To the Editor:
I found it curious that the slew of bills rushed through the first session of our new Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature were reported in the national news as being introduced in other Republican-controlled state legislatures as well. I figured that the national Republican Party was pulling the puppet strings. Then I found about ALEC and got really scared.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate-funded and controlled group of state legislators. Corporations write legislation that will directly benefit their bottom lines, and the participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, bring these proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the country as their own ideas. This is why the bills are so uniform across the country and were ready to be introduced on day one of the legislative sessions.
You will find just about all of the controversial bills from our last N.C. legislative session there – repealing the federal health care law, suppressing voter turnout, privatizing schools, abolishing environmental protections, granting tax breaks to big corporations and crippling the state’s ability to raise revenue. I found under “ALEC Politicians” 35 Republican members of our N.C. House of Representatives listed, including Speaker Thom Tillis who was the 2011 ALEC State Legislator of the Year. To their credit, Republican state senators Jim Davis. R-Franklin, and Ralph Hise, R-Spruce Pine, deny ties to ALEC (and they are not listed), but they voted consistently for ALEC legislation, and Sen. Davis says he supports ALEC’s philosophy.
It is shameful that our N.C. Republican-controlled legislature makes laws which benefit corporate bottom lines at the expense of the economic security of North Carolina families. I understand now why they did nothing to create jobs for our citizens. High unemployment allows corporations to keep wages and benefits low. I fear that the radical Republicans in Raleigh are working for multi-national corporations instead of the people of North Carolina.