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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/1/11

Rick Perry and ALEC

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Understanding, or attempting to understand, what Rick Perry stands for can be a difficult task as he says and has done some pretty "far out' things.   For example, he stated a desire to recede from the nation he now wants to run. He has a history of giving away what tax payers have built. He has even stolen private citizens land, yet he continues to get re-elected to the office of Governor. This might suggest either there are forces pushing him, he is extremely proficient, or the people do not understand they are being had.

In looking at the Rick Perry history of "governance' there appears to be a single group that has not only backed him financially, but has also provided him with most of the whacky laws he has pushed for and won in the State of Texas. That group is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose members corporations have over the past decade contributed over $2 Million dollars to get and keep Rick Perry in the driver's seat in Texas. Among those contributors are Energy Future Holdings Corp., Merck & Co., Koch Industries, Nationwide, Bank of America, Verizon, AT & T, Texas Medical Association and a host of others who pay dues to ALEC for the right to "sit at the table' in developing bills to be distributed to member legislators for presentation for passage into law.

His ability as a leader may be seriously questioned as he has demonstrated a propensity of doing nothing but presenting these corporate drafted bills then sitting back as ALEC corporations then lobby for its passage.

Among Perry's gifts to corporations is the recent Perry Executive Order mandating all 6th grade girls in Texas receive the Gardasil HPV vaccine made by the drug company, Merck.   Merck funneled money to Perry, initially $5000, but eventually adding up to closer to the sum of $400,000.

ALEC has long pushed for privatizing everything that has profit potential. Member organizations have been key in passing P3s (public private partnerships) that sell off sovereign public land/roads to private entities in 50 year monopolies.   These involve public money for private profits (including gas taxes and other public subsidies), contain non-compete clauses that penalize or prohibit the expansion of surrounding free routes, and put the power to tax in the hands of private corporations that result in toll rates as high as 75 cents per mile.    

Perry proposed SB 1420 and other similar bills which stripped up to 580,000 acres of private Texas land, displacing 1 million Texans and handed it over to corporate entities who had the power to determine the route , what hotels, restaurants, and gas stations could build along the corridor that was known as the Trans Texas Corridor.   While lawmakers repealed the Trans Texas Corridor from state statute months ago due to public backlash, the corridor lives on through these P3s.

Rick Perry's form of capitalism is just a fleeting lapse of judgment, it's a consistent pattern that ALEC member corporations continue to push and subsidize those who are willing to shill for them.  

There are other Rick Perrys out there and only the voters can stop them. The fight is an uphill one as these shills receive good payment for their giving up personal integrity as they continue to work against those they ask to vote for and have confidence in.   It is up to the people to be intelligent enough to know who is backing candidates as they will demand something in the end.   Remember, privatizing is nothing more than stealing what your tax dollars have paid for, and will continue to pay for while you will also pay for that service. Privatizing does not make something better, or less expensive. One glaring example is healthcare where our nation's is the most costly in the world while our life expectancy is dropping, our infant mortality rate is increasing, and it is getting more difficult to receive necessary medical care.

The member corporations of ALEC pay dearly to take this nation from the people.   It is up to us to take them out of the picture by not electing those who, like Rick Perry, are willing to betray the people by promoting corporate interests over those of the people.


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Dennis Kaiser is an author and consultant focusing on individual rights. As a US citizen Dennis is deeply concerned over how our nation has fallen from being productive and full of hope to one where that hope is being stripped from the majority (more...)

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