Out with the ALEC Bathwater -
Thursday, October 25, 2012 6:03 AM
On November 6, I am voting against ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council has been waging war against our democracy. Funded by huge corporations, such as Exxon, Monsanto, the oil baron Koch brothers, and big tobacco, this secretive, powerful group writes model legislation to benefit their own bottom line (no regulations, higher profits, lower corporate taxes, and lower income taxes for the very rich). And state legislators are wined, dined and brainwashed into sponsoring these bills.
Just a few of their policies, out of over 800 model bills, would begin the gradual process of privatizing Social Security, Medicare, public schools and prison management.
When you hear the word "voucher," that is phase one of a gradual process that will make the rich corporations and the 1 percent richer, and will end public education, SS and Medicare.
Welfare programs, such as food stamps and unemployment, would be shifted to the states, and gradually de-funded, so eventually all of that burden would be on the property taxpayer's backs.
ALEC promotes inequality for minorities, opposes bargaining rights for workers, and offers "stand your ground" bills like Florida's. But perhaps the worst threat to our democracy is voter suppression, aimed at making it difficult or impossible for hundreds of thousands of Americans to vote. In Maine, Charlie Summers brought us voter suppression; our people's veto threw it out.
The following current state legislators (and two former legislators) are (or were) members of ALEC, according to www.Sourcewatch.org.
1. Sen. Richard Rosen (R-Dist. 31, Hancock)
2. Sen. Debra Plowman (R-33, Penobscot)
3. Sen. Brian Langley (R-28, Hancock)
4. Sen. Christopher Rector (R-22, Knox)
5. Sen. Mike Thibodeau (R-23, Waldo)
6. Former Sen. Carol Weston (also former ALEC state chairman)
7. Rep. Ryan Harmon (R-45, Palermo)
8. Rep. James Hamper (R-100, Oxford)
9. Secretary of State Charlie Summers, candidate for Snowe's Senate seat
When ALEC was exposed last summer by the mainstream press and Bill Moyers (see his documentary, "The United States of ALEC," on www.Democracynow.org), over 50 corporations and 70 legislators quit ALEC, denouncing it as un-American; none of these 70 were Maine legislators.
Time to throw these babies out with the ALEC bathwater.
Glen Bridges, Freedom