Why are liberals so scared of ALEC?

Last modified: 4/11/2012 12:00:00 AM
The American Legislative Exchange Council is the nation's oldest and largest bipartisan public-private educational discussion group. It was created to promote Jeffersonian principles of free markets and small and efficient government. Recently some on the fringe left have criticized ALEC for legislative successes.

What are the criticisms? The fringe elements claim that ALEC secretly devises public policy in what can only be described as a Clintonesque "vast right-wing conspiracy" theory. If there was such a cabal, I would be interested in learning about it. Perhaps I would join, perhaps not.

What are the successes of ALEC? They are nothing less than a revitalized spirit of freedom in the marketplace and strengthening individual freedom.

The model legislation created by ALEC is based not upon some private interest group foisting its will upon unwitting legislators. Instead, the model legislation is presented to a task force as a proposal. The members of that task force examine the proposed model in much the same fashion they would in their home state. Having the input of legislators from across the nation is a great benefit in this process because the occasional parochial opinions of one state or nation are often attacked by those from other regions.

Once the proposal has met the approval of the task force, it is reviewed by the board of directors of ALEC, which is composed of senior legislators from across the country. Even then this does not automatically become "law." No, the process goes back to the states for introduction, review, modification and, if appropriate for the state, passage.

Some of the model legislation proposed by ALEC includes health care reform, re-examination of excessive environmental restrictions, constitutionally approved fair elections legislation, government accountability to the taxpayer, a balanced budget amendment, a deficit reduction amendment and similar commonsense proposals for the states to consider for their own implementation.

In short, the fringe left is apparently opposed to open thinking and discussion of legislation, as evidenced by recent proclamations by the Obama regime in favor of dictates by czars, tsars and the intellectual ivory-towered elite that know what is best for us all.

Model legislation is nothing more than the product of legislators from across the country meeting together to discuss common problems and seeking common solutions.

Other fringe elements object to ALEC as being the stooge of big business. This attack is from the same people who idolize Steve Jobs and George Soros, who take in millions and billions of dollars in corporate and business contributions from Hollywood business executives.

Those who believe in open and free markets reject legislation that imposes onerous regulations upon business. They seek justification for taxation based upon rationale rather than emotion. They seek to employee more people and better the standard of living for all. The fringe left, on the other hand, wishes to limit business and reduce the opportunities of all in favor of a dull gray (think Mao suit) evenness that would have prevented Jobs from getting a start or Soros from opening up shop.

So what is it about ALEC that scares the fringe left? Is it the freedom that ALEC encourages? Is it the strengthening of the states in a revitalized federalist system of constitutional government?

If the irrational fear resulting in outright lies is not a fear of freedom, perhaps there is something else that bothers the fringe left. Perhaps it is the nature of the initiatives? The subject matter of ALEC proposals is displayed in detail at ALEC.org.

(State Rep. Jordan Ulery is a Republican from Hudson and co-chairman of ALEC-NH.)


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