From truth out:
ALEC contends that government agencies have an unfair monopoly on public goods and services. To change that situation, it has created a policy initiative to counter what it calls “Publicopoly.” ALEC’s stated aim is to provide “more effective, efficient government” via privatization—that is, the shifting of government functions to the private sector. ALEC lists its initiatives on its website (alec.org/publicopoly).
Though the specifics are secret and “restricted to members,” ALEC openly advocates privatizing public education, transportation and the regulation of public health, consumer safety and environmental quality including bringing in corporations to administer:
• Foster care, adoption services and child support payment processing.
• School support services such as cafeteria meals, custodial staff and transportation.
• Highway systems, with toll roads presented as a shining example.
• Surveiling and detaining convicted criminals.
• Ensuring the quality of wastewater treatment, drinking water, and solid waste services and facilities. (After all, when someone mentions a safe and secure public water supply, the voter’s next immediate thought is: “Only if it’s cost-effective!”)
To accomplish these initiatives, ALEC contends that “state governments can take an active role in determining which products and services should be privatized.” ALEC advocates three reforms: creating a “Private Enterprise Advisory Committee” to review if government agencies unfairly compete with the private sector; creating a special council that would contract with private vendors if they can “reduce the cost of government”; and creating legislation that would require government agencies to demonstrate “compelling public interest” in order to continue as public agencies. (Who then oversees these committees to ensure the private sector doesn’t unfairly profit by monopolizing public goods and services? One can only assume it is the same “Private Enterprise Advisory Committee.”)
ALEC nuts and bolts
ALEC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that in recent years has reported about $6.5 million in annual revenue. ALEC’s members include corporations, trade associations, think tanks and nearly a third (about 2,000) of the nation’s state legislators (virtually all Republican). According to the group’s promotional material, ALEC’s mission is to “advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty, through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government, and general public.”
ALEC currently claims more than 250 corporations and special interest groups as private sector members. While the organization refuses to make a complete list of these private members available to the public, some known members include Exxon Mobil, the Corrections Corporation of America, AT&T, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Verizon, Wal-Mart, Phillip Morris International and Koch Industries, along with a host of right-wing think tanks and foundations.
The full story is here: