Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ALEC: Public Enemy No. 1

You know all that crap they're pulling in Ohio and Indiana and Florida and all the other states with the Governors Gone Wild? The privatization, destruction of collective bargaining rights, huge cuts to education, voter suppression and giveaways to corporations?

Well, it's coming to your state. Sooner or later, you will be fighting against higher taxes, fewer government services and a declining standard of living (if you're middle class or poor, that is). That's because of a vast, coordinated conspiracy cooked up by a corporate-funded group called ALEC. One-third of all state lawmakers belong to. And yes, of course it gets money from the Koch brothers.

If the middle class had a choice of one enemy to wipe out, it would have to be ALEC, the American Legislative  Exchange Council. It exists to find ways to destroy public purpose and to turn government into a tool of large corporations.

Today a new website is being launched that exposes this hideous organization.

It's, and you can expect to see it appear frequently on this blog.

The Center for Media and Democracy is responsible for ALEC Exposed. Here's what CMD has to say:
In April 2011, some of the biggest corporations in the U.S. met behind closed doors in Cincinnati about their wish lists for changing state laws.''' This exchange was part of a series of corporate meetings nurtured and fueled by the Koch Industries family fortune and other corporate funding.
At an extravagant hotel gilded just before the Great Depression, corporate executives from the tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, State Farm Insurance, and other corporations were joined by their "task force" co-chairs -- all Republican state legislators -- to approve “model” legislation. They jointly head task forces of what is called the “American Legislative Exchange Council” (ALEC).
There, as the Center for Media and Democracy has learned, these corporate-politician committees secretly voted on bills to rewrite numerous state laws. According to the documents we have posted to ALEC Exposed, corporations vote as equals with elected politicians on these bills. These task forces target legal rules that reach into almost every area of American life: worker and consumer rights, education, the rights of Americans injured or killed by corporations, taxes, health care, immigration, and the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink.
Here are some especially heinous examples:
Altria/Philip Morris USA benefits from ALEC’s newest tobacco legislation -- an extremely narrow tax break for moist tobacco that would make fruit flavored tobacco products cheaper and more attractive to youngsters.
Health insurance companies such as Humana and Golden Rule Insurance (United Healthcare), benefit directly from ALEC model bills, such as the Health Savings Account bill that just passed in Wisconsin.

Connections Academy, a large online education corporation and co-chair of the Education Task Force, benefits from ALEC measures to privatize public education and promote private on-line schools.
Stay tuned to the site. And stay vigilant.