Friday, May 2, 2014

Large rally exposes ALEC's secret summit with lawmakers in Kansas City

ALEC may be meeting with lawmakers behind closed doors, but not in secret anymore.
ALEC's corporate lobbyists are meeting behind closed doors in Kansas City with state lawmakers from around the country today -- but they aren't doing it secretly. Teamsters and hundreds of workers are rallying outside at Barry Allis Plaza to expose the secret anti-worker agenda of the Koch-linked organization.

This is how bad ALEC is: It fought against corporate divestment in apartheid South Africa, and it's a big fan of shipping jobs overseas.

For many years, ALEC flew below everyone's radar, claiming to be a 'nonpartisan' group and describing the money it spent on lawmaker vacations 'scholarships.' For the past few years, ALEC's secret lobbying has been exposed by unions and civil rights, civic, environmental and faith groups.

Just this week, a report came out showing ALEC spent $1,652,525 in just two states -- Kansas and Missouri -- to secretly wine, dine and fly lawmakers to lavish resorts since 2006. In exchange, lawmakers try to pass legislation that weakens workers' rights, empowers corporations, eradicates public education, destroys retirement security and eliminates workplace and food safety.

Our friends at the Center for Media and Democracy explain what ALEC is doing in Kansas City behind those closed doors: ALEC's Spring Task Force Summit this week in Kansas City, it is clear that corporations are still the ones calling the shots. 
For example, legislators attending the Commerce, Insurance, and Economic
Development task force meeting on Friday will be treated to a presentation titled “Regulating Electronic Cigarettes: Jeffersonian Style.” 
Electronic cigarette maker NJOY paid to join ALEC last year, according to internal documents published by The Guardian. (As the New York Times has reported in "Selling Poison by the Barrel," the liquid nicotine sold for e-cigarettes is highly poisonous in small doses, especially for children.)
Thanks to Brother Bill Moore, international representative with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, for these photos!