Not-So-Smart ALEC

Paul Krugman places Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in the broader context of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and its adverse effect on our society*:

“And if there is any silver lining to Trayvon Martin’s killing, it is that it might finally place a spotlight on what ALEC is doing to our society — and our democracy.

“What is ALEC?  Despite claims that it’s nonpartisan, it’s very much a movement-conservative organization, funded by the usual suspects:  the Kochs, Exxon Mobil, and so on.  Unlike other such groups, however, it doesn’t just influence laws, it literally writes them, supplying fully drafted bills to state legislators.

“Many ALEC-drafted bills pursue standard conservative goals:  union-busting, undermining environmental protection, tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.   ALEC seems, however to have a special interest in privatization — that is, on turning the provision of public services, from schools to prisons, over to for-profit corporations.

“ALEC’s claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading.  To a large extent the organization seeks not limited government but privatized government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, ALEC isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism.”  Emphasis added.

*  “Lobbyists, Guns and Money,” NYT