Imagine the conservative outrage if Democratic state senators and representatives were members of MoveOn.org, and used model legislation written by MoveOn that pushed a liberal Democratic agenda in just 5 months over the winter protests we saw at the Capitol.
There's no such outrage from conservatives when it comes to some out of state free market think tank guiding our own state agenda. Their party leaders are not only members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), but they're passing ALEC's model legislation, a corporate agenda that never allowed public debate or input.
Here's a small slice of ALEC Exposed, and the vast influence of the ALEC party of Republicans:
The Men From ALEC: Three men have dominated the radical, transformative agenda in the state of Wisconsin. All three have long been ALEC members and active participants. The three are Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.
As a young legislator in the 1990s, Walker pass(ed) ALEC’s Truth in Sentencing bill. The bill would benefit the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which housed overflow Wisconsin inmates out of state for many years. In 2011, Walker introduced many ALEC priority measures “by request of the Governor.”
Scott Fitzgerald started opening up about his big plans for the state shortly after the election in 2010: “the more feathers you ruffle right now the stronger you are going to be politically. I don't ever remember an environment where that existed before.” He announced to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his first “shot” would be a “Voter ID” bill-Model Voter ID legislation was produced by ALEC.
Fitzergald’s second strike? “Right to Work” or a hostile work environment for private sector unions. “I just attended an American Legislative Exchange Council meeting and I was surprised about how much momentum there was in and around that discussion, nothing like I have seen before,” said Fitzgerald enthusiastically. Together with other ALEC members, Joint Finance Committee Chair Robin Vos (ALEC State Chairman for Wisconsin) and Senator Leah Vukmir, Chair of Wisconsin’s Health Committee (who also serves as chair of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force), the Fitzgerald brothers are rushing dozens of ALEC specials through the legislature Walker recently named former state Rep. Phil Montgomery chair of the Public Service Commission. Montgomery was ALEC’s “Legislator of the Year” in 2005.
Wisconsin Omnibus Tort Act: One of Governor Walker’s first actions was to push a package of tort reform measures lifted from the ALEC playbook. Ending Public Financing: ALEC opposes public financing for campaigns in part because the laws “have not removed the influence of special interest money” in campaigns. The "Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act" would repeal any local “living wage” ordinance like the ones in Madison and Milwaukee, and prohibit political subdivisions from enacting them in the future. The ALEC "Prevailing Wage Repeal Act" would get rid of all state prevailing wage laws that give workers engaged in public works and the like a higher salary. The ALEC "Starting (Minimum) Wage Repeal Act" would preempt the ability of states and localities to pay a minimum wage higher than the federal level. For 20 years, a top priority item for ALEC has been the privatization of public schools through a school voucher system. Governor Walker first proposed repealing the school voucher enrollment cap for Milwaukee and eliminating income eligibility requirements … The final bill included devastating cuts, and expanded voucher schools but only lifted the cap on participation and the income eligibility to 300% of the federal poverty level (rather than blowing the cap altogether).