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Browsing Posts tagged ALEC

Here is the article from which the Jan 28 graphic was taken:

What ALEC has in store for children, educators, and American workers

Posted December 3, 2014 by Brian Washington

Politicians looking to trade their votes for lavish gifts recently engaged in three days of backroom dealing in Washington, D.C. that will eventually result in legislation in your state designed to help corporations make a profit at the expense of the environment and off the backs of children, educators, and working Americans.

Those politicians attending the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) policy summit earlier this month in Washington, DC, will be getting cozy with some of the richest corporations in the country. The sole purpose of the secret gathering is to come up with bills lawmakers can use as templates in their own states to move the agenda of the nation’s richest 1-percent.

It’s already happening in Wisconsin, where an ALEC politician has just introduced legislation designed to silence workers’ voices by undermining their unions. And in Missouri, politicians there have introduced a similar bill that takes its wording directly from the ALEC playbook.

However, there is some good news. Noticeably absent from this year’s summit were representatives from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook as well as several other tech giants. These groups broke ties with ALEC over its policies attacking global warming and renewable energy.

Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place,” said Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt when asked on a national radio program what made Google dump ALEC. “And so we should not be aligned with such people — they (ALEC) are just, they’re just literally lying.

Almost 100 companies have dropped their ALEC memberships since the deadly 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida. ALEC was the primary backer of the “Stand Your Ground” law that has become inextricably linked to the teen’s death.

But don’t count ALEC out just yet—especially after the November elections which saw conservatives take control of 68 of the 98 state legislative bodies nationwide. This means you can expect to see more attacks on public education budgets in state governments across the country in the form of vouchers, which use public dollars to pay for private school tuition costs, and huge cuts to public school funding.

According to ALEC’s executive director, last month’s elections were “a historic victory for limited government, free markets and federalism”—which, with ALEC involved, spells trouble for children, educators, and public schools.

Meanwhile, ALEC has spawned a new group to attack children, American workers, and public education. It’s called the American City County Exchange or (ACCE). ACCE will zero-in on those politicians connected to city and county governments as well as local school boards who are willing to accept ALEC’s lavish gifts in exchange for helping to move the group’s conservative, right-wing agenda.

According to newspaper reports, ACCE is already making plans to block employees from having a voice in the workplace and prevent workers from taking advantage of minimum wage increases voters overwhelmingly approved in several states including Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Click here to get the latest information about actions you can take to bolster public education in your community.

from: http://educationvotes.nea.org/2014/12/03/alec-politicians-big-corporations-plot-to-undermine-the-rights-of-children-educators-and-american-workers/

ALEC update

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Katrina vanden Heuvel has penned Building a progressive alternative to ALEC...

When it comes to moments in history, 1973 was not exactly a banner year for the Republican Party. The Senate Watergate Committeebegan its televised hearings in May. Spiro Agnew resigned in October. And President Nixon used a pre-Thanksgiving news conference at Disney World to unconvincingly assure the country that he was not, in fact, a crook. A tough year, indeed, for the grand old party.

But if you were a corporate conglomerate who dreamed of lower taxes and lax regulations and lesser rights for workers, 1973 was, ironically enough, a well-spring of new opportunity. That’s when a group of conservative activists joined together to engineer a different kind of burglary — one that involved forcibly entering cities and states with the intent to loot their working and middle classes.

The mechanism? A new organization dubbed the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. The idea? Don’t just lobby state and city governments; write the actual laws you want them to pass and then hand it out as model legislation. In the decades since its inception, ALEC hasdismantled environmental regulationspushed for school vouchers, compromised public safety by backing “stand your ground” laws andcrippled unions with right-to-work legislation.

ALEC remains the ubiquitous conservative puppet-master; its fingerprints and that of its most well-known supporters (the Koch brothers, Exxon Mobil, Pfizer, AT&T, etc.) can be found all over right-wing legislation that has made its way through the state and local legislative process. To understand the magnitude of its influence, consider that of the more than 100 bills introduced between 2011 and 2013 to repeal or weaken minimum wage laws, 67 of them related back to ALEC. And in 2009, 115 of ALEC’s 826 model bills were enacted into law.

 

Editor’s Note: Republican State Representative for the Eureka-Pacific area – Tim Jones is Co-chair of the Missouri chapter of ALEC.

All In with Chris Hayes this week featured an investigative report on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Many members of the Missouri House and Senate are members of ALEC including area legislator and Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives Tim Jones.  Tim Jones is currently a state co-chair of ALEC. This video features an interview with a Nebraska State Senator that was a member of ALEC but has since renounced his membership, along with a majority of the Nebraska legislature tells why he could no longer work with the group.

