Who’s Alec?

April 14, 2012

What, never met Alec? Trust me, you’d better look him up, because Alec, set up behind bunkers of money and motivated by narcissistic persistence, is after your rights, your future and your well-being. If you value your way of life and the American Dream by all means check Alec out —although, as might be expected when dealing with creatures of an underworld, Alec is an alias. Alec’s real name is the American Legislative Exchange Council: ALEC.

Alec is a nice non-threatening name, but ALEC is Godzilla in a suit. Alec will destroy anything that gets in its way, starting with local ordinances and state laws and working its way up to the constitution until it’s the puppet master of everyone who’s suppossed to be working for the common good.

ALEC is actually writing laws for Republican state legislators.  Here’s how it works: ALEC writes bills then presents them to purchased legislators fully formed, who then rubber stamp them (claiming them as their own) and pass them into law without a shred of integrity or compunction. There’s money to be had for legislators who suck up to ALEC, but there’s little in it for average folks who are the butt of ALEC laws.  As you my suspect ALEC’s laws are written with corporate interests in mind, not the nation’s.

As posted in The Daily Kos (there’s also a list there of politicians on ALEC’s campaign payroll):

“The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that’s been suborning legislators all around the country to file and adopt laws that aim to restrict human and civil rights has done us a big favor. ALEC has pulled back the veil behind which lawmakers have been hiding for decades, pretending that onerous regulations, resource wasting grants and subsidies for inefficient enterprise were perpetrated by the executive, the unelected bureaucracy or the nitpicking courts.”

ALEC’s public face is a mask. It claims to be an organization promoting the exchange of ideas between business and government, but what’s most exchanged through its machinations is money —lots and lots of money. Bushels and barrels (limousine loads even!) of money flow from ALEC’s corporate cash reservoirs into the campaigns of national and state legislatures and governorships. With the help of the Supreme court —particularly its baldly politicized Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas— ALEC can buy politicians with millions in amassed profits to counter your paltry $10 or $50 campaign contribution. Yes, even the Supreme Court has been ALECized.

The fact is that the [Supreme Court’s] “… Citizens United decision was in large part due to the workings of the [ALEC].   Prior to that decision justices Scalia and Thomas were guests of ALEC at one of their three annual conferences.    Thomas was a guest speaker with all expenses paid.” — OpEd News.com

Speaking of being ALECized (not that it means anything, but) on the ALEC page of Wikipedia we learn that of ALEC’s (74) State Chairmen (72) are Republicans, and of its Legislative Board of (26), (24) are also members of the middle-class-razing GOP. There are at least three possible conclusions to be drawn from these numbers:

1. ALEC is the Corporate wing of the Republican party
2. The Republican party is the party of legislative water-boys for ALEC
3. At least (4) Democrats are really Republicans.

ALEC has been working relentlessly at the state level to erase the 20th century, or at least that part of it that created the modern American middle class and gave us a nation that prospered and a society that moved (if with difficulty) in the direction of progressive change and equitable distribution of opportunity. In fact what we’ve seen happen in Wisconsin is an example of what ALEC does.

What we must keep foremost in our minds as voters during this election cycle is that the modern Republican party is corporatist first and American last. Their record during the years of the Bush administration and into the Obama administration is one of absolute disrespect and practical derision of middle class Americans,  of the poor, of women —and a cynical, personally acquisitive, obeisance to corporations. Those eight years took us from surplus and upward mobility to huge deficit, the decline of the middle class, war, job loss, manufacturing loss and a plunging economy, resulting, finally, in a virtual depression.  Not only that, we found ourselves with a regime that sanctioned  torture, extrajudicial rendition and corruption at the highest levels of government, to name a few Bush-era catastrophes.

Now ALEC / The Republican Party are making the case that the era that gave us huge tax breaks for the wealthy, deregulation of the financial industry and the poison carrot of trickle-down economics that have brought us here is the one we should return to as the remedy for our situation.

How old are we? How stupid? Are we to conclude that with ALEC’s financial clout, the sympathies of the Supreme Court and a Republican electoral victory in November that ALEC will not be writing anti-American nation-busting laws for congress?

We all know money talks; if so Scott Walker, for one, is lip-syncing.

You want a real oligarchy? —kiss-up to ALEC in November..

Jim Culleny


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