Monday, August 4, 2014

ALEC secret meeting in Dallas exposed by protesters

The state lawmakers and their corporate paymasters were probably not pleased by the attention 500 protesters brought to ALEC's confab at a four-star hotel in Dallas last week. It was a bad time for ALEC's annual meeting, as newspapers have been splashing across their pages the failures of ALEC economics in Kansas and Wisconsin. Turns out ALEC's 'business-friendly' (read ALEC-member-friendly) agenda kills jobs, stifles commerce and leaves states too strapped to pay for education and infrastructure.

Actually, ALEC doesn't like exposure at any time. That's because large corporations use ALEC to control state lawmakers and loot state treasuries, which isn't terribly popular among ordinary voters desperately fighting to stay in the middle class. At a time when privatization is viewed (properly) with suspicion, ALEC still wants to turn government services like corrections, highways and education over to private corporations. (They call it 'Effective Tools for Promoting Limited Government.')

ALEC wouldn't let reporters into its secret meetings, but we do know this happened at the luxurious Hilton Anatole, thanks to truthout:
Two grassroots activists from North Texas locked themselves inside the lobby of the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Thursday morning, as another two dropped a banner from the upper stories of the hotel to greet lawmakers and corporate officials gathered for the 41st annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)...
As lawmakers schmoozed with corporate officials during the day's panels and luncheons, hundreds of protesters lined the streets outside the Hilton Anatole to oppose ALEC's agenda on issues ranging from labor rights, environmental policy, political spending, public education and health care.  
There was also a giant inflatable pig...

Jim Hightower gave the best explanation for the protests:
...I’m here because this bunch over here, corrupt coziness between corporate power and our state lawmakers all over the country are stealing our democracy and so we have to stand up. The powers that be aren’t going to save us on this one because they own the powers that be. So, we the people have got to get out here and alert other people of what’s going on.
Watch his speech here.