Wisconsin Politicians & ALEC
Directory of Wisconsin state legislators, with information on ALEC membership (including those whose dues are paid by taxpayers) and those who have sponsored ALEC-written bills:
University of Wisconsin Professors Explain ALEC's Expanding Role In Public Education
Julie Underwood, dean of UW’s School of Education, and Julie Mead, professor in the School of Education, studied education-related legislation developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is a conservative group that develops “model legislation” to be implemented at the state level. After noticing that nearly identical bills were being presented in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio (states with Republican Governors and Republican-controlled state legislatures), the professors decided to look further into the influence the group has over legislation related to public education.
ALEC’s interest in education is ambitious and multifaceted, and includes promoting dozens of model acts to its legislative members (Ladner, LeFevre, & Lips, 2010). Proposed bills seek to influence teacher certification, teacher evaluation, collective bargaining, curriculum, funding, special education, student assessment, and numerous other education and education-related issues. Common throughout the bills are proposals to decrease local control of schools by democratically elected school boards while increasing access to all facets of education by private entities and corporations.
It is no coincidence that so many state legislatures have spent the last year taking the same destructive actions: making it harder for minorities and other groups that support Democrats to vote, obstructing health care reform, weakening environmental regulations and breaking the spines of public- and private-sector unions. All of these efforts are being backed — in some cases, orchestrated — by a little-known conservative organization financed by millions of corporate dollars.
--The New York Times, The Big Money Behind State Laws
Walker’s Latest Appointee
Walker appointed Phil Montgomery to chair the Public Service Commission today. The PSC is responsible for regulating public utilities (including electricity, natural gas, and water, among others). PSC’s approval is typically required before utilities can set new rates, issue stocks or bonds, or undertake major construction projects (remember those state power plants Walker wants to sell in a no-bid process?). A few fun facts about Phil:
- ALEC considers Phil “a good friend.” He was even Treasurer of their Public Sector Board in 2010.
- He’s probably best known for a bill that eliminated local regulation of cable (and his friends at AT&T were thankful).
- Despite serving on the task force that made recommendations about a state global warming bill, he vehemently opposed it.
- Along with Mike Huebsch, he introduced a bill to end Wisconsin’s ban on new nuclear power plants.
- He’s an advocate of coal. Anything that’s cheap will get the job done for Phil.