Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, August 05, 2011

Newest Target for Job Layoffs: State Legislators

Who needs ‘em? None of them have been downsized or outsourced yet. But it’s just a matter of time. They serve no purpose whatsoever.

Passing “legislation?” Once upon a time, maybe. Lately our “legislators” have turned into secretaries taking dictation from their corporate donors. There’s nothing new about this, but the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the most blatant example yet. (Here’s another link.)

ALEC has been around since the 1970s. It was founded by the same oligarchs who brought us the Heritage Foundation. In the organization’s own words, ALEC is “a policy making program that unites members of the public and private sectors in a dynamic partnership.”

Moving past the bland corporate-speak, what these thugs are actually doing is writing boilerplate legislation on behalf of the country’s most powerful industries. And then they, uh, “suggest” to state legislators that it would be really nice if these laws could be passed and nobody gets hurt.

In the past few months, red states have been simultaneously cranking out jillions of new cookie-cutter laws cracking down on unions, immigrants, “voter fraud,” and attempting to privatize education (as well as every other public service that actually benefits real people). The same assembly line is also spitting out legislative end runs around “Obamacare,” renewable energy and environmental protections.

As the two linked articles indicate, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the source of most (if not all) of these laws. So again, what do we need these cardboard cutout “legislators” for? Why don’t we just cut to the chase, eliminate all of these overpaid, over-perked and taxpayer-financed typists and file clerks, and ALEC could simply announce their newest edicts.

Like every other powerful and secretive organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council can get a little, uh, testy when members of the lowly public start coming around and asking questions.

Wisconsin state rep. Mark Pocan was kicked out of an ALEC conference in New Orleans, even though he’s a dues-paying member of ALEC and had received an invitation.

And two Think Progress reporters were forcibly removed from the same ALEC conference by ALEC security guards.

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Blogger J. Marquis said...

More and more I come back to that expression "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're wrong".

August 6, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I'm surprised more people don't know about this group.

August 6, 2011 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

What a smart ALEC.

August 6, 2011 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Gawd forbid they have any transparency via reporting by the media..you know..the same thing they demand from our government?

August 6, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J: Too true. No matter how bad you think it is, it's worse.

Jess: The corporate media is probably just as scared of this group as legislators are.

Randal: I think Dumb Dora is more like it.

Dusty: That group probably owns the media as well as their harem of state legislators.

August 6, 2011 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Jess wrote: "I'm surprised more people don't know about this group."

60 Minutes might have done something on it, but Sumner Redstone, who's majority shareholder and executive chairman, and owns CBS' parent corporation, National Amusements (formerly Viacom), might not have liked that.

The other networks might have done something on it, but there was the O.J. thing and the Clinton-Lewinsky thing, Princess Di killed in a car crash, the Britney Spears thing. Then, the Charlie Sheen thing and the Casey Anthony thing. You get the idea.

August 7, 2011 at 12:23 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: There's always plenty of celebutante gossip to keep the public distracted. No need for them to get all worked up over some secret organization that's running the country behind closed doors.

August 7, 2011 at 10:13 AM  

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