The American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, the conservative corporate legislation factory that tries to get around lobbyist regulations by pretending not to be a lobbying group, has its gold-plated tentacles in every state legislature in the country. To see what a typical ALEC zombie does, let’s study the case of one Steve Drazkowski, who we have met before in these pages.
Drazkowski is one of organ grinder ALEC’s most dependable trained monkeys in the Minnesota state legislature. He’s currently the point man for their “Reform 2.0″ project, called “Deform 2.0″ by those who distrust the group’s penchant for hiding from the public gaze except in venues and formats they tightly control. Deform 2.0 is essentially ALEC’s plan to do to Minnesota what Prop 13 did to California: destroy the schools, programs and other infrastructure of the state, all in the holy name of tax cuts. Of course, that’s not how Draz discusses the plan in his carefully-scripted traveling medicine shows crisscrossing the North Star State.
Here’s what one Minnesotan who attended a recent Draz medicine show had to say:
In What are Rep. Drazkowski’s priorities?, the Kellogg MN man shares the answer with readers of the Winona Daily News:
I asked Drazkowski if it was true he voted against legislation that would have raised revenue by closing tax loopholes for corporations making money in Minnesota but sheltering it in tax havens overseas. (The Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates the amount to be $90 million per year.) He said he opposed this legislation because it would have meant “raising taxes” on those corporations and he was opposed to raising taxes of any kind. I think most Minnesotans would not consider this “raising taxes,” but as requiring those corporations to pay their fair share.
It’s been said the most radical idea in America is a long memory. McMillan demonstrates why when he reminds readers of priorities Draz claimed before the last session:
Before the session began, Drazkowski stated in a guest editorial: “Personally, my top priorities are our kids, our elderly and vulnerable adults, our roads and bridges and public safety.”
Perhaps when he proposed chopping down black walnut trees in state parks, he was only thinking of the children.
Braaaaaainnnnsss…. he wants your braaaaaainsssss… and your walnut treeeeees…