Expose: ALEC’s Legacy of Destruction: PDA Members Join Anti-ALEC Protesters in Chicago (video)
Inside the 40th annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Chicago, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and other right-wing big-wigs addressed ALEC members and on-the-dole politicians.
Outside, the people, who have been cut out of the legislative process by ALEC and big money donors, protested in the streets. (Photos here.
In its 40-year history, ALEC has done more to destroy the American Dream than any other group. According to a report by the Center for Media and Democracy, 466 ALEC bills were introduced in 2013, and 84 of them became law. Every state and the District of Columbia considered ALEC bills this year. Here are the highlights from their report:
- Bills restricting voting: 52 proposed, 5 passed.
- Stand Your Ground Bills: 10 proposed, 2 passed.
- “Right to Work” Bills limiting wages, workers’ rights, and benefits: 117 proposed, 14 passed.
- Bills weakening public education and promoting for-profit charter schools: 139 proposed, 31 passed.
- Pro-pollution pills promoting dirty energy: 77 proposed, 17 passed.
- Bills limiting citizens’ access to judicial system: 71 bills proposed, 14 passed.
- Bills limiting video-taping by citizens: 9 states were inspired by ALEC to protect corporations from citizen journalists.
- Bills limiting or preventing paid sick leave ordinances: 11 states were inspired by ALEC’s mini-me the National Restaurant Association. (Read the full report here.)
For more on the ALEC protest, check out the related links and watch street protesters– including union members and Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) members– in this video below.
PDA and ALEC: “You’re Not Welcome.”
ALEC at 40: Turning Back the Clock on Prosperity and Progress
For more information on ALEC, visit: http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed
For this report, which focuses on ALEC’s 2013 legislative agenda, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) researched five areas: 1) Voter ID and Stand Your Ground legislation, 2) wages and worker rights, 3) public education, 4) the environment, and 5) citizen access to the courts. Research continues on other areas of ALEC’s agenda. Key Findings:
- CMD identified 466 ALEC bills from the 2013 session. 84 of these passed and became law. ALEC bills were introduced in every state in the nation and the District of Columbia in 2013. The top ALEC states were West Virginia (25 bills) and Missouri (21 bills).
- Despite ALEC’s effort to distance itself from Voter ID and Stand Your Ground by disbanding its controversial Public Safety and Elections Task Force, 62 of these laws were introduced: 10 Stand Your Ground bills and 52 bills to enact or tighten Voter ID restrictions. Five states enacted additional Voter ID restrictions, and two states passed Stand Your Ground.
- CMD identified 117 ALEC bills that affect wages and worker rights. 14 of these became law. These bills included so-called “Right to Work” legislation, part of the ALEC agenda since at least 1979, introduced in 15 states this year. Other bills would preempt local living or minimum wage ordinances, facilitate the privatization of public services, scrap defined benefit pension plans, or undermine the ability of unions to organize to protect workers.
- CMD identified 139 ALEC bills that affect public education. 31 of these became law. Just seven states did not have an ALEC education bill introduced this year. Among other things, these bills would siphon taxpayer money from the public education system to benefit for-profit private schools, including the “Great Schools Tax Credit Act,” introduced in 10 states.
- CMD identified 77 ALEC bills that advance a polluter agenda. 17 of these became law. Numerous ALEC “model” bills were introduced that promote a fossil fuel and fracking agenda and undermine environmental regulations. The “Electricity Freedom Act,” which would repeal state renewable portfolio standards, was introduced in six states this year.
- CMD identified 71 ALEC bills narrowing citizen access to the courts. 14 of these became law. These bills cap damages, limit corporate liability, or otherwise make it more difficult for citizens to hold corporations to account when their products or services result in injury or death.
Read the full report with charts of ALEC bills here.