Tim “tickets” Jones is cringing tonight as one of his fellow Republican state legislators spilled the beans on Right-to-Work(for less).  The Post-Dispatch reported it this way:

 Thank you, Ed Emery, for telling the truth, if only inadvertently. Mr. Emery, a Republican state senator from Lamar in southwest Missouri, was one of many Republicans on Tuesday to participate in a news conference meant to bring attention to a legislative push to make Missouri a right-to-work state. It’s important to note that the exercise is mostly an attempt by folks like Mr. Emery and Speaker of the House Tim Jones, R-Eureka, to ingratiate themselves with the out-of-state folks who run the American Legislative Exchange Council, the deep-pocketed donors who probably wrote the legislation Mr. Jones and Mr. Emery will support. Right-to-work legislation won’t pass in Missouri because state senators, including some Republicans, will block it. And, worst-case scenario, Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, would veto the legislation. Finally, Missouri voters have already weighed in on the issue, on the side of higher wages for the middle class.

 But never mind all of that. Today, we rise to praise Mr. Emery, because unlike most lawmakers pushing the right-to-work fantasy, he at least told the truth, or a kernel of it.

Here’s what he said: “One of the things that will be advocated by the unions is look at all these right-to-work states, average wages all go down. Sure they go down.”

Bingo. At least one Missouri legislator admits that right-to-work will depress middle-class wages.

Not only do wages go down, but overall employment might, according to some studies. And no Missouri businesses who really matter (hello, Boeing) are actually clamoring for this bad legislation.

Right-to-work is merely a right-to-cash-in for people like Mssrs. Emery and Jones. Leave the rest of us out of it.

 

This week was full of news related to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  The torrent started with The Guardian releasing a report that emphasized the financial difficulties the group was experiencing due to losing corporate members in the last year.  OF course when the real purpose of the group becomes known to the public, it’s no wonder a responsible corporation would want to run away.

What is that purpose?

  “ALEC,” said Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., a former member of the group, “is nothing more than a corporate-funded and -dominated group that operates much like a dating service, only between legislators and special interests.”

One way they woo legislators is outlined by Dana Milbank in his piece Is ALEC losing its grip?

American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful, secretive organization funded by the Koch brothers and other corporate interests that is famous for drafting conservative legislation that Republican state legislatures adopt down to the last semicolon.

Even more disturbing for residents of Franklin County is how often area legislators push these corporate written bills.  But, the scariest thing for any fan of representative democracy is not just the fact that Pacific area State Representative and Speaker of the House of Representatives Tim Jones is the Co-Chair of ALEC’s Missouri Chapter but what that really means.

Among the ALEC documents obtained by the Guardian: a draft loyalty oath for legislators who serve as the group’s state chairs, declaring that “I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first.”

Obviously, will Tim Jones represent his constituents or his corporate benefactors becomes the question.  The answer will be provided by his actions.  His record points toward a loyalty to his contributors.  If that’s the case, be prepared for more legislation like that outlined in No Medicaid Expansion, Thank ALEC.

They’re also proud of  their Resolution against Medicaid Expansion, bragging that “just 23 states have plans to move forward with expansion at this time.”

Thanks for that, too, ALEC! Every uninsured working poor person has you to thank when they get sick and have no access to health care. I’ll bet it makes you all warm and fuzzy to know that corporations like UPS, Altria, Peabody Energy and PhRMA are busily working alongside corrupt lawmakers to see to it that you die, and die quickly.

What are they planning to do to us next?

According to their published agenda, they are considering several new and/or recycled pieces of model legislation. Here’s the list:

  • Health Professional Modernization Act
  • Medicaid Block Grant Act
  • Medical Consultation Act
  • Navigator Background Check Act
  • Oral Health Standards Act
  • Patient Access Expansion Act

Those sound nice and friendly, don’t they? They’re not. They’re the same tired conservative ideas wrapped in pretty names.

Who will Tim Jones represent? His constituents or his ALEC sponsors? We’re watching.

If this week’s paycheck is not enough you may want to read The Economic Policy Institute’s new report on The Legislative Attack on American Workers 2011-2012.   Does it seem these attacks on the Minimum Wage, Workers Compensation, Unemployment Benefits, Paid Leave, and Overtime rights have increased since the “tea party patriots” came to power in 2010?

Specifically, the report seeks to illuminate the agenda to undermine wages and labor standards being advanced for non-union Americans in order to understand how this fits with the far better-publicized assaults on the rights of unionized employees. By documenting the similarities in how analogous bills have been advanced in multiple states, the report establishes the extent to which legislation emanates not from state officials responding to local economic conditions, but from an economic and policy agenda fueled by national corporate lobbies that aim to lower wages and labor standards across the country.

