy Documents Library at the University of California, San Francisco about Preston legislative tax boss, Greg Davids, on page 27 of the 1992 Annual Report of the American Legislative Exchange Council, listing him as the State Legislative Chair.
Update: The 1992 report was issued in 1993, but in the group's 1993 Annual Meeting program, Davids is listed as co-chair with then-Senator Linda Runbeck (p. 42). A participant list attached to the annual meeting shows that Davids attended the meeting, along with former representatives Mark Olson, Bob Waltman, and Arlon Lindner, and former senators Gen Olson, Pat Pariseau and Thomas Neuville. [end update].
Update #2: Bluestem has found a more recent instance of Davids' involvement with ALEC; read about it here: Greg David's 2002 Winona State U Distinguished Alumni Award bio includes ALEC membership [end update].
Although a citizen researcher taking advantage of a security flaw in ALEC's website found that Davids hand an account with ALEC, Davids did not return the citizen's email requests about whether he was a member. The existence of an account can not be taken as proof of membership.
Thus, this is the first substantive link of Davids to ALEC. Is Davids a member now?
Reached by phone, Davids said that he "hadn't been a member for a long time, maybe 20 years," but couldn't remember why or when he had stopped being an ALEC member, as that was a long time ago. He volunteered that he had never sponsored an ALEC bill while he was an ALEC member.
Davids was first elected in a special election in 1991 and is about to start his eleventh term, although he sat out one session from 2006-2008.
In a second phone interview, Davids noted that he had at one time been member of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, which helped him in his work when he served on the House Commerce committee. Bluestem has not reviewed his legislative record.
According to ALEC’s influence surges in Minnesota, an article in Politics in Minnesota by staff writer Briana Bierschbach:
In Minnesota, the group played a relatively small role until the early 2000s, when former Rep. Laura Brod, a popular member of the House GOP caucus and former ALEC state chairwoman, began aggressively recruiting members. And this session — with Republicans in control of both Minnesota’s legislative chambers for the first time in the modern era — the group’s popularity has grown. What was just a handful of ALEC participants in the state several decades ago is now closer to 30 sitting members in the statehouse. . . .
As Bluestem noted in Retirement, redistricting and rejection thin ranks of ALEC members in Minnesota legislature, the influence of the group is likely to wane with the DFL taking control of both houses of the state legislature. Senator-elect Mary Kiffmeyer now serves as Minnesota state legislative chair. Yesterday, we reviewed committee assignment recommendations for known ALEC members in the Minnesota House in the post Minnesota House ALEC members: a look at the minority caucus committee recommendations.
Screenshot: Greg Davids' listing on from the 1992 ALEC annual report, page 27 of the PDF. The bottom of the page notes that Bob Haukoos, a state representative from Albert Lea who retired in 1994, was also a state chair. Haukoos died in 2011 (above); Greg Davids these days (below).
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