Press-Republican

April 20, 2013

Letters to the Editor: April 20, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Manipulating legislators

TO THE EDITOR: Thanks to those North Country folks who turned out for the recent showing of the “The United States of ALEC” on the SUNY campus.

A big shout-out to all who helped make this dynamic community event happen, starting with professor Kurtis Hagan, chair of the Philosophy Department; the tech crew at Yokum 200; the Press-Republican and other local media that gave coverage to the upcoming event; blogger Luke T. Bush; ROTA; MoveOn.org for adopting the event and helping spread the word among its members locally; and many others.

More than 100 people attended. The Q&A session with Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause NY, was informative and thought-provoking as well. Many great questions were asked.

The issue is of vital concern to almost all of us, liberals and conservatives, small-business owners and employees, white- and blue-collar workers, seniors and young people, teachers and students, homeowners and tenants, rural and urban, members of every political parties and none, and every ethnic group.

ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, takes state legislators on all-expenses-paid junkets and conferences, (which lobbyists are forbidden to do) then sends them home with model bills in hand.

Among these have been voter-suppression bills, union-busting bills, “tort reform” (stripping away consumers’ right to seek compensation from corporations for harm done by products), bills privatizing schools and prisons, and many others. It also actively opposes bills like campaign finance reform and candidates it doesn’t like.

Their strategy is divide and conquer. We can’t avoid being conquered unless we avoid being divided.

The event was sponsored locally by People for Positive Action. Contact us at 561-0291. Join us for our first anniversary celebration on April 27. Watch community calendars.

MARY-ALICE SHEMO

Chairwoman

People for Positive Action