ALEC Exposed: Did Prisoners Make Your Lunch?

August 23, 2011

Just when we thought we knew everything about ALEC and for-profit detention centers, we come across this shocking story from The Nation. Thanks to the legislative efforts of ALEC, yet another private corporation with a fitting acronym has received added support. PRIDE (Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises) introduces manufacturing work programs for prisoners. At a whopping twenty cents an hour, inmates at the Union Correctional Facility in Florida work to produce tons of processed beef, chicken, and pork, among other general products such as eyeglasses, apparel, and office furniture.

Since when did American prisons become the new sweatshop factories? The Nation explains that prison labor for the private sector was an illegal practice for years, that is, until ALEC cooked up this little-known federal program called PIE (Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program). This law basically allows prisoners to earn wages and “develop marketable skills that will increase their potential for rehabilitation and meaningful employment on release”.

So, in addition to international low-wage workers, it looks like American manufacturing laborers now have to compete with prison inmates for jobs. This certainly adds a whole new perspective to the classic GOP argument that billionaires and their corporations deserve large tax breaks so that they can facilitate job creation.

To learn more about this surprising story, check out the article by Mike Elk and Bob Sloan, The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor.


ALEC Exposed: The Wiki Page

August 23, 2011

They’ve got our tagline.  They’ve got our talking points.  They’ve even got our government private sector handshake logo. Check out the ALEC Exposed Wikipedia page for everything you need to know about ALEC and its proposed legislation!

ALEC Exposed Wiki

ALEC Exposed: Round Two!

July 22, 2011

As you can see, we have been posting a lot of new articles involving NPR’s public exposure of ALEC.  It turns out that NPR is not the only one interested in this story, as Bloomberg and the Huffington Post have now published investigative stories on the corrupt handshake between the corporations and Congress.

View these new articles here:

Koch, Exxon Mobil Among Corporations Helping Write State Laws

ALEC Exposed: Milton Friedman’s Little Shop of Horrors

ALEC:  Democracy’s Arch-Nemesis

ALEC on NPR’s Fresh Air!

July 21, 2011
Dollar Bill across American Flag

Link to Program is HERE:  Who’s Really Writing States’ Legislation?

A group called ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — “is at the forefront of an effort to push business-friendly, conservative legislation at the state level,” says reporter John Nichols. He discusses what recently leaked documents reveal about the organization.


July 21, 2011

The Arizona SB 1070 legislation has sparked great enthusiasm from many other state legislators who want to pass similar immigration laws.  But is it not curious that Nashville had an unusually large influence on this controversial Arizona law?  CCA, also known as Corrections Corporation of America, is a Nashville based company that owns prisons and detention centers.  Managing more than 60 facilities, the CCA is now the largest partnership corrections company in the United States.

The private prison companies owned by CCA received donations from corporations and lobbyists that were members of ALEC, the conservative fiscal reform organization who drafted Arizona SB 1070.

One of the founders of CCA is none other than T. Don Hutto, whose Texas for-profit detention center by the same name was infamous for subjecting immigrants to inhumane conditions.

For more information on CCA, please visit these links:

CCA Website

CCA, immigration, and ALEC: the long-brewing national story

NPR Exposes ALEC

July 21, 2011

Since 2008, NPR has been working to shed a new light on the corrupt relationship between the SB 1070 legislation, private detention centers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Check out these great articles and radio transcripts to learn more about the unethical handshake between the government and the private sector.

Prison Economics Help Drive Arizona Immigration Law

Immigration Detention Centers Under Suspicion

Shaping State Laws with Little Scrutiny


June 29, 2011

“Limited Government, Free Markets, Federalism” – this is the tagline for the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization that has helped draft model bills for conservative legislators to introduce to Congress for the past forty years.  But this is no Tea Party – the exclusive organization is primarily comprised of wealthy owners of mega corporations, including the Koch brothers and Jack Kemp.  This tax-exempt organization introduces 1000 pieces of legislation during each legislative cycle, and 18% of these bills are passed into law.  One of their most controversial laws? – None other than SB 1070, the 2010 Arizona immigration law, or as they called it, the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”.

Worst of all, several members of the private prison industry collaborated with ALEC to lobby for SB 1070.  Thus, it appears that Congress, the major corporations, and prison detention centers have become intertwined in this deplorable business deal to secure power over poor migrant workers, all in the name of “law enforcement and safe neighborhoods”.

For more information about ALEC, read this Source Watch page:

Source Watch

And check out this revealing article from Salon:

Private Prison Industry Helped Draft Arizona Immigration Law