CommunityFDL Main Blog

Come Saturday Morning: ALEC — The Koch-Funded Group That’s Stealing Your Rights And Your Birthright

While trawling the web for Wisconsin news, I ran across this bizarre piece by David Zurawik. Mr. Zurawik, in addition to being a notorious tone troll who thinks lefties with facts are worse than righties with lies, is also a union-hating guy who thinks that the truth is icky and partisan and just wishes that those with the truth and the facts, like Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz, would just pipe down and let their wealthier and better-bred betters do all the talking:

On the plus side, MSNBC was the first of the cable news channels to commit to intense coverage of this story earlier in the week — following up with Ed Schultz broadcasting live from Madison Thursday night.

On the minus side, its coverage has been partisan and rabble-rousing to the point where it seems as if cable show hosts like Schultz are exploiting the anger of the situation, rather than reporting the story and trying to bring context, clarity and understanding to a troubled situation.

He then goes on to mock the comparisons between the Wisconsin and Egyptian protests, and then say that it’s not union-busting because Politifact says it isn’t. Well, okay then. NOT.

Hello, ink-stained wretch! Union-busting is exactly what it is. It’s not about the “budget deficit”. The “budget deficit” is one of Walker’s own making, resulting from tax breaks to his buddies — as you would know if you didn’t depend on Politifact and network TV to tell you everything you know.

In fact, as our own David Dayen demonstrates here and here, the ALEC-designed bill takes dead aim at collective bargaining.

What’s ALEC? The Koch-brothers funded far-right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, which is dedicated to taking over state legislatures to destroy workers’ rights and environmental safeguards (the Koches being heavily into coal and oil). As Bluestem Prairie’s Sally Jo Sorensen notes, they helped write SB 1070, the infamous “Show Us Your Papers” bill that turned the State of Arizona into a police state predicated on harassment of brown-skinned Spanish-speakers. They are the forces behind the cookie-cutter union-busting bills in various state legislatures, not just Wisconsin’s:

Wisconsin has become the critical start point for a much broader assault on worker’s rights and unions. Ohio has seen similar protests over a very similar bill. And states like Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New Mexico are considering additional limits on public employee rights, though not to the extent of Ohio and Wisconsin.

The origins, as I wrote about Monday, come from ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a key driver in the conservative movement. One reason why you see similar bills from Republicans pop up in multiple states is ALEC, which pushes an agenda for state legislators to pick up and run with. We know that ALEC brought together Walker and southern state Governors after the elections to discuss so-called “right-to-work” legislation. We know that ALEC commended Walker for his first successful piece of legislation, the bill slashing business taxes that created the budget deficit which he is now exploiting to take away public employee rights. They are basically behind all of this.

In short, if your state is doing something that is good, the ALEC mokes are unalterably opposed to it.


As a side note: What is it with the union-hatred among self-important media pundits like you, Mr. Zurawik? Was your grandpa a union member who spanked you when you got into his fishing lures? Was he a rich industrialist who taught you to feel that nobody who worked with their hands for a living deserved to have a living wage, much less be able to put kids through college? Did a guy whose dad was a longshoreman key your car when you were in high school? Really, what is the deal with you?

Why such a hate-on for the one force that more than any other propelled most of our great-grandparents and their offspring into America’s middle class? Are you, being safely ensconced in the world of the well-off, trying to pull up what remains of the upward-mobility ladder that unions created and guarded until people like you worked to destroy them? Or do you just worship Ayn Rand? Really, what is the deal here?

Oh, and by the way — remember how you mocked the comparisons of the Wisconsin and Egypt protests? Well, guess what — many Egyptians, particularly noted journalist Mona Eltahawy, are among those folks making these comparisons. Neener neener neener.

Previous post

Pelosi Introduces Short-Term CR Until March 31

Next post

The Postal Service Shares Your Info with Private Companies

Phoenix Woman

Phoenix Woman