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Sun Dec 28, 2014, 08:36 PM

How ALEC helped undermine public unions


X post in Labor & GD

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/12/17/how-alec-helped-undermine-public-unions/




Indiana Gov. Mike Pence delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. (Darron Cummings/AP)


By Alexander Hertel-Fernandez December 17

After the elections held earlier this month, Republicans will be in control of 23 state governments. That is likely to bode very poorly for labor unions, especially those operating in the public sector, which have become a target of conservative state lawmakers in the past few years. In the wake of the Great Recession, state legislators introduced hundreds of bills to curtail the right of public-sector unions to collectively bargain and participate in politics, and Republican governors succeeded in scaling back the organizing ability of public workers in several states. These conservative advances are significant because the public sector remains one of the last strongholds of union strength in the United States.

Despite the recent victories that conservatives have enjoyed against public unions, it would be a mistake to assume that this is a new offensive by the right. As I show in my research, the conservative movement has long targeted public-sector labor unions. Indeed, it was fear of a rapidly growing public-sector labor movement in the 1970s and 1980s that motivated some conservative leaders to invest in developing new organizations that could match the power and influence that public unions – especially those representing public school teachers – were perceived as having in state politics.

There is a broader lesson from this example that is instructive for understanding the dynamics of civic participation. Successful political movements, whether on the left or the right, require long-term investments in organizations that can develop and promote policy ideas over many decades. Moreover, such movements must continue to operate in between election cycles, and change the structure of government policy in durable ways that benefit a movement’s allies and disadvantage its opponents.

One group that exemplifies such strategies is the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a group of state legislators and companies that drafts and promotes conservative, pro-business model legislation across the states. ALEC is one group that was formed as a response to the rise of public union strength in the states in the 1970s. As one of ALEC’s early leaders warned fellow conservatives, “liberals understood the importance of the states some time ago … liberal state legislators are supported by a vast array of special interest groups … and the group that is gaining … at the fastest rate is … the radically liberal National Education Association.” ALEC was thus formed to offer an infrastructure that could change state policy over time, regardless of the results of any one given election. It continues to operate today with great success. The group can claim a membership of several thousand legislators (or about a fourth of all state lawmakers), as well as several hundred private-sector members, including many Fortune 500 companies. (In an earlier Monkey Cage post and academic paper, I explored the states where ALEC has been most successful at enacting its policy ideas.)

FULL story at link.

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Reply How ALEC helped undermine public unions (Original post)
Omaha Steve Dec 2014 OP
daleanime Dec 2014 #1
Starry Messenger Dec 2014 #2
TBF Dec 2014 #3

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 12:50 PM

1. K&R....

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 01:53 PM

2. And it will always baffle me when liberals ally with their union-busting agenda.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Dec 29, 2014, 03:53 PM

3. Excellent K&R nt

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