Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, August 16, 2013

An Insider’s View of ALEC

Or maybe that should be “I was a teenage ALEC mutant.”

Wisconsin state representative Chris Taylor attended ALEC’s annual conference in Chicago.  (As you know, ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council.)

Describing her experiences inside the “ALEC universe,” she wrote:

“ALEC members have been quietly working out of the public eye to develop their agenda so that when given the opportunity, they are ready to start creating an ALEC nation. That time has come. And they are ready.”

Please take the time to check out Chris Taylor’s interview with Theresa Riley in the linked article.  As one of the commenters at the end of the article said, “If this article doesn't give you chills of abject dread…you’re not breathing.”

Here are just a few excerpts from the interview:

“I think it’s so incredibly important for people to understand where these model bills are coming from and try to understand the rationale. I was quite blown away by the extent of where Wisconsin policy is coming from, because so much of it is coming from this group.”

During the conference, an ALEC member complained to her about Obama’s excessive regulations, and said there needs to be a constitutional amendment requiring congressional approval of ALL regulations.  She told him “I don’t think that ignites people. Maybe it does on the far right, but most people don’t really care about that.”  And the ALECbot said:  “Oh, well, you really don’t need people to do this. You just need control over the legislature and you need money, and we have both.”

Referring to ALECfuck’s answer, Chris Taylor said:

“That sentiment was underscored so many times to me, that they don’t want people involved in the political process, or in the policy process. And that seems to be the intent in a lot of ways: You have a think tank in every state and all they do is come up with these very, very regressive policies, you have corporations who are going to benefit so they fund it all, and then you have the legislators as your foot soldiers to carry out the tasks.”

Theresa Riley asked “What were you impressed by?”

Chris Taylor:

“I was really impressed by their infrastructure. I mean, we would never duplicate something like this on the left because, first of all, we would never take instructions from corporations, but the coordination that they have between these policy think tanks, the money and the legislators, in terms of just driving an agenda, it’s incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it…

It is a well-oiled machine. They’re really organized, they’re really coordinated and they have the resources. And they’re not afraid to push it when they have the opportunities. Now they have 24 state legislatures that are Republican controlled and they have Republican governors. So they’ve had incredible success. They’ve had 71 bills introduced just this year that make it harder for most people who are injured to access the courts. We’ve certainly seen that here in Wisconsin. That was one of the first things that Walker did when he came in was push this tort reform through…

They have been waiting for 40 years to do some of the things they’re doing right now. They’ve been developing these model policies, making these connections and building these relationships, and when they had an opportunity, like right here in Wisconsin, they pushed it.”

Be Very Afraid.

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3 Comments:

Blogger jim marquis said...

We've got to work hard to make sure the public knows about ALEC. They're a real threat not just a conspiracy theory.

August 16, 2013 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

As I understand this ALEC cancer, it has it's roots in the plans young turks on the Right began fomenting right after Nixon was brought down. As you say, it has been at least 40 years in the making.

I would say the Left should be afraid. But more important, I think we all should be nervous about both the Democratic leadership and the fragmented leadership on the Right. The corporations seem to have the Left in their pocket also. Just not as deeply.

August 17, 2013 at 6:06 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jim: Public awareness is exactly what we need. To a secretive group like ALEC, public scrutiny is like turning on the kitchen lights and watching the cockroaches scatter.

MRM: ALEC is definitely a cancer that's been spreading for 40 years.

I agree both parties are corrupt and bought-and-paid-for. I still think the Democratic Party is the lesser of two evils, but sometimes I wonder.

August 18, 2013 at 2:01 PM  

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