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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ALEC’s corruption goes to Oklahoma


Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner;

We have already seen the work that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has done in Kansas. Recently Governor Sam Brownback and his newly elected stooges have pushed for laws that will weaken teachers unions by taking away any right of taking part in politics or elections. The moral of teachers is going down, but that is all part of the ALEC Agenda.
They are also likely to have played a role in the defeat of several moderate Republicans in the Kansas primary last year.
As we are learning, ALEC has been quite active in Kansas, but also in other states. The latest victim of the Millionaire’s club/PAC is Oklahoma. At a recent, May 3, meeting of ALEC in Oklahoma City, the organization made demands on that state’s legislative body. According to PR Watch, the Oklahoma legislature were handed a set of talking points that read;
"The American Legislative Exchange Council recognizes the first amendment rights of free speech and assembly, and asks that _____ do the same."
This was all in anticipation that ALEC would be met with protesters who feel that the PAC actually just buys elections and pushes for laws that work against the common citizen. ALEC restricted access to its conference by keeping out both activist they felt are unfavorable to them, as well as journalists who might right critical stories about them. 
There we major protests going on outside this event. Inside in the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel and the neighboring Cox Convention Center, lobbyists and politicians who have been helped by ALEC were enjoying the free booze and other benefits of being a deal breaker of political power.
According to PR Watch;
“Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin -- an ALEC "Legislator of the Year" in 2009 gave the ALEC meeting's keynote address. The short, relatively generic speech was the only portion of the ALEC event open to the press: the task force meetings where prospective "model bills" are discussed and adopted were entirely closed-door and guarded by police.”
Center for Media and Democracy Research Director Nick Surgey obtained press credentials at the ALEC registration desk, but when an ALEC staff member noticed who he was, she stopped him, revoked his credentials and then had him escorted out by police.
This exclusion of the press and public from the decision making process that our elected leaders are making—is out right un-democratic and smacks of a police state. What gives these people the right to make important decisions that affect the way we all live, while denying us any right to input on these decisions? Besides out-right dictatorship, nothing could me more un-democratic.
Recently ALEC advocates and Tea Party members have held up our Governor Sam Brownback as a model for the rest of the country. Some of Brownback’s accomplishments include;
·      blocking any benefits from Obama-care, even sending back Federal money this state could really use. The results are that there are many poor people not getting badly needed health care or medicines.
·      Brownback’s cuts to education have resulted in fewer academic classes offered to students, fewer teachers, overcrowded classrooms, discipline problems due to closing schools for behaviorally challenged students and dumping them on the mainstream school system and—in general lower quality of education over-all.
·      There is a steep increase in homelessness this year.
·      There still are not enough jobs for those in Kansas who want them.
We need to expose ALEC at every opportunity and let the public know these people are trying to totally corrupt and buy off our democracy for the benefit of wealthy corporations and individuals. Today they are the real threat to democracy in America.


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