Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The ALEC Solution - Shouldn’t Be Ours!!!

I’ve been following this ALEC horror story for awhile now – as it has to do with ALEC at the local level – the city/town level.

But when it hit the New York Times editorial pages (in print and online) I though it may be time to bring this worthy little story to you.

This is all about Michigan-like destruction of local towns – turn them over to private company owned “city managers” (that good old private-public combination ALEC is infamous for) and then screwing the citizens of the towns – becausetheycan.  In Michigan the push is by their nasty governor Rick Snyder (and I am still amazed at how little press his dictatorship is getting) – but here we have an ALEC state legislator who is purposely destroying – his own town – becausehecan.

Would someone please tell me what kind of crack they are handing out at ALEC meetings?  Evidently it is a drug so powerful that people are losing the ability toact like responsible "PUBLIC servants".

I guess the moral of the story here is:
He/she might have seemed like a decent guy/gal
When you elected her/him
When the American Legislative Exchange Council gets their hands on him/her
they turn them into a ALEC private sector crack whore -
pledging their allegiance to the private-public partnership and 
saying FU to the citizens that elected them.

Here are some snips from the NYT:
Published: June 18, 2012
In May, the State Senate had approved a supplemental property tax increase of 13.8 percent, to be imposed on the residents of Woonsocket, a struggling city with a $10 million deficit. But when the bill moved to the House of Representatives, two conservative Woonsocket representatives refused to go along, and no amount of late-night negotiating could change their minds.

Woonsocket’s problems stem from the decision of Rhode Island’s previous governor, a Republican named Don Carcieri, to balance the state’s budget by cutting state aid to the cities. All of Rhode Island’s poorer cities had become dependent on that aid, so when the economy soured, they essentially ran out of money.

The two Woonsocket legislators quickly decided to apply Rahm Emanuel’s famous maxim about never letting a crisis go to waste. The fact that their town had a big budget deficit meant that if they played their cards right, they could do a lot more than just fix the schools’ problem. They could actually shrink the town government!

Read the whole thing >>>HERE<<<

But the real story on this started with an activist journalist out of Rhode Island who started reporting on this months ago – when he broke this story of a DINO on the ALEC Board.

Conservative House Democrat Jon Brien of Woonsocket is not only a card carrying member of ALEC, the right wing group backed by some of America’s most powerful corporations that writes model legislation for use in state houses around the country, but he’s also the lone Democrat on the group’s 17 member board of directors.

“I’m a conservative, I make no bones about that.

He added, “It’s a collaboration between business and legislators. It’s no different than a U.S. senator getting a donation from a corporation.”

He said he was introduced to ALEC by former Woonsocket lawmaker and majority leader Jerry Martineau, a past state chair of ALEC who served jail time for political corruption for using his position in the General Assembly to curry business favors with CVS and Blue Cross.

Oh my…………………………
And THAT is what ALEC is all about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Currying" those private sector business favors!!!
CVS and Blue Cross both being ALEC members.

Guess Brien wants a HUGE piece of the economic ALEC pie –
On the ALEC Board – A Democrat - WTF!!!
And this was AFTER all the shit hit the media fan about ALEC
This guy really wants the spotlight.

But the interesting thing is this statement:
“They can’t beat us legislatively, so they are coming after us in another way,” Brien said.”Do you think Common Cause is mad about taxes or because we are beating them on Voter ID?”
We can't beat ALEC legislatively - REALLY/???
WE can vote your a$$ out of office a$$hole
- you serve at the discretion of the PEOPLE
- and as of right now
- ALEC can not automatically put you in office.
YOU need US, bucko - don't forget that!

ALEC is “beating them on Voter ID”?
Is this some type of f#cking game for ALEC members?
Is democracy some type of damn game that ALEC either wins or loses at?

This guy has got to go - Rhode Island.
Is there a way to impeach him?
Is he up for re-election soon?
Can YOU RI CITIZENS get on this guys a$$ - big time and stay there until you can get him out of office?

I really wonder if that is what they are talking about at the ALEC Board meetings?
Remember after all, Brien is sitting AT the ALEC board meetings.
What a bunch of a$$holes – all of them – even the Dem ALEC members.

Read the whole article >>>> here<<<< – it really is worth your time.

And he followed up this morning alerting readers to the NYT editorial – we woke up this morning, but I guess we really should have woke up with Bob Plain's first articles – shame on us.

When I recently wrote that the “General Assembly ought to save Woonsocket from its elected officials” prior to its last chance of the year to approve the supplemental tax bill, he laughed it off. But when I tweeted this that night, he took great offense, immediately leaving his seat on the House floor and coming up to literally yell at me while I sat at the press booth.

He’s [Brien] brand new to the once-shadowy, ultra-conservative organization’s board of directors (RI Future also broke this story) and had just recently come home from his first ALEC meeting as a member of leadership when the Woonsocket House delegation launched its effort to sink the supplemental tax.

The now-infamous Woonsocket trio of Brien, Baldelli-Hunt and Phillips also tried to kill a federally-mandated sewage treatment plant when they were negotiating with the governor’s office about the supplemental tax. Not only would it have shrunken government, but it would have done so in a way that would have relegated a pesky environment-protecting project mandated by the EPA and the Clean Water Act to the back burner – talk about an ALEC home run!

Read the whole article >>>> here<<<< – it gives you more info that the NYT editorial.

There is a sub-story to this that is important
This tale started with a citizen journalist and I guess the country didn’t give it the credence it deserved (including me) until it hit the NYT.
And that is a sad part of the story.

Citizen journalists / activists are important.
Citizen journalists / activists are just as important as “the suits”.
In my opinion – sometimes we give too much credit to the suits that take over the process.
In my opinion – we need the suits – but I think – just as in the situation with ALEC – we need to be careful who we give the power to and who we spend our time with.

The ALEC solution -  shouldn’t be ours!!!
Not at the state level
Not at the federal level!
Not at the county level!
Not at the city level!

WE MUST make sure that all ALEC members
are not re-elected or elected to public service.

WE MUST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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