New and Improved?

In what can guardedly be called a victory for Color of Change and allied progressive groups, ALEC has, like a cat covering its poop, announced that it will no longer focus on crazy wingnut ideas that cannot be plausibly linked to the “economic” issues they supposedly are dedicated to championing.  Therefore, making sure darkies and freeloaders can’t vote, and nutcases can waste people at random in the streets will be, uh, less emphasized, while they return their focus to their “prosperity” agenda of union-busting, polluting with impunity, discrediting public education, eliminating the minimum wage, closing the courts to ordinary people harmed by corporate malfeasance, and promoting ever-larger monopolies.

Well move over, United Way; there’s a new “charity” on the block.  Of course, ALEC was never a “free market” outfit.  Started in the 70′s by Paul Weyrich, it was just another secretive money-launderer for ideas that could never be sold in the “marketplace” of ideas, but was intended to be an assembly line for the bonkers obsessions of the creepy rich to be rolled out as law.  As a side benefit, it provided a lot of senior fella positions to the worthless offspring of the rich, in hopes of launching political careers for otherwise unemployable dupes who would robotically advance their agenda.  One of these, Molly Bordonaro, was able to nearly grab a seat in the US House representing Oregon, armed with nothing but a rich Daddy and and an internship there.

Somehow, though, ALEC was able to grow itself into a purportedly benign pro-business think tank, at least enough to dupe the most monopolistic and dumbest corporations into funding it. The focus on state legislatures rather than national politics was primarily a business decision; they’re cheaper to buy, and corporate bigwigs are notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to donations of any kind.  This acceptance was certainly good news to its original funders, who were then able to spend their inheritances on their more private pursuits, like vanity publications and religious crusades.

All good things must come to an end, or more precisely, must lay low for the five minutes it takes for the media to find a new shiny object, and so it is with ALEC.  No doubt Pepsi, Kraft, and the rest will slink back into the fold and start writing checks once the whole thing inevitably blows over, as these things do, most likely in time for the next Koch Brothers desert confab.   Don’t think for a moment that anyone involved has suddenly seen the light; they’ve merely retreated to the drawing room while the heat is hurriedly aired out of the authoritarian kitchen.


  1. “All good things must come to an end.” I wish that was true for ALEC. But it isn’t.

    The Pepsi, Kraft and other brand-name sponsors were “sideshow” sponsors picked up at wingnut conventions. The “real” backers of ALEC (the NRA, the Wall Street fat cats, and the anti-civil rights groups) are still there. They’ll morph into a “more publicly acceptable” organization, but with the $Millions that they have working for them; they will still continue to write local legislation that serves their needs.

    They have in their pocket the best state and local legislators that money can buy.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Like I said, this is a cat covering the poop gesture; everyone, including the cat know the poop is still there. The mainstream funding was nice while it lasted, and it will surely be back. I’m guessing in time for the 2012 elections, at the latest.

  2. avelna says:

    Gone for now (sorta) but, unfortunately, the harm has already been done – 30 odd states with oppressive Voter ID laws, 20 odd states with Stand Your Ground Laws. It’s an effin’ political circus – a sideshow courtesy of the Democratic party to showcase how much better they are than the Rethugs.

  3. avelna says:

    Other legislation for which ALEC is responsible:

    Prison Industries Act
    American Legislative Exchange Council (unsigned) – January 1, 1995

    Slave labor in privately owned prisons. Not surprising I guess.

    • cocktailhag says:

      How inventive! It isn’t enough to hoodwink voters into ever-tougher “crime” laws and fleece taxpayers for torturous hellhole prisons; why not get free labor, too?
      Nothing surprises me anymore.