Protests Planned for ALEC Annual Meeting in New Orleans August 5th
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—a club for corporations and right-wing state legislators and governors—is holding its annual meeting in New Orleans August 1-6th. Protests are planned for August 5th.
ALEC—the American Legislative Exchange Council—is having its annual meeting in New Orleans August 1-6th, advertised on its website as “Solutions for the States.”
ALEC’s “model” bills have been exposed by the Center for Media and Democracy’s new website ALEC Exposed, which lists all the bills that this corporate-legislative vortex spews out at its annual meetings. One of the more famous ALEC model bills was Arizona’s anti-immigration law SB1070.
Several of the meetings are invitation only, such as the Leadership Reception and Leadership Dinner, which one can imagine will include corporate executives and lawyers as well as state legislators and governors. There are several workshops and “task forces,” including the following: Energy, Environment and Agriculture; Health & Human Services; International Relations; Public Safety & Elections; Tax & Fiscal Policy; Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development; Civil Justice; Education; and, Telecommunications & Information Technology.
Indeed, they are discussing all the critical issues and gathering ideas for future bills to be introduced into state legislatures.
Most interesting is the task force on Public Safety & Elections. Sounds as if ALEC will be discussing how pacification of populations is arrived at through democratic “elections” of legislators (which they can then corrupt), not in the direct democracy that every American deserves.
Two task forces are invitation only—Health & Human Services and International Relations. One can well imagine that the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will be a topic of discussion in the former, with ALEC members discussing how to dismantle the legislation and draw up a battle-plan so that universal healthcare will never be realized, and corporate bank accounts overflow with hospital visits, surgeries and prescription drugs. In the latter, ALEC will most likely be discussing how to make the world safe for American capitalism and further ripen foreign markets for pillaging.
August 6th from 9:00am to 10:30am will be a prayer service, in which they will surely call on God, Jesus Christ, whomever, to add to their abundance while Americans struggle to find work, pay bills and eat. After all, Jesus Christ was the prototypical capitalist who was anti-immigration, anti-union and anti-universal healthcare, amongst other things.
An ALEC protest is planned for August 5th to demonstrate against this corporate-legislative axis of oligarchy.
The protesters will be meeting at Hale Boggs Federal Building on Poydras Street. The organizers are calling on all groups that are regularly attacked by ALEC task forces and state legislation to speak before they march on the Marriott (ALEC meeting base).
Protest ALEC emphasizes:
ALEC is a shining example of the right-wing’s united front of corporate and political forces, and they can only be stopped by the strength of solidarity. We, the working class, are poor, Black, immigrants, LGBTQIA, women, and union members. The only way we can put a stop to the work ALEC is doing is to unite in an independent political movement that not only challenges ALEC and it’s members on the streets but also in the halls of government. We must show them that we can fix the problems we face without breaking the backs of the working class!
In an open letter to ALEC, the ALEC Protest Team writes:
[Y]our organization has not made full disclosure of your donors’ names and amounts given. If our government is to be of the people, it is unfitting for a privileged few to set the public agenda from the shadows. We ask you to make full disclosure of all donors on all amounts given over $200.
[Y]our organization has a number of members who hold elected office. If our government is to be by the people, they ought to know when their elected representatives are members of groups which provide privileged access to the legislative process…
[Y]our organization disseminates and coordinates legislative agendas across state governments through the production of model legislation, the full text of which you fail to disclose to the public.
[T]here has not been full disclosure of cases in which your model legislation is entered into bills under consideration by state legislatures. We ask you to call upon your members to make full disclosure of the source of the legislative text they enter into consideration.
To read about the Republican effort to intimidate the University of Wisconsin professor who exposed ALEC, visit Professor William Cronon’s blog “Scholar as Citizen.” And for more on ALEC, read my previous article “Alec Exposed Website Reveals Corporate Influence in State Legislation.”