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Michigan Adopts the ALEC Model for Diminishing Democracy

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Cross-posted from The Nation



Michigan legislators did not write the so-called "right to work" legislation that they have enacted in a mad rush of anti-democratic excess.
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They simply did as they were told.

The ideas, the outlines and the words themselves came from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the right-wing "bill mill" that produces "model legislation" at the behest of Koch Industries, Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, ExxonMobil and the corporate cabal that is always looking to "buy" states.

As the Center for Media and Democracy's "ALEC Exposed" project revealed (in conjunction with The Nation), ALEC has developed binders full of "model legislation" that assaults the rights of working people, consumers and communities.

ALEC's package of "model legislation" includes numerous bills and resolutions that, by any reasonable measure, would be referred to as "no rights at work" schemes.

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Those measures formed the basis for  HB 4003, the Michigan "Right-to-Work Act" that has provoked mass demonstrations in Lansing and other Michigan communities.

Section after section, line after line, of the Michigan legislation mirrors the ALEC model legislation, as revealed by the "ALEC Exposed" project. "The legislation is straight out of the Koch-funded ALEC playbook," explains Brendan Fischer, the staff counsel with the Center for Media and Democracy. At some points, the Michigan lawmakers shifted words, from "resign or refrain from"a labor organization" in the ALEC model legislation to "refrain or resign from"a labor organization" in one of the two Michigan bills.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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