Letters to the Editor

Bailey dances to ALEC’s tune

Imagine a political system where corporations have secret access to state legislators and then meet with those legislators to craft legislation that directly benefit their bottom line. Then imagine that their proposed legislation is introduced by their cohort legislators in state houses across the country as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations -- without disclosing that corporations crafted the proposed bills.

Such a system does exist and it is directly responsible for the ongoing right-wing assault on democracy across the country. The organization responsible for such devastation is ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Along with legislators, most of whom are ultra-conservative Republicans, ALEC membership is open to corporations. ALEC was founded by the infamous Koch Brothers.

One need only look at Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Florida, to see just how devastating these ALEC sponsored laws can be. Whether it is union busting, “stand your ground” gun laws, anti-woman legislation dealing with abortion and contraception, voter suppression laws under the pretext of voter ID, or unfair tax laws designed to make the rich even richer at the expense of middle and lower class workers, we are seeing an unprecedented assault on our democracy by ALEC-affiliated legislators.

In Washington state, there are 23 ALEC members in the Legislature. Barbara Bailey (R-Oak Harbor) is the only legislator from our district who is a member of ALEC. She is also a member of its powerful Health and Services Task Force.

A number of the corporate members of that same Task Force (mostly corporations from the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries), have contributed heavily to Barbara Bailey’s campaigns over the years. Now Barbara Bailey’s voting record in favor of pharmaceutical and health insurance companies against the interests of patients and consumers makes sense. We also now know where much of the legislation she sponsors comes from.

I prefer that my legislators have my best interests at heart, not the interests of their corporate friends at ALEC. Therefore, I intend to stay with Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen.

The foregoing information regarding Barbara Bailey and ALEC is available at www.alecexposed.org then click on ALEC Politicians.

Nels Kelstrom
Clinton

 

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