The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) writes legislation, which is submitted without change by their indentured elected officials to propose to their legislatures. How convenient. You don’t have to do your job, because ALEC has already done it for you. You particularly don’t have to find out what the truth is, because ALEC has already determined it for you.
ALEC is 98% paid for by mega-corporation bucks. ALEC is essentially a factotum for the Koch boys, the multi-billionaires who control Koch Industries. These are people who told their employees how lucky they were that they were not overpaid, because that kept them competitive.
Everything ALEC does, every bill it sends to its pet legislators, is designed to decrease the control that real people have over their own lives, and increase the power of corporate interests. Isn’t that called fascism? Lisa Graves and Brendan Fischer list six goals from ALEC: Disenfranchising American Citizens Through Voter ID; Union-Busting; Undoing Efforts to Address Climate Change; Filling For-Profit Prisons Through Anti-Immigrant Bills; Opposing Health Insurance Reform; Privatizing K-12 Education. [Truthout, 27 July 2011]
As usual, it all comes down to money/conservatives/Republicans against the interests of real people. As usual, gold is heavier than real people. When pockets are deep as oil wells, the interests of people who just want to do their job and love their families get buried in dirty dollars. It rarely ends well for us.
Lisa Graves had this to say in Truthout, 4 August 2011. “ALEC is little more than a bill factory for corporate-friendly legislation that often repeals people’s rights or fattens the corporate bottom line. We think citizens have a right to know that these Fortune 100 firms ‘have a voice and a vote’ through ALEC on bills before they are introduced in state houses, cleansed of the fact that corporations already voted on them. ALEC’s hot bills lately have sought to require voter ID, promote tobacco products flavored to appeal to kids, privatize Medicare and Medicaid, privatize prisons and public schools, and legalize the harassment of immigrants.”
“Common Cause [see ‘About the Koch Brothers’; see also several articles at The Nation] just released a report that shows a number of bills passing out of the Minnesota state legislature last session were actually written by…ALEC…[which] funded by the likes of the Koch brothers and Walmart—is comprised of current and former lawmakers—as well as the heads of some of the biggest transnational corporations in the world. And ALEC’s job is to write corporate-friendly legislation to pass on to state lawmakers to turn into law in their respective states. Among ALEC’s successes in Minnesota: legislation that makes it harder for people to vote—legislation that protects corporations from consumer lawsuits—legislation that prevents regulation of greenhouse gases—and legislation that gives tobacco companies tax breaks.” [Thom Hartmann, Truthout, 4 August 2011]
The whole enterprise is a clandestine tangle of the tentacles of corporate powers whose goals run counter not only to their own employees’ interests, but to those of the rest of us as well. “Americans for Prosperity” is another of those Koch-supported groups whose name suggests the very opposite of their goal. And they participate in some classic scams we have seen before. For example, they recently sent out flyers, especially to Democratic activists, reminding them of a voting date. That date, however, was later than the actual date, so anyone who did as they suggested would be disenfranchised for that election. Misinformation R Us. Needless to say, such shenanigans are about as anti-democratic as it is possible to be.
In all, ALEC and all the other Koch-entwined special interest organizations are thoroughly devoted to anti-democratic, anti-people, and—we should say it—anti-American causes.