Tag Archive for anti-worker legislation

Koch brothers and ALEC are the new John Birch Society

The biggest threat to America and the democracy we all cherish is the insidious infestation of all aspects of American politics by the John Birch Society and all its front groups and all the politicians on every level who have all been funded or bought and paid for by the likes of the Koch brothers and other members of the JBS front group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), the front group responsible for writing anti-worker legislation for state governments that are now taking away rights that workers have fought decades for. The end game for these groups is to tear down the very fabric of American democracy to replace years of growth and progress with a state run by corporations who have control over who works and who does not, control over who gets life-saving medical care and who does not, control over what religion is the “right one for America”, control over who gets housing and who does not, control over who gets food and who does not, control over who you can marry, in other words complete control over everyone’s life by a state run by corporations, for corporations and of corporations

The Koch brothers are members of the John Birch Society which their father, Fred Koch, was one of the original organizers. You need to know the John Birch Society intimately, because they have been trying to run US government policy on numerous issues for a very long time. Its mission statement is not unlike tea party dogma. “Less Government, More Responsibility, and (With God’s Help) a Better World” The John Birch Society’s objective was to fight communism using communism’s own techniques; the organization of front groups[1], infiltration of other groups and letter-writing campaigns. The John Birch Society, which has made an unabashed assertion of itself into US politics and drastically changing US society by infiltrating and subverting the tea party, is championed by the Koch Brothers and other corporatists.

The John Birch Society was named in honor of John Morrison Birch, a Fundamentalist Baptist missionary from Georgia, who had served as an intelligence officer in China during World War II and was killed by Chinese communists in 1945 and dubbed “the first American victim of the Cold War” by the Society. JBS founder Robert Welch worked as a researcher for the anti-collectivist NAM before setting up the JBS. The anti-collectivist doctrine is defined as the individual reaction to the totalitarian collective of the Soviet communist state of the twentieth century. Welch saw “collectivism” as the main threat to western civilization, and liberals as secret communist traitors who provide the cover for the gradual process of collectivism, with the ultimate goal of replacing the nations of western civilization with one-world socialist government. “There are many stages of welfarism, socialism, and collectivism in general” he wrote, “but communism is the ultimate state of them all, and they all lead inevitably in that direction”. These are the very same accusations made by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and all the other rightwing pundits. The John Birch Society has “infiltrated” the right, straight into the chambers of the SCOTUS whose Justices have ruled in favor of corporate personhood.

The JBS is organized into cells, imitating Communist organizing techniques as visualized by Welch. The society is very paranoid so the cell segregation is aimed at preventing infiltration by the “Communists” or other outsiders seeking information about the society, Its activities included distribution of segregationist literature, attacks on race “mongrelization”, agitation against the United Nations, and petitions to impeach liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren. To spread their message, Birchers held Sunday showings of right-wing documentary films and operated such as “Let Freedom Ring”, a nationwide network of recorded telephone messages. They also helped to organize the “Minutemen”, a paramilitary group training to lead guerrilla warfare once the Communists took over (think Timothy McVeigh).

Few have ever heard of it, but the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is the ultimate smoke filled back room clandestine organization.

On the surface, ALEC’s membership is mostly comprised of thousands of state legislators. Each pays a nominal membership fee in order to attend ALEC retreats and receive model legislation. ALEC’s corporate contributors, on the other hand, pay a king’s ransom to gain access to legislators and distribute their corporate-crafted legislation. So, while the membership appears to be public sector, the bankroll is almost entirely private sector. In fact, public sector membership dues account for only around one percent of ALEC’s annual revenues. ALEC claims to be nonpartisan, but in fact its free-market, pro-business mission is clear. The result has been a consistent pipeline of special interest legislation being funneled into state capitols. Thanks to ALEC, 826 bills were introduced in the states in 2009 and 115 were enacted into law. Behind the scenes at ALEC, the nuts and bolts of lobbying and crafting legislation is done by large corporate defense firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. A law firm with strong ties to the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, it has long used ALEC’s ability to get a wide swath of state laws enacted to further the interests of its corporate clients.

ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often at the expense of consumers. For example, ALEC has worked on behalf of:


  • Oil companies to undermine climate change proponents;
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers, arguing that states should be banned from importing prescription drugs;
  • Telecom firms to block local authorities from offering cheap or free municipally-owned broadband;
  • Insurance companies to prevent state insurance commissioners from requiring insurers to meet strengthened accounting and auditing rules;
  • Big banks, recommending that seniors be forced to give up their homes via reverse mortgages in order to receive Medicaid;
  • The asbestos industry, trying to shut the courthouse door to Americans suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases; and,
  • Enron to deregulate the utility industries, which eventually caused the U.S. to lose what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated as $5 trillion in market value.

The most intensive scrutiny of ALEC can be found here: href=http://alecwatch.org/report.html

[1] John Birch Society’s front groups: Americans for Prosperity, Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, American Legislative Exchange Council, Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, Institute for Justice, Kansas Policy Institute, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Reason Foundation & Reason Magazine