Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whoa! Big setbacks for ALEC

The corporate front group ALEC is losing even more corporate members, a prominent Northeastern ALEC leader lost his primary and they're even moving out of their DC headquarters.

So sad.

ALEC, if you're new to TeamsterNation, is behind most of the anti-worker legislation we've been fighting in the states, including privatization, voter suppression and destruction of collective bargaining rights. It's a dating service that links big corporations with state lawmakers. The corporations get their bills filed in state legislatures, while lawmakers get posh, all-expenses-paid vacations and introductions to deep-pocketed political donors. Nice racket, right?

Over the past year, ALEC's nefarious influence on democracy has been exposed, and major corporations have been dropping out of the group like flies.

Now, another company is leaving ALEC: pharmaceutical giant Merck.

Global pharmaceutical maker Merck & Co. announced today that it is leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council next year because of "budget constraints and policy priorities..." 
"Merck reviews its memberships every fall to decide which will be retained for the upcoming calendar year based on budget constraints and policy priorities," Merck spokeswoman Kelley Dougherty said today. "As a result of this review, the company will not be renewing its membership for several organizations. ALEC is one of these groups."
In Rhode Island's primary on Tuesday, an ALEC board member lost his election to a firefighter (woo-hoo!). Here's
Woonsocket’s Jon Brien, an ALEC board member and one of the most conservative members of the General Assembly, fell to local firefighter Stephen Casey. While Casey could prove to be a good progressive, Brien was a sworn enemy of left and the legislature gets demonstrably more liberal with his absence.
Finally, Roll Call reported that the "embattled" ALEC's headquarters on K Street are on the market.

Can you hear the world's smallest violin playing?