While we are distracted by the latest glitch in the ACA and stories of President Kennedy and who may REALLY be at fault, our “friends” at ALEC are not sleeping. While we enjoy the year end holidays ALEC is preparing to make your year once again miserable with low wages, armed citizenry, busted unions, inadequate schools and the rich getting oh so much richer.
Remember those days of decent jobs with decent pay and benefits? Remember when we worked together to make a better world for our children than it was for us? That was the American Dream and that Dream is long gone. One of the major players in dismantling that dream and making sure that the rich get richer and all others continue to slide is ALEC.
So less than a week after the rich eat a huge meal while McDonald’s workers cut their hamburger into pieces to cover a whole day of meals, ALEC will be gathering in luxury in the nation’s capital to once again give its marching orders to their members.
What laws will they be telling their mostly Tea Party members to enact to enrich the corporations this year? Get tougher on crime to fill the corporate prisons? Stand your ground laws to sell more guns? Surely they will be pushing hard for more right-to-work (for less) laws around the country? How about further restricting local governments ability to tax so they will need to cut back on services? How about the ever popular union busting? How could we forget the continuing privatizing of the schools?
Whatever they do, they will have had a new set of so-called network of think tanks. In these “think tanks” the right wing agenda for states and other local governments will be pushed. Laws that will be introduced into 50 legislatures including Iowa’s will be well thought out to enhance the rich and screw the poor, middle-class and workers.
While ALEC acts exactly like a lobbying firm, they are not treated like a lobbying firm. They are given the status of a legislative education organization thus avoiding taxes and other restrictions on lobbyists. Thus they have a status that not only allows ALEC special access, many members of the state legislatures are also members of ALEC. They should be wearing clothes that identify their owners.
So while our eyes are so often focused on the travesty that Washington has become, the real damage is being done right back here in the states in places like Des Moines, St. Paul, Lincoln, Jefferson City, Springfield, Madison and all the others capital cities. Quietly, furtively, our legislators conspire with the rich to give our money, our freedom and our future to the corporations and the wealthy.
One of the new proposals I have heard floated this year is to do away with sick pay for governmental jobs. Think about that. You go in to renew your driver’s license and the person snapping your picture has pneumonia but can’t take a day off. You get your license and something extra.
We need to make ALEC an issue in all our state level elections this year. Always remember that a man can only serve one master at a time. If our legislature is beholden to ALEC, how can they possibly work for us.