By Jack Jodell, Sept. 12, 2011
In my intermittent series designed to identify those groups or people who are working against your best interests by lying and cheating in support of their corporate masters, this time I am focusing on ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council). This, for those of you who don’t know, is a shadowy group that has been created to “advise” (BRAINWASH) primarily STATE-level legislators into producing pro-business bills which follow its motto of “Limited Government, Free Markets, Fedralism.” The evils of ALEC have been featured in numerous other blogs, but I present them here now for those who may not be aware. Since its goal is to bring primarily state lawmakers into contact with businesspeople for the purpose of formulating public policy, and because a substantial part of its agenda tends to be pro-business but ANTI-American worker, this is one BAD organization for most citizens. 98% of its funding comes from corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations (see my recent “BEWARE OF FAR-RIGHT PSEUDO-INTELLECTUAL ‘THINK TANKS’!” post). That makes ALEC one of your TRUE enemies!
Ever wonder why YOUR interests as regular, working Americans aren’t being represented in government, and only those of businesses and special interests seem to be? Ever wonder why Republicans, which only really represent the wealthy, have managed to win so many elections and currebtly control the House of Representatives even though only a minority of the public truly supports them? Aside from the fact that the huge majority of elected officials are upper-income types and have never worked laborers’ jobs and have never experienced a hungry night themselves, it is quite possible that they were first exposed to and then “educated” by ALEC as soon as they were elected to office. Begun in 1973 by a small group of conservatives who had either lost numerous past elections or who were too extreme to be elected back then (among whom were Paul Weyrich), this group aimed to brainwash as many STATE legislators as they could with their message of support for free markets, small government (states’ rights?), lowered corporate taxes, and individual liberty, which means, of course, laissez-faire capitalism. Early members included, among others, Sen. Jack Kemp (R-NY), and the notorious far-right now-Governor of Ohio John Kasich, plus the racist Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC). The group claims to be nonpartisan, but that is a lie, as its membership has always been almost exclusively conservative Republican. ALEC boasts more than 2,000 active members consisting of state legislators, private sector policy advocates, 85 congresspersons, and 14 current or former governors. It has 3 annual meetings at which “model” bills are drawn up by the private sector policy advocates, voted upon, and if passed are submitted to state legislatures for votes and possible adoption. There are about 800 of these bills drawn up by ALEC each year, and a good number of them contain anti-worker provisions. So, ever wonder where some of the crazy, blatantly pro-xorporate bills come from in Congress? THEY UNDOUBTEDLY ORIGINATED AT AN ALEC CONFERENCE AND FILTERED THEIR WAY UPWARD! The recent spate of arch-conservative Republican governors almost simultaneously launching anti-labor union legislation in their states may very well have been the result of ALEC networking efforts, too!
If you go to the ALEC EXPOSED website at http://alecexposed.org/, you will be AMAZED at how pervasive and thorough their reach and influence has become! They have literally HUNDREDS of corporate advisors, from a boatload of America’s top corporations, including AT & T, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft Foods, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., State Farm Insurance, Wal-Mart, and many, MANY, MANY others! As you peruse this site, be sure to click on “Get The Goods On ALEC: ALEC Exposed Audio & Video”, plus many articles below that, seen about halfway down the page at left. Then, about halfway down the page at right, under “Who Is Behind ALEC?”, be sure the note all the corporations, politicians, phony “scholars”, and boards/task forces.
These sneaky corporate crooks at ALEC have been flying under the radar for far too long. They have been meeting behind closed doors and advising legislators to help craft bills which are favorable to corporations and UNFAVORABLE to YOU! Just like the despicable Koch brothers, ALEC works behind-the-scenes, completely devoid of any transparency at all. That in itself should make them seem extremely suspect to you all!
THAT, ladies and gentlemen, explains why government is so broken and unresponsive to YOUR needs! THAT is why it seems to be inundated with corporate shills! And THAT is why ALEC IS YOUR TRUE ENEMY, and MUST be destroyed!!!
For a real education, go to that website and SCOUR IT ALL. The Center for Media and Democracy has done a FABULOUSLY thorough job in totally analyzing and dissecting this diabolical and sinister organization.