Tracing Scott Walker and the Fitzwalkerstan Cult to American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been a part of understanding how the pieces to the puzzle work, as illustrated by William Cronon last March.
Cronon’s New York Times article blew the lid off for those who have been paying attention to just why Walker is such an extremist on his way to getting recalled in 2012.
The investigations still continue regarding the Walker connection to ALEC, the Koch Brothers and all the other astroturf groups with donors hidden behind the curtain, thanks to the controversial “Citizens United vs. FEC” decision.
Here are some recent findings:
Walker had begun paying back corporations who put him in office.
A wide array of firms have an interest in pushing this type of legislation. The law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon is the corporate co-chair of ALEC’s “Civil Justice Task Force.” The firm represents tobacco companies and big pharmaceutical companies who have a specific interest in suppressing the public’s right to sue. In addition, Altria/Phillip Morris, Pfizer, Bayer, R.J. Reyolds, PhRMA, GlaxoSmithKline, and Koch Industries all serve on ALEC’s corporate Private Enterprise Board. In Wisconsin, pharmaceutical manufacturers and insurance companies lobbied on behalf of the bill, as did Koch Industries. According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, pharmaceutical firms gave Scott Walker $48,710 in 2009-2010, and KochPAC kicked in $43,000 for Walker, along with $1 million from the Republican Governors Association, which was a big player in the Wisconsin race. Not to mention independent expenditures by David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity group, which spent millions in the governor’s race and subsequently in defense of Walker’s agenda.
As though Act 2 was not enough, it was but the beginning. On May 23, 2011, Governor Walker signed into law one of the bills he requested, a radical deregulation of the telecommunications industry in Wisconsin. Under the bill, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) could no longer set telecommunication rates to keep prices low for consumers, perform audits of providers, or investigate consumer complaints. It is prohibited from regulating data services such as high speed Internet.
Thom Hartmann does a great job explaining how ALEC works along with Lisa Graves,
Center for Media and Democracy. This should be common knowledge for those of us who want to make sure Walker is recalled and this video should be required viewing.