In all the furor surrounding ALEC and the Left’s attempt to damage it I stumbled across news that the Progressive Left is building their own ALEC to create model legislation their members can propose as law.
(Gloria) Totten has organized groups that have networks of state elected officials—including the Young Elected Officials Network, Progressive States Network, the AFL-CIO and others—to form the Elected Officials Alliance to coordinate lawmakers across issue and organizational lines. This work is part of a broader strategy Totten is pursuing to link state and local officials to policy networks, including the EARN network, groups developing model legislation, and state and local advocates.
The aim is to create a counterforce to ALEC, which for nearly forty years has provided model state law to more than 2,000 state legislators to increase business domination of American public life and weaken our democracy.
Hypocrisy thy name is progressive.
Several Georgia Legislators are involved in both the Young Elected Officials Network and the Progressive States Network. Needless to say the AFL-CIO has a presence here in Georgia.
I see no problem with like-minded Legislators getting together to share ideas and even draft model legislation to advance their agenda. However, it is the height of hypocrisy for the Progressive Left nationally and here in Georgia to be simultaneously outraged about ALEC and planning to do the same thing themselves. Where are the Tweets calling out members of these organizations? Where are the editorials warning of the danger of legislation drafted by labor unions and other special interest groups? Where are the demands that the litany of left-wing organizations that are no doubt funding this new effort withdraw their financial support?
On a related note, Jim Harper at CATO weighed in on the anti-ALEC movement:
The First Amendment’s protections for freedom of speech, association, and petition of the government have in their background a vision for how our political society should work. Anybody should get to say anything they want, and anybody should organize however they want to advocate for the governing policies they want.
The opponents of ALEC’s positions should advocate the substantive polices they prefer, and they are certainly within their rights to do it in whatever way they prefer. Politics never runs out of ways to disappoint, though, and as a person who tries to deal with the substance of issues, working across partisan and ideological lines, I am amazed at and disappointed by the incoherence of the attack on ALEC.
And I am also disturbed by its anti-democratic and anti-speech quality. The implication I take from the attack on ALEC is that some groups, representing some interests, should not be able to participate in making our nation’s and states’ public policies.
UPDATE: Better Georgia responds. Personally, I’m flattered by all the attention.