Thursday, March 10, 2011

ALEC Goal: Privatize Government, Eliminate Unions

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI) stated: Well if they flip the state senate, which is obviously their goal with eight recalls going on right now, they can take control of the labor unions. If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much difficult, much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin. (Source)

The first thing you need to know is that Scott Fitzgerald is the State Chairmen of Wisconsin for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  He is basically the grand poobah of ALEC for the State of WI.

The second thing is an entry that I did yesterday where I stated that based on my readings of ALEC Libertarian literature it appears that two of the main goals of this libertarian movement are:
  1. To privatize government services and goods
  2. To eliminate unions – specifically government unions.
The statement in the interview with Fitzgerald is an example of item #2.  He is very succinct on why they want to destroy unions – it’s not about the union members, it is about taking away union money that supports the democratic (small d) process – such as President Obama in the 2012 election.  The citizens of Wisconsin – specifically the union members are pawns to be destroyed to achieve the bigger goal set by ALEC Libertarian’s and Koch, Coors, Wal-Mart, AT&T and other private sector companies that belong to ALEC – to commandeer the political process and destroy all who do not stand with them..

Ironic isn’t it that the ALEC Libertarians can be funded by Koch, AT&T, Coors, Wal-Mart and other private sector members of ALEC and yet they feel they need to destroy the unions – to usurp the perceived political power of unions?  It’s hypocritical if you ask me.  Business and the ultra-wealthy, Yes! – organized labor and the working class, no, no, a hundred times no!

You may think that my assessment may seem strong and biased.  I will give you a couple of examples directly from ALEC literature, as to why they want to eliminate unions.

First, from a post I did earlier today reviewing ALEC’s 16th Edition of the ALEC “Report Card on Education” published in 2010 ALEC’ report states on page 108:
If you have read this report and our recommendations, you will know we believe teachers are the key to student learning.  Teachers’ unions are not.
At some point in time, unions have opposed every reform we have discussed in these pages.”

In an entry I published earlier today I reviewed an article from the ALEC member magazine Inside ALEC that discussed privatizing IT in government.  By doing so the government can get rid of union IT members by having them move to jobs with the private sector contractor that was hired, thus eliminating union members within the government (and subsequently, reducing union membership).

Why is this so important – to deprecate unions in literature and to literally eliminate government positions represented by unions?  For the exact reason that Scott Fitzgerald states in the first paragraph – to gain control of the political process and guarantee Libertarian party success – in their case ALEC Libertarians.

I have had the opportunity to review an ALEC position paper named "Holding Teachers Hostage” published in 2001 by ALEC and written for them by The Evergreen Freedom Foundation (a libertarian think tank, founded by Bob Williams, who is a private sector member of ALEC) by an unknown author. The paper focuses mainly on the NEA and makes statements such as, “union operates like a political party”; The NEA provides paid staff to…carry out stealth political activities that circumvent public disclosure and scrutiny”; “The extent of the NEA”s political involvement has been vastly under-reported during the last three decades”; and “the NEA plays a strong role, and at times a lead role, in planning the political activities and goals of its state affiliates.

What does this position paper suggest should be done to counteract this issue? - Legislation.  But not just any legislation.  They suggest that state lawmakers use the ALEC “model legislation” titled the “Labor Organizations Deductions Act”.  What would that bill do?  It limits the union’s ability to access teacher’s paychecks for union dues.   (Sound familiar?)

One last item before I close this entry.  It is important for the reader to understand that ALEC’s focus in not only the unions that represent teachers.  ALEC’s on-going attack on the unions also includes unions that represent most of the government workers, such as those in Wisconsin.  On a cached page from the ALEC website you can find the following statement “Unions support the living wage too, but for the wrong reasons.  Labor organizations such as the AFSCME and SEIU support the living wage because in so doing, they thwart governments’ efforts to privatize public services.   …moving jobs out of government and into the free market economy can have a significant and positive impact.”

So we have come back full circle to my second point in the third paragraph.  Based on my readings of ALEC Libertarian literature appears that two of the main goals of this libertarian movement are:
  1. To privatize government services and goods
  2. To eliminate unions – specifically government unions.
As citizens we should not be paying legislators to participate in ALEC “educational” sessions with Coors, Koch, AT&T , Wal-Mart and other private sector companies, sitting around the table drafting, deliberating and approving model legislation for our states and our country -  “model legislation” such as the “Labor Organization’s Deductions Act”.

I’d love to see all of the “ALEC Model Legislation” for public education and unions, and read them in their entirety…
        but ALEC’s “Model Legislation” is not available for public review or comment.
       Their “model legislation” in its entirety is on the password protected “members only” webpage.

Over 2,000 State Legislators are members of ALEC.  84 members of the US House and Senate are “Alumni” of ALEC.

Please request the elimination of any and all state and federal funding for our legislators to belong to ALEC, attend ALEC events or purchase ALEC literature and “model legislation”.

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