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.
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