Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ALEC teams with AT&T to rip off Conn. consumers

Corporate enabler ALEC is at it again, this time pushing Connecticut to enact legislation that hurts consumers. The billionaire-backed ALEC wants Connecticut lawmakers to empower the nation's largest telephone company by weakening protections for consumers who subscribe to phone and Internet services.

As highlighted in the Hartford Courant, the Connecticut Citizen Action Group issued a report Monday on three telecom-related bills that could increase rates, give telecom providers the ability to drop service in certain areas, relax rules on building cell towers on public lands and preempt any future regulation on Internet-enabled telephone service. The biggest winner would be AT&T, which provides residential, business and wireless service in the state. The Courant article states:
The most troubling fact to opponents of the measures is that the updated regulations may be coming somewhat unfiltered from the telecom industry — and ALEC, the conservative group that supported broad state-level voter ID laws and legislation similar to Florida's "stand-your-ground law."
Lindsay Farrell the executive director of Connecticut Working Families, said that "whether it's because of the storms or the deregulation of energy rates, we know that we can't just trust the utilities to take care of us on their own."
The report released Monday points out similarities between the three bills and model legislation from ALEC. To their knowledge, the group of consumer advocates said that the telecom bills would be the first piece of ALEC-backed legislation to make its way to the Connecticut General Assembly.
If such measures gain traction in Connecticut, consumers across the country need to be on alert to stop the “no regulation is good regulation” crowd that bankrolls ALEC (e.g., the Benedict Arnold Koch brothers) in hopes of filling its pockets with even more cash.

(If you haven't been keeping track of ALEC, or the "American legislative Exchange Council," it's a billionaire-funded escort service that links corporations and state lawmakers. All you need to know about ALEC is at the website.)

The Teamsters are circulating a petition to take a pledge to inform friends and neighbors about the nefarious ALEC. You can sign the petition here. And remember to share!