Friday, April 20, 2012

ALEC is down for the count

by Claude Chaney
    Once again we see another case of what goes around comes around. ACORN was an organization
whose primary focus was to get minorities to vote, so they initiated successful voter registration drives. The League of Women Voters also did the same thing for many years. ACORN was doing nothing more than helping people exercise their constitutional rights. Republicans (and some DEMOCRATS) cried foul and defunded the organization stating that all sorts of inproper activities were going on, including prostitution. The late Mr. Breitbart was very much involved in the destruction of this worthwhile organization that in the end was never proven to have done anything illegal.
   Well ALEC (American Legislative Election Counsel) has existed for more than 30 years and it
has done plenty of improper activities, the most glaring of which is actively disenfranchising African-American voting activity. ALEC wrote prospective conservative bills that were passed on to governors and congresspersons. It is alleged that New Jersey governor and possible vice presidential candidate Chris Christie promoted ALEC proposals without actually reading them. ALEC was the driving force behind the movement to stop blacks from voting. Laws that limit black participation in the upcoming presidential election by way of photo ids and driver licences passed in over 30 states. Even more dispicable ALEC was a major sponsor of the "stand your ground" law that caused the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin.
    ColorOfChange waged an effective letter campaign that convinced the major corporations that
funded ALEC to withdraw their financial support and many of them did just that......Coca Cola,
Pepsi Cola, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Taco Bell etc. ALEC founder Paul Wyrick, a former member
of the Reagan Administration openly confessed in a speech "I don't want MORE people to vote, I
want LESS people to vote."   The sinister activities of ALEC and like organizations always escape
public scrutiny because the media is owned by the 1%. We don't have the same type of reporters
that we had in the 50s and 60s. If you ask the average person about the purpose of the Heritage
Foundation, The Cato Institute, Americans For Prosperity or any of the other extreme right wing
think tanks they wouldn't have the slightest idea of what you are talking about. Like ALEC all
of these conservative dynamos are financially supported by the notorious Koch brothers.
     Caitlin Korb, ALEC spokesperson now claims the organization will no longer attempt to
influence legislation in unconventional forms and that ALEC will not promote "Stand Your Ground"
but the damage has already been done. Trayvon Martin is dead, but how many other Trayvon Martins
are out there who were completely ignored by the media.
    When Americans of all colors started to flood these major corporations with letters of disapproval
they immediately withdrew from ALEC and I believe it was not out of moral concern but because of danger to their bottom line. This is the most effective way to deal with injustice, it worked with Glenn Beck, it worked with Rush Limbaugh and it worked with the Montgomery bus boycott.    ACORN, which didn't do anything wrong but was viciously attacked by congress and ALEC which did so many wrongs that were tolerated, and even supported by congress are at opposite ends of the spectrum and together  they prove that when you do wrong to others it eventually comes back to you.


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