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I first heard about ALEC 2 years ago, and was scared.  However the story read kind of like some kind of weird conspiracy theory, so I shoved it to the back of my mind.  But this last legislative session has convinced me that ALEC is very real, very rich and very scary.  I figured that out BEFORE today's PFAW report came out, showing just how bad things are.  ALEC appears to own Arizona outright.

I know, I know.  That sounds alarmist.  Frankly, I'm OK with that.  I'm alarmed.  

- 49 out of 90 serving legislators are ALEC members. While not a member, the Governor has publically pledged support for ALEC's agenda.
- Despite major companies like Coke, Pepsi, Intuit, and Kraft renouncing ALEC, I have yet to hear one of those 49 say that they might be reconsidering their association.
- Legislators are documented refering questions to ALEC lobbyists about the bills they themselves supposedly wrote and sponsor.  Seems to me that if you are going to sponsor a bill, you darn well better understand it.  I'm not sure some even READ them.

Unlike PFAW, I don't want ALEC stopped because I disagree with their entire agenda.  In fact, in another post, I will talk about some of the grey areas and places where I disagree with PFAW's agenda.

What alarms me is the level of influence that one organization has over the laws being pushed in our state. If republican lawmakers want to get together and make a plan, fine.  But a plan written by corproate interests and outsiders, backed by piles of money, is another thing entirely.

What also alarms me is that our elected officials don't seem to have a problem with being the puppets to these masters.  They submit bills that read like photocopies of things submitted elsewhere, with little thought to the impact on the people they are SUPPOSED to work for; their constituents.

I sound very naive and idealistic right now, but I'm not ashamed of that.  Maybe it's effect of having my blinders removed.  Heck, maybe that's what I'm TRULY mad about; having my idealistic ideas about how government is supposed to be function proven so very, very wrong.

Originally posted to protoscholar on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 08:37 PM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republished to American Legislative Transparency (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Larsstephens, elwior, blueoasis

    Project.

    We are working to cut the strings to the puppetmaster.  Thanks for helping.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:17:37 PM PDT

  •  ALEC claims that they started in 1981 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, elwior, Sandino, blueoasis

    but the Koch brothers were buying up AM radio stations and putting together the right wing "think tank" system in the '70s. They ginned up the "backlash" of "angry young white men" who stopped the ERA and swept Reagan into office.

    No doubt the Kochs attracted money from many other right wing billionaires and 0.01%ers, but they were very instrumental. At the same time Murdoch was gobbling up world media with similar aims; billionaire patriarch egos do not require coordination or conspiracies, they are all aimed in pretty much the same direction: trample everyone you possibly can under your feet.

    A large part of the billionair strategy for the fleecing of the US middle class was to dumb them down to the point where they could not vote their own interests. As a result, the destruction of US education (for the masses, not for the rich) and the takeover of the US political conversation (by taking over the mass media) were at the top of the agenda.

    We live now after about 40 years of this effort to stupidify, silence, and divide the US electorate.

    Women are the only oppressed group not allowed to name their oppressors.

    by atana on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:37:35 PM PDT

    •  They actually started in 1973 and were (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana, Larsstephens, elwior, Sandino, blueoasis

      incorporated in Illinois in 1975 - so all that you describe was occurring almost simultaneously.  In '81 when Reagan took office, he formed a "Federal Task Force" and put a couple of ALEC members on it...the rest is history, as they say.  ALEC helped write Reagan's "drug policies", legislation to make criminal justice laws broader, harsher and sentences longer.  They also helped establish and push the conservative agenda on behalf of the Reagan Administration and were repaid with more and more members and power.  By 1990 they were considered "The Bomb: in today's terminology.

      "Inmates should be reformed - not recycled" http://piecp-violations.com/

      by Bob Sloan on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:05:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  atana - what radio station does (did) Koch own? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana

      Do you know the history of Koch's ownership of AM radio stations and if they still own them or who Koch sold them to?

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:21:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, blueoasis

        it wasn't terribly secret during the '70s that the Kochs were buying stations. That, and then the subsequent explosion of rw hate radio, were how the first became visible. I'm sure I recall they gave Rush his start, were funding "think tanks" and were endowing university positions in Randian Economics.

        But I can find nothing relevant now on the Internet... other than articles about how the Kochs are scrubbing Wikipedia.

        Obviously, my memory is failing me, and the Kochs have never done anything but the most resplendent and selfless philanthropy.

        Women are the only oppressed group not allowed to name their oppressors.

        by atana on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:15:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would be interesting to know if they (0+ / 0-)

          sold to Clear Channel or one of the other big aggregators. If they still owned them, it would be public.  

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:29:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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