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"Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America" see: our site, and George Monbiot's essay on this key book by historian Nancy MacLean.

Full interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer March 29, 2017, Democracy Now! about her article, "The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America’s Populist Insurgency."

Democracy Now! Special Broadcast from the Women's March on Washington

The Economics of Happiness -- new version

Local Futures offers a free, shortened version of its award-winning documentary film The Economics of Happiness. This 19-minute abridged version "brings us voices of hope of in a time of crisis." www.localfutures.org.

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July 04, 2017

ALEC​'s Covert War on Democracy

On this 'Independence Day' we thank Michele Swenson and Common Dreams for a comprehensive survey of organized corporate influence on government through ALEC.

ALEC​'s Covert War on Democracy

by Michele Swenson
Published on Monday, July 03, 2017 by Common Dreams

..."The American Legislative Exchange Council, in thrall to large corporate interests, has set the stage for the systematic dismantling of democracy​,​ beginning with voter suppression laws. Since the Supreme Court effectively gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act (Shelby County vs. Holder) Jim Crow tactics have regained a hold. In 2016 Greg Palast cited at least “nine methods of attacking the right to vote of Black, Latino and Asian-American voters,” including “Caging, purging, blocking legitimate registrations, and wrongly shunting millions to ‘provisional’ ballots that will never be counted.”

Prior to 2016 elections,Operation Crosscheck voter lists compiled by Kansas Secretary of State and white supremacist Kris Kobach​ and​ reportedly distributed to 29 Republican state voting officials, led to the purge of over one million registered voters who had the same first and last names. Kobach now serves as vice chair of the so-called Trump “Voter Fraud Commission” ​that seeks lists of all voters from every state. It would be difficult to overstate the consequences of widespread voter disenfranchisement, which should not be normalized. “Elections have consequences,” assert political operatives. Conversely, “Illegitimate elections have illegitimate consequences.”

At the forefront of mobilization of anti-democratic activity for over four decades is the Koch-/corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), working below the radar, serving as a catalyst to bring together legislators and their corporate funders in common cause to write legislation in service of their corporate bottom lines. ​As always, their scheduled 44th Annual Meeting in Denver, July 19-21, will take place behind closed doors, open only to corporate members who contribute thousands of dollars and up, and legislative members who pay up to $100, often directly from their campaign coffers. ALEC presents itself as a “501(c)(3) educational organization that provides nonpartisan research, study and analysis”; their professed intent - to “develop research-based model policies focused on limited government, free markets and federalism.”

“Limited” government is an understatement - it is government truly limited to serving and serving up large financial gains to captains of industry who write policy and in turn grease the palms of their legislative servants who enact their policy for them.

Common Cause has challenged ALEC’s “tax-exempt nonprofit status” even as ALEC actively lobbies for profit-driven legislation to benefit corporate members.

ALEC Seeks to Crush Participatory Democracy by Supplanting Voter, Worker & Local Power ...

read full article

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/07/03/alec-s-covert-war-democracy

A former nurse, Michele Swenson has researched and written about the history of women’s health care, as well as religious fundamentalist and gun-centered ideologies. Her book Democracy Under Assault: TheoPolitics, Incivility and Violence on the Right is an in-depth examination of the fractured church-state divide, assaults on the independent judiciary, as well as resurgent 19th century science, socioeconomic Darwinism, corporatism, and Christian nativism. She is a member of the working committee of Health Care for All Colorado Foundation that created the proposal.
(Common Dreams)

 


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