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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/24/11

Stripping Democracy One Bill At A Time, the ALEC Way

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There is an unelected legislative body that is controlling politics in the United States of America, and has been over the past three decades. It functions in stealth, provides support   much like a labor union, and has gained greater power than the Executive and Legislative branches of our elected government with the assistance of the Judicial branch.

This organization is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which currently boasts of 2,000 legislative members representing all 50 states. More than 85 members of Congress and 14 sitting governors are considered alumni. Among those are Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Jan Brewer of Arizona, and Terry Branstad of Iowa. With this representation there should be little doubt as to why states came out with Democracy stripping agendas in 2011, attacking public employees labor organizations, civil liberties, environmental regulations, voter disenfranchisement,   and fiscal policy while pushing for the "profitzation" of state taxpayer owned utilities, schools, and other services, even infrastructure such as highways. (For a listing of Politicians, Click Here)

This lobbying organization was founded in September 1973, when a small group of state legislators and policy advocates met in Chicago with the purpose of founding   a "nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who shared a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty."

Among those who were involved during the formative years of this association were Bob Kasten and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin, John Engler of Michigan, Terry Branstad of Iowa, John Kasich of Ohio, all of whom moved   on to become Republican governors or members of Congress. Others who were active at this same time were Republican Senators James Buckley of New York and Jesse Helms of North Carolina, as well as Republican Congressmen Phil Crane of Illinois and Jack Kemp of New York.

Although the organization was formed in the early 70's it did not gain political traction until Ronald Reagan appointed ALEC members to his administration and gave the group credibility.

In addition to the elected public legislators there are 300 or more corporate, foundation, and other private sector members who actively participate on the task forces where legislative bills are drawn up to be presented by the elected legislators.

There are currently eight task forces:

-        Civil Justice

-        Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development

-        Education

-        Energy, Environment, and Agriculture

-        Health and Human Services

-        International Relations

-        Public Safety and Elections

-        Tax and Fiscal Policy

-        Telecommunications and Information Technology

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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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