Saturday, April 7, 2012

Open Letter to Iowa Representative Greg Forristall

Representative Forristall,

I have been following the antics of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) since it first came to my attention. I wondered how so many states were SUDDENLY getting the same warped idea to enact far right wing bills.

ALEC is the culprit.

In an article in The Nation, reporter John Nichols talks about some of the laws sponsored by ALEC.

"The "ALEC Exposed" project revealed the backstory of how this 40-year-old group uses an elaborate system of corporate-guided "task forces" to promote:
* Restrictive Voter ID laws and array of related initiatives that threaten to suppress voting by residents of rural regions, students, senior citizens and people of color.
* Anti-labor laws designed to limit the ability of Americans to organize and have a voice in their workplaces and the public life of their communities, states and nation.
* Tort "reform," deregulation and corporate tax-slashing schemes that eliminate tools to assure multinational corporations act responsibly and contribute to the communities and states where they operate.
* Money-in-politics initiatives that seek to remove barriers to domination of elections by corporations and billionaire right-wing donors -- such as longtime ALEC supporters Charles and David Koch.
* Privatization schemes that undermine public education and public services, posing particular threats to rural communities and urban neighborhoods that rely on strong public institutions.
* Kill-at-Will laws that prevent police and prosecutors from effectively investigating shootings such as that of Trayvon Martin in Florida, Bo Morrison in Wisconsin and others who have been killed since states began to enact so-called "Castle Doctrine" and "Stand Your Ground" laws."

Its not surprising that in the Iowa Legislature has been discussing some of the same type of bills. Further, many of the same type of bills are ones that YOU have sponsored. It is time that you renounce membership in this organization.

Republican sweep of the 2010 election was won with promises of repairing the economy and putting Iowans back to work. Instead we got social agenda, anti-choice, voter suppression, anti-labor, right wing bills. Thankfully, the Iowa Senate is still in Democratic hands. Otherwise, Iowa would be in the same class as Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and other states.

Large corporations have started defecting - Coke-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, etc. ALEC does NOT have the citizens of Iowa and the US in mind when writing these bills. ALEC supports big corporate and money interests in the country.

I see that YOU are a member of ALEC. Its time that you renounce your membership of ALEC and start thinking on your own.

Tom Winfield

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