Saturday, October 6, 2012

Before You Vote For Them, Ask The Candidate At Least One Question: Are You ALEC?

From an editorial from the Cap Times:
Indeed, since groups like Color of Change, the NAACP and the Urban League have exposed the role ALEC played in promoting the crude castle doctrine and “stand your ground” laws, which have been used to shield shooters from responsibility for the deaths of unarmed young people, some Wisconsin legislators have started “scrubbing” their websites so that mentions of ALEC connections are removed.

But don’t think that ALEC has gone away. Even as major corporations such as Coke and Pepsi and McDonald’s and Wal-Mart have quit the organization, wealthy conservatives such as billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch have kept the enterprise afloat. And the Koch brothers also happen to be major donors to political projects that are vital to the viability of Gov. Scott Walker, former Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Joint Finance Committee Co-chair Robin Vos.

Walker was an ALEC member when he served as a legislator and remains a favorite alumnus of the group.

Fitzgerald flew off to ALEC’s 2010 post-election gathering in Washington and came back talking about enacting anti-labor legislation, something he was doing barely a month later as Walker’s point man for an assault on collective bargaining that has since been ruled unconstitutional by federal and state courts.

Vos, who is likely to become the Assembly speaker if Republicans retain control of that chamber this fall, interrupted last year’s budget deliberations to ram through one of ALEC’s top priorities: a draconian voter ID law written with an eye toward making it harder for constituencies that lean toward the Democrats (students, people of color, low-income seniors) to cast ballots.

All evidence is that Walker, Fitzgerald and Vos remain ALEC loyalists, along with many other Republican legislators, even if they might prefer that their constituents were unaware of the fact.

But as the new documentary from Bill Moyers (in collaboration with Okapi Productions and the Schumann Media Center) well illustrates, ALEC continues to influence the governing of Wisconsin and other states. Yet the group is not registered as a lobbying organization.
The editorial then suggests that you check out the politicians at the Center for Media and Democracy: ALEC Exposed to see if he or she is part of ALEC.

Here's a time-saver: If they're Republican, they're ALEC. And not one of them has cut ties with the corporations' lobby machine.

The Cap Times ends their editorial with this sage advise:
Voters can ask challengers the same questions.

If a legislator or a candidate professes ignorance regarding ALEC, reject him or her. Anyone who does not know how ALEC is influencing government in Wisconsin for the worse is either a liar or too ignorant to serve in public office.

What of candidates — like Vos — who acknowledge associations with ALEC? Responsible legislators around the country have recognized that they cannot serve their constituents and the ALEC agenda at the same time.

Any Wisconsin legislators who remain associated with ALEC have decided to represent the corporate interests that fund ALEC’s manipulation of our politics and our governance — not their constituents.

That choice is, logically and practically, a disqualifying one.

Legislators who sell out to ALEC should be voted out by the citizens of Wisconsin.

I would add one more thing to their advise.

Check out the "think tanks" of ALEC as well and then look at your local paper. Do they have any of the members of these groups with columns in your paper? Names would include the likes Kevin Binversie, Christian Schneider, Mike Nichols, Rick Esenberg, to name but a few.

If so, cancel your subscription and let them know that you want the news, not ALEC controlled propaganda. Or if you have already cancelled your subscription or never subscribed in the first place, don't be afraid to challenge these people. Like the ghouls and economic vampires they are, they are loath to exposure to the light.

It's the first step to reclaiming our state and keeping it ours.

H/T Politiscoop

1 comment:

  1. Binversie, schneider and esenberg in the same sentence as the word think is not quite right.