For those of us who have been out of school for several generations, we remember the good old days of studying American history and government and learning about the grit, courage and determination of our Founders in creating the American experiment. These patriots met in hot and unpleasant conditions to hammer out the structure of our government, a government that in the early days involved citizen-legislators who made great sacrifice to attend sessions and do the people's business.
Fast forward to today and it's almost laughable when we look at how our current legislative bodies have changed things. Oh, of course things change over time and with the advent of so many things to make life easier, we shouldn't expect a return to yesterday. But shouldn't we at least expect our legislators to labor over creating bills appropriate for their constituents and in accordance with their needs? And shouldn't they take to time to read and analyze every word in every bill? Well, we know about the problems with our federal legislative process, but did you know that the problem is every bit as outlandish at the state level as well?
Today's state legislatures are spoon fed proposed legislation by their leaders, legislation that is largely created far from the seat of power in the states. And while there are many lobby type organizations pushing this, none is as all encompassing as ALEC, the acronym for the American Legislative Exchange Council. A creation of selective think tanks and well heeled corporatists, ALEC has members from each state legislature who take the lead with their organizational leadership to receive and process legislation using documentation from a professional staff within ALEC which tailors laws in such a way that all the state politicians have to do is fill in the blanks. Meanwhile the politicians say they are working for you but, in reality, they are not working much at all, instead they are pushing forward pre-established bills which have been successful elsewhere.
Now liberals say that this is just a conservative trait since ALEC is a conservative-leaning body. But ALEC is really a crony-capitalist supported body which leans on conservatives since the majority of American state legislatures are Republican. Rest assured when things change, something else, if not a morphed organization will show up on the Democratic side. After all, the key job of a legislator these days, regardless of state or party, is to raise money for the party and for their own campaign. They strive hard to maintain their cushy and influential positions, come "hell or high water".
Join me with my regular guest, Mark Collier, as we discuss ALEC. If you're worried about how your state taxes and fees are spent and how decisions impacting them are made, this is an important issue.
Here's the link for the show. Don't worry about the time schedule, it will also be on demand 24/7: