Dear Editor: Our country is being taken over by corporate giants, wealthy families and individuals who are buying our political system. ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is the vehicle by which this is being accomplished at the state level. ALEC is a pay-to-play operation where corporations buy a seat and vote with state legislators to advance their corporate wish lists.

Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. Corporate lobbyists and state legislators develop “model bills” that usually benefit the corporations’ bottom line at public expense. State legislators, overwhelmingly conservative, then bring the proposals to their statehouses under the guise of being new public policy innovations. In truth, these bills have been crafted by corporations and given to corporate-sponsored legislators to pass as laws and policies.

This is what government has become in Wisconsin. Republicans have ignored open meetings laws to develop their legislation in private caucus meetings and then race it through to passage to reward their wealthy donors. They even want all of the records of their actions to be kept from public inspection. The Republican-sponsored justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently allowed special interests to give unlimited anonymous donations to campaigns to ensure that their own interests are served.

Wisconsin’s government is becoming increasingly hidden from those it is designed to serve. A government based on people’s needs no longer exists in Wisconsin. We need to return our government to the people of Wisconsin in the next election.

Jerry Hanson


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