In 2011 and 2012, state legislatures undertook numerous efforts to undermine wages and labor standards:

  • Four states passed laws restricting the minimum wage, four lifted restrictions on child labor, and 16 imposed new limits on benefits for the unemployed.
  • States also passed laws stripping workers of overtime rights, repealing or restricting rights to sick leave, undermining workplace safety protections, and making it harder to sue one’s employer for race or sex discrimination.
  • Legislation has been pursued making it harder for employees to recover unpaid wages (i.e., wage theft) and banning local cities and counties from establishing minimum wages or rights to sick leave.
  • For the 93 percent of private-sector employees who have no union contract, laws on matters such as wages and sick time define employment standards and rights on the job. Thus, this agenda to undermine wages and working conditions is aimed primarily at non-union, private-sector employees.

The Progressive magazine has an excellent report on the national corporate lobby known as ALEC.  A state legislator went undercover at one of their conferences.  I’ll post that link when it’s available.  Until then, rest assured Missouri co-chair of ALEC, Tim “tickets” Jones will continue the attack on Missouri workers.

Travis Tritt sang the truth in Lord Have Mercy on The Working Man.

 

Please tell me if you can

Why the rich man’s busy dancin’

While the poor man pays the band

Let’s have a little fun with this salute to Missouri’s Co-Chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council Tim “tickets” Jones and friends.

alecdummy

After yesterday’s post on the antics of conservative radio king Rush Limbaugh it might be a nice contrast to consider this DailyKos article 15 Things We Would Know If There Was A Liberal Media.

It is more than obvious that the corporate media promotes a corporate agenda, not a liberal one.  Check out the link for all 15 but here’s the first 3.

1. Where the jobs went.

Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness.

Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg as multinational corporations account for only about 20% of the labor force.

When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

 photo outsourcing_zps2cf6f1b0.jpg

Source: Wall Street Journal via Think Progress.

2.  Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality.

In 2010, 20% of the people held approximately 88% of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1% alone held 35% of all net worth.

The bottom 80% of people held only 12% of net worth in 2010. In 1983, the bottom 80% held 18% of net worth.

These statistics are not Democrat or Republican. They are widely available to reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the “liberal” media?

 photo ownership_occupy_poster_zps7879609f.jpg

Source: Occupy Posters

3. ALEC.

If there was a corporate organization that drafted laws and then passed them on to legislators to implement, wouldn’t you think the “liberal” media would report on them?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is such an organization. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:

  • Stand Your Ground laws
  • Voter ID laws
  • Right to Work laws
  • Privatizing schools
  • Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies
  • Tobacco industry legislation

Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by this group of corporations. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor.

This is the primary reason for so much similar bad legislation in different states.

Hello … “liberal media” … over here!!!

They’re meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the “liberal media” will send some reporters.

Just a reminder that Franklin County State Representative and Speaker of the House Tim Jones is co-chair of the ALEC Missouri caucus.

The current edition of In These Times cover story is about Wage Theft, Workers across America are being robbed and have no place to turn.  This article paints a dismal picture of workers being ripped off by dishonest employers.  This in turn leades to workers having to take matters into their own hands to receive their just compensation.  Of course, that couldn’t happen here in Missouri with the Republican legislature watching out for workers, could it?

Over the past five years, as states slashed budgets, legislatures in Ohio, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Missouri cut their investigative staffs by half or more. This has come as each of those states has added tens of thousands of low-wage workers to its workforce over the past decade. In North Carolina, Michigan, Hawaii, Oregon and New Jersey, wage-and-hour departments have also suffered significant cuts. 
Cuts to state minimum wage investigative units have happened with almost no fanfare. The change reflects budgetary realities and also a successful decades-long attempt by business groups to frame employee protections as a partisan issue, not suitable for public dollars. As union ranks shrink and average wages decline, weakened labor law enforcement represents yet another locus of power shifting away from the interests of the labor movement. 
This issue, like so many that affect those that work for a living affects all workers – union and non-union.  Those with either a weak union or no union are forced to rely on government for help to resolve their dispute or may have to deal with it themselves using whatever means necessary.  This is not the basis for a civil society that values the efforts of it’s citizens.  The human rights of workers, all workers, is an issue all of us should fight to gain and protect.
 
Is it any wonder the supposed business lobby’s like the Chamber of Commerce, ALEC,  or NFIB are constantly trying to weaken unions and the voice of non-union workers?  So when Republican legislators push right-to-work, paycheck deception, weaken workers compensation, or reduce funding for fair wage investigators are they really making your life better?  Or, protecting those that pad their pockets?

 

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