March 8, 2012

Wisconsin Lawmaker Calls Out Corporate Front Group ALEC For Writing School Privatization Bill

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the most powerful corporate front group you’ve never heard of. The group, sponsored by some of America’s largest corporations, writes legislation that tends to benefit its donors and ships these template bills to state legislatures for compliant lawmakers to pass. ALEC has pushed for legislation doing everything from attacking workers’ collective bargaining rights to making it harder for low-income Americans to vote.

But one Wisconsin lawmaker is not content with allowing a corporate front group to secretly write his state’s laws. Rep. Mark Pocan (D) decided to join ALEC — its legislative umbrella includes nearly one-third of state legislators — and gain access to the template bills it was writing. His legislature recently began to consider AB 110, which allows for special taxpayer subsidies for private schools for special needs children.

Pocan took to the floor of the Wisconsin House and noted that the text of this bill that provides for a huge blanket taxpayer giveaway to the private school industry was remarkably similar to an ALEC template bill. Pocan obtained an e-mail trail of ALEC representatives to Republican staffers. These staffers then pushed for AB110.

“This is part of dismantling public education in Wisconsin, and Florida, and Ohio, and every single state it’s introduced in,” Pocan explained. “This bill doesn’t come from this body, this bill is an identical bill that’s been introduced brought by special interests by ALEC and introduced state by state by state.”

Watch Pocan call out ALEC:

  • Cat Kin

    What would you expect from a group led by a Governor whose newsworthy statement of the day is…”We’ve created legislation so that community colleges in Wisconsin can help us put bodies in jobs.”

  • HooksNBullets

    No surprise here.

  • Bill49259

    I wish the people of my state had the same fight in them that the people of Wisconsin do, they are mad as hell and are ready to fight the Republicans on their right wing low life tactics.

  • Really?!?!?!?!?!

    Its no wonder the GOP wants to cut education. They want to get rich off of it.

  • CatKinNY

    The quality of the Democrats in the Wisconsin State Legislature continues to delight and amaze; the predatory nature of ALEC continues to enrage and appal. Do the Republicans who are backing this crap all over the country really think it’s wise to turn over the education of our children (and thus, our future) to private, for profit industry?

    • eps62

      The repugs love it. It’s all for the MONEY and for the worse education that can be given to our children.

      That way they can keep us under their control.

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