Monday, July 25, 2011

Writing Laws by Remote Control

The income the middle class has lost over the past four decades (ever since Reagan put a kick me sign on our back) has all been funneled upward. Not all of this money can be spent at Tiffany and Bergdorff and on fifth and sixth mansions for billionaires who need more closet space. Some has been spent paying for the writing and enacting of state laws to cut taxes on billionaires and outlaw unions and deregulate corporate pollution, fraud and dangerous products. Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Tobacco created a group called ALEC which instructs Republican lawmakers how to make laws. Sadly nobody knew how elaborate the ALEC project was until an insider started feeling lousy about what he was doing and shared the story with a reporter.

Here's a great Terri Gross interview about this with John Nichols.

John Nichols has written an excellent series for the Nation magazine about ALEC and what these documents have disclosed.

Coverage and analysis from TruthOut.

Among the documents revealed through the Center for Media and Democracy, are bills prefabricated by ALEC, with help from the industry groups who wanted to have regulations gutted or consumers unprotected. Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, industrial agriculture, big polluters, gun manufacturers and dealers, the private prison industry and others.

The same ALEC-written bills were proposed in multiple state legislatures, ushered through the democratic process with ALEC supervision, and passed into law, where their enactment will be overseen by judges tutored by the Koch Brothers and others. Law by remote control.

Some background on the investigation by PR Watch and the Center for Media and Democracy.

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