Conservatives, Michigan Republicans — December 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm

ALEC is behind making Michigan the 24th Right to Work for Less state (and other news)


Not that this is a surprise or anything…

The American Legislative Exchange Council is a national pro-business, anti-worker group that creates model legislation for use by its conservative members who are in state legislatures. Not surprisingly, ALEC’s fingerprints are all over the new laws that make Michigan the country’s 24th Right to Work for Less state as shown by some excellent reporting by PR Watch this week:

Amidst massive pro-labor protests, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed sweeping legislation attacking private and public sector unions, just hours after passing the lame-duck legislature. The operative language in the bills is nearly identical to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s “model” Right to Work Act. {…}

The legislation is straight out of the Koch-funded ALEC playbook. Compare the language in HB 4003 and HB 4054 with the ALEC “model” Right to Work Act.

Graphic by PR Watch/ALEC Exposed

I’ll be looking into ALEC’s involvement in the effort to sell Michigan’s public school system to for-profit companies in the coming weeks. I feel pretty certain we’ll find their fingerprints there, as well.

In other conservative think tank news, Andy Kroll at Mother Jones reports that the conservative group Americans for Prosperity gave gas cards and free food and drinks to “protesters” that “volunteered” to come to Lansing for yesterday’s anti-Right to Work for Less rally as well as the rally last week:

The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is enticing supporters to rally at the Michigan state capitol in support of right-to-work legislation with $25 gas cards and free food and drinks, according to a staffer for the organization’s Michigan chapter.

AFP’s Michigan chapter also used gas cards and free lunches to lure supporters to a lobby day on December 6, the day GOP Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican lawmakers abruptly unveiled their right-to-work bills. Greg George, a government affairs associate with AFP-Michigan, says no one has taken the group up on its most recent gas card offer, but that the offer remains. “We’ve offered to gladly give them out,” he says. (Because it is a nonprofit organization, Americans for Prosperity, which is partially backed by the Koch brothers, does not publicly disclose its donors.)

Here’s one of AFP’s tweets:

All of this and yet the conservative right still pissed and moaned about unions bringing in people in buses for the rally. They hypocrisy is astonishing.

Finally, multi-millionaire Dick DeVos was heavily involved in the Right to Work for Less push. He assured Republican legislators that he would bankroll their fights against any recall efforts that may result from their RTWFL votes and threatened to withhold campaign funds or even fund primary challenges if they didn’t fall in line and this included Governor Snyder who is quite vulnerable to a primary challenge (or at least was until yesterday.) Additionally, I’ve learned he spent $20 million on the effort to defeat Proposal 2 in November — the Protect Working Families ballot initiative — in exchange for assurances that the legislature would pass RTWFL legislation and that Snyder would sign it.

As LOLGOP put it earlier today, the success of Right to Work for Less is nothing more than a huge win for the Billionaire Rights Movement.

[Photo credit: Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]