Posted on February 4, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Bruce Vail
Pennsylvania labor is primed for the fight: An April 11, 2011 Teamsters rally against previous right-to-work legislation drew some 400 protestors to the state Capitol. (The Rick Smith Show / Flickr / Creative Commons)
Backed by powerful national business interests, conservative legislators in Pennsylvania announced last week a new push to bring so-called “right-to-work” laws to the Keystone state. State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said January 22 that he and five other Republican legislators would introduce a package of bills aimed at crippling the ability of labor unions to collect dues from members.
Pennsylvania labor leaders say the package is part of a broad assault on labor that began in 2010 when the GOP won control of the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature. (more…)
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: "right to work", ALEC, Pennsylvania, right to work for less | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 15, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Brendan Fischer
The Tea Party-affiliated group FreedomWorks — the right-wing organization that helps connect “Tea Party” groups with talking points, rallies, and more — is gearing up to direct its sizeable war chest towards advancing anti-union initiatives in the states, supporting an agenda set by groups like David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity and the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This strongly suggests that the battle for the future of private and public sector unions in America is beginning a new phase of combat.
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Politics | Tagged: ALEC, anti-union legislation, Freedom Works | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 29, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Study: ALEC’s Advice to States on Jobs Is Actually a Recipe for Stagnation and Wage Suppression
Washington, DC, November 28, 2012–A new study finds that state tax and regulatory policies recommended by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) fail to promote stronger job creation or income growth, and actually predict a worse performance.
Since ALEC first published its annual Rich States, Poor States study with its Economic Outlook Ranking in 2007, states that were rated better have actually done worse economically.
Those are the key findings of “Selling Snake Oil to the States”, a study published today by Good Jobs First and the Iowa Policy Project and freely available online at http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/snakeoiltothestates . It was released at a press conference the same week ALEC holds its annual fall meeting in Washington, DC. (more…)
Filed under: Economy | Tagged: ALEC, Arthur Laffler, Selling Snake Oil to the States | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 20, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Mary Bottari and Sara Jerving
Well-funded advocates of privatizing the nation’s education system are employing a new strategy this fall to enlist support for the cause. The emotionally engaging Hollywood film “Won’t Back Down” — set for release September 28 — portrays so-called “Parent Trigger” laws as an effective mechanism for transforming underperforming public schools. But the film’s distortion of the facts prompts a closer examination of its funders and backers and a closer look at those promoting Parent Trigger as a cure for what ails the American education system.
While Parent Trigger was first promoted by a small charter school operator in California, it was taken up and launched into hyperdrive by two controversial right-wing organizations: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute.
ALEC brings together major American corporations and right-wing legislators to craft and vote on “model” bills behind closed doors. These bills include extreme gun laws, like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law implicated in the Trayvon Martin shooting, union-busting legislation, Arizona style anti-immigrant legislation and voter suppression laws that have sparked lawsuits across the nation. The organization’s agenda is so extreme that in the last few months 40 major U.S. companies, including Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Kraft, and General Motors, have severed ties with ALEC.
Similarly, the Heartland Institute recently suffered an exodus of corporate sponsors after it launched a billboard comparing those who believe in the science behind global warming to the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.
As the movie’s stars take to the airwaves this week to promote the film, it is unlikely they will discuss the agenda of the film’s billionaire backers or the right-wing politicians and for-profit firms who developed the Parent Trigger idea, the purpose of which is to promote the transformation of the American public school system into a for-profit enterprise. We provide a primer below.
Filed under: Busting the union busters, The enemy | Tagged: ALEC, Parent Trigger | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 29, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Peter Dreier & Donald Cohen
Last month Wal-Mart became the latest company to drop its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council in response to public outrage over ALEC’s aggressive support for “Stand Your Ground” laws (which are implicated in the death of Trayvon Martin, among others). Wal-Mart won some kudos for leaving ALEC, but its shrewd move was nothing more than an attempt to divert attention from the retail giant’s current troubles and its multimillion dollar effort to burnish its image, peddle its influence, and increase its market share.
The uproar over the Wal-Mart bribery scandal in Mexico uncovered last month evokes the famous distinction between “dishonest graft” and “honest graft” made by George Washington Plunkitt, a Tammany Hall politician in the early 1900s. Dishonest graft, Plunkitt explained, involves bribes and blackmail. Honest graft, in contrast, involves using one’s political and business connections, and inside knowledge, to make a fortune. Plunkitt described the principle behind “honest graft” in his motto: “I seen my opportunities and I took ‘em.”
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: ALEC, bribes, Los Angeles, Mexico, Walmart | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 2, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Gloria Tatum
(APN) ATLANTA — SB 469, an anti-union and anti-protest bill, would turn nonviolent civil disobedience into a felony punishable by imprisonment for one year and a fine of ten thousand dollars for organizations and one thousand dollars for individuals. It also has provisions intended to weaken unions.
The bill was introduced by State Reps. Don Balfour (R-Snellville), Bill Hamrick (R-Carrollton), Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), and Ross Tolleson (R-Perry). All four Senators are members of an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC). ALEC bring corporations and lawmakers together to draft template legislation that is introduced in other states to change policy. ALEC claims to be nonpartisan but is funded by several right-wing thing tanks.
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: ALEC, Charlie Flemming, Georgia AFL-CIO, SB 469 | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 23, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
In These Times staff writer Mike Elk spoke to a meeting of the Wichita Sate University Student Labor Project and Young Democratic Socialists on February 16, 2012. Two days later, he spoke to an Occupy KochTown conference, organized by regional Sierra Club and occupy groups. Elk is a prolific reporter who has broken many important stories–a frequent contributor to Talking Union. We think both videos may be of interest to Talking Union readers.
See the KochTown video after the break.
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: ALEC, Koch Industries, Mike Elk, Occupy Kochtown, SLAP, Wisconsin | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 20, 2011 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Jobs with Justice
It’s that time of the year again! What do Rob Walton, Publix, ALEC and Eddie Hull all have in common?
They have been nominated for Scrooge of the Year! Head here to read their biography’s and cast your ballot on who you think is the biggest Scrooge of them all!
Filed under: Conferences and Events | Tagged: ALEC, Eddie Hull, Jobs with Justice, Publix, Rob Walton, Scrooge of the Year | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 14, 2011 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Madison — Yesterday, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) made available over 800 “model” bills and resolutions secretly voted on by corporate and legislative members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC was created by right-wing political apparatchik Paul Weyrich in 1973. ALEC has become the premier institution for crafting and promoting model legislation and resolutions that largely benefit its corporate members. Until today, it has been difficult to trace the controversial and oddly uniform bills popping up in legislatures across the country directly to ALEC.
The public can now examine the array of ALEC model bills for the first time and link them to bills being introduced in their own state house. CMD has uploaded a full archive of ALEC bills with annotations and analysis on the bills, on its website “ALECexposed.org“. We make these bills available in the public interest, in conjunction with analysis provided in today’s edition of The Nation Magazine. The bills are in a wiki to empower crowd-sourcing by reporters and citizen journalists to help compile additional analysis of the bills and resolutions.
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Resources, The enemy | Tagged: ALEC, ALEC Exposed | 2 Comments »