Tucked around the corner, however, was an unassuming and unmanned booth that, although less familiar, was promoting what may be the most extreme, chillingly ambitious and potentially far-reaching ALEC initiative yet imagined — an attempt to trigger Article V of the United States Constitution in a historically unprecedented call for a national convention of states to amend the foundational document that is the supreme law of our land.
And that prospect, labor economist and veteran ALEC-watcher Jane Carter told Capital & Main on the final day of the meeting, is “terrifying.” …
“A constitutional convention could open the floodgates to destroying the Constitution in and of itself,” Carter explained, “and they’re this close to getting it done. I mean it’s just a matter of getting a few more states on board.” …
Of particular concern to her is its newest, more localized arm, the American City County Exchange (ACCE), which retargets ALEC laws at the municipal and county levels through so-called preemption legislation. Those bills override local controls on everything from fracking bans to Living Wage ordinances, while curiously allowing localities to pass city and county right-to-work measures.
Capital & Main: ALEC Conference Coverage
Press Enterprise (Riverside): “California serves as ATM for candidates”
When the billionaire Koch brothers and several hundred mega-donor allies roll into Dana Point this weekend, the conservative coalition will have more on its agenda than the usual screening of favored presidential candidates and discussions about policy. …
The gathering is another reminder of California’s role as an ATM in national politics. The state is strongly Democratic. But Republican and Democratic candidates regularly head west in search of campaign dollars.
“They’re not here for the votes. It’s all about the Benjamins,” said Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College. … The Kochs’ network of free-market advocates is easily the largest private financial force in politics.
Daily Kos (Dartagnan): “ALEC Crawls Out From Under Its Rock To Declare War On The Rest Of Us”
More than anything else, this shows why the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision was such an abomination: it allowed people just like this to take over our country by buying out our political system. This time, however, what they’re doing has life-altering consequences for us all. …
It means corporations have devised a way to make the surplus population pay for the slow death of the planet, and all of the human suffering that will come with it.
The left’s bête noire — the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — held its three-day annual conference in San Diego last week. As Capital & Main’s man-on-the-scene Bill Raden reported, it was not unlike a pack of wild animals feeding: It “would be hard to imagine an audience hungrier for the red meat Governor Walker threw out to it,” he wrote.
Capital & Main: “ALEC Confidential” – Complete Conference Coverage
Capital & Main: “Labor Rally Sends ALEC Conference Into Lockdown Mode”
For the 1,300 state legislators and corporate lobbyists gathered inside, the perceived security threat turned out to be from those who stand the most to lose from ALEC attacks on workplace rights, minimum wage laws and state health and environmental standards — California workers.
Capital & Main: “Inside the San Diego Conference”
ALEC, a secretive rightwing bill mill that gets its funding from the Koch Brothers and global multibillion dollar corporations, has been described as a legislative dating service that arranges hookups between mostly Republican state lawmakers and corporate lobbyists.
Capital & Main: “Scott Walker Talks the Walk”
Scott Walker couldn’t have asked for more. … his audience was ravenous for any vision that included destroying unions and cracking down on America’s criminal underclass. … Every key bill Walker has been associated with, since his get-tough-on-crime heyday as a state assemblyman in the 1990s, has been a plagiarism of an ALEC model bill.
The Nation: “Meet ALEC’s Little Brother, ACCE”
The right-wing lobby’s newest offshoot is equipping city and county officials with the tools to promote special-interest bills at the local level.
With Congress and the states gridlocked and dominated by special-interest spending, America’s cities have emerged as engines of policy innovation. … So how has the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful lobby serving right-wing interests at the state level, responded to this resurgence of local democracy? With a systematic effort to destroy it. …
ALEC has launched a new offshoot aimed at city and county government called the American City County Exchange. … By asking cities and counties to risk costly lawsuits with the passage of local right-to-work laws, while simultaneously warning of the “threat” posed by cities that have the authority to raise the local minimum wage, ACCE seems to be walking a tightrope. …
Reconciling these seemingly contradictory positions is easy, says Mark Pertschuk of the group Grassroots Change. “What ALEC stands for is not local control. It is money. The guiding principle to their astonishing hypocrisy is protecting the profits of ALEC’s funders.”
Learn more at ALEC Exposed