Through the years I have noticed the right-wing out-perform progressives in distorting the truth. I clearly remember the right-wing leading legislation to pass on concealed weapons, and the next year pointing out how crime had fallen in those states that had conceled weapons approval. What they failed to point out is that states that had no such legislation saw crime rates drop more substantially.
The same was true when big corporate and right-wing support pushed for keeping prisoners locked up for longer periods of time. Forced with over-crowding, states had to turn to private prison corporations to house their longer-serving prisoners. Then the right-wing showed us how crime had gone down in those states. Once again, what they didn't tell you was that in many states without longer prison sentences, crime went down in larger numbers. But the private Corrections Corporation of America made a financial killing.
Currently the local Shepherd Express [July 21, 2011, p. 10] is running an excellent article about the influence and impact of the right-wing organization titled "American Legislative Exchange Council" [ALEC]. This organization greatly helped in getting more right-wing state legislators elected than at any time since President Herbert Hoover. And we all know what wonderful things happened with that leadership. ALEC focuses on state politics and state legislation because that's where the rubber hits the road, not Washington.
Governor Scott Walker is a proud alum of ALEC. Here are others who are members or have received awards from ALEC: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, George H.W. Bush, Charles and David Koch, Richard de Vos, Tommy Thompson, Gov. John Kasich, Gov. Rich Perry, Congressman Mark Foley [intern sex scandal], Congressman Billy Tauzin, Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, Congressman Joe Wilson [yelled out "iar" during President Obma's State of the Union address to Congress], former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, former House Speaker Tom DeLay, Andrew Card, Donald Rumsfeld, Governor Scott Walker, Governor Jan Brewer, and many more. Speakers featured to ALEC: Milton Friedman, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, George Allen, Jessie Helms, Pete Coors, Gov. Mitch Daniels, etc.
"ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group, It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve 'model' bills. They have their own corporate governing board. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovation -- without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a 'unique,' 'unparalled' and 'unmatched' organization. We agree. It is as if a state legislature had been reconsituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door." -from website www.alecexposed, org