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Counter ALEC with ALICE
Poor Alec just keeps bumbling, stumbling, and tumbling.
You could feel sorry for such a hapless soul, except that this isn't a person, but the soulless ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council. This secretive corporate front is behind hundreds of regressive and repressive bills that're being pushed through Republican-controlled state legislatures. Its bills and tactics are so venomous that 35 of ALEC's brand-name corporate funders – from Amazon to Walmart – have withdrawn their names and money this year.
But with the billionaire Koch brothers and others behind it, ALEC will continue stumbling ahead with its far-right agenda. Condemning it is one thing, but what's really needed is a non-corporate, independent, above-board, overtly-progressive alternative to ALEC's special-interest, backroom conniving – a clean source of model legislation readily-available for the consideration of local and state public officials and the public at large.
Well, great news folks, ALICE will soon arrive! The American Legislative and Issues Campaign Exchange (or ALICE) is not just a clever play on ALEC's name, but an effective counter to its agenda and methods. Originated by Joel Rogers – one of progressive America's most-creative thinkers and doers – ALICE will offer a one-stop, web-based, public library of about 1,000 model laws on a wide range of policy issues, complete with in-depth background materials. It's a nationwide, cooperative effort that already has enlisted a couple of hundred professors, policy experts, students, lawyers, and others who're volunteering their brains, energy, and time to assemble a first-rate, easily-accessible library open to all lawmakers, mayors, grassroots groups, media, and… well, everyone.
If you'd like to help ALICE in some way, go to www.AliceLaw.org.
"Deepening the Progressive Bench," www.washingtonpost.com, April 10, 2012.
"Corporations Which Have Cut Ties to ALEC," www.sourcewatch.org, August 2012.