Monday, May 06, 2013

Smart-ALECs in the NC General Assembly

Last week, the NC House voted to slash eligibility for NC Pre-K, the state's premier public pre-kindergarten program. Among the many impious and backward things this Radical Republican-dominated General Assembly has done, this is one of the most impious and most backward. The Honorables want to restrict the program to the poorest children in our state, leaving thousands of low-income working families, who are currently eligible for NC Pre-K, unable to afford pre-kindergarten for their children.

While this idiotic legislation was advancing in the NC House, three House members were missing: House Speaker Thom Tillis, Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, and Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, all left early last Thursday to attend the ALEC Spring conference in Oklahoma City instead. (ALEC stands for "American Legislative Exchange Council" but is really an anagram for "Koch Brothers.")

ALEC is a front group for corporate and far right interests. It links lobbyists -- who write "model" state laws -- with state lawmakers willing to front those laws and file them in state legislatures as their own. It's a way for corporate and far right interests to get around their inability to pass their legislation nationally, and it helps them profit or dictate the social agenda in as many states as possible.

ALEC-inspired legislation has been rolling out of the Republican majority in Raleigh already since early 2011. ALEC wants the tax code rewritten to take the tax burden off the rich and put it on the middle class. Pat McCrory's Budget Director Art Pope has that project well in hand.

What else is ALEC advancing in North Carolina? The roll-back of environmental regs. The privatization of education (slashing Pre-K is only part of it).  And -- O yes, my Brethren -- voter photo ID laws to discourage those pesky poor people from interfering in the god-given right of rich people to run the show THEIR way.

Thom Tillis, Tim Moffitt, and Jason Saine all went to Oklahoma City to get their pistils pollinated by the rich guys.

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