Scott Walker couldn’t have asked for more.
When the Wisconsin governor took the dais Thursday at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual conference in San Diego, his audience was ravenous for any vision that included destroying unions and cracking down on America’s criminal underclass.
The venue was the plenary croissants-and-eggs breakfast, but it would be hard to imagine an audience hungrier for the red meat Governor Walker threw out to it.
Every key bill Walker has been associated with, since his get-tough-on-crime heyday as a state assemblyman in the 1990s, has been a plagiarism of an ALEC model bill. Such as laws that eliminated parole (and ballooned state prison populations) or that imposed a voter ID law, gutted public education and teacher protections, and made Wisconsin the 25th right-to-work state.
Walker himself isn’t an actual member of the secretive corporate lobbying network (ALEC only admits legislators,
The 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) got underway in earnest Wednesday at San Diego’s Manchester Grand Hyatt resort hotel. The mood was convivial and the attire corporate casual: Brooks Brothers suits without ties, Dockers and sports shirts.
Although this year’s star attractions — a GOP presidential frontrunner, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and a returning presidential contender, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee — weren’t scheduled to speak until Thursday, conference delegates had plenty to do yesterday.
ALEC, a secretive rightwing bill mill that gets its funding from the Koch Brothers and global multibillion dollar corporations, has been described as a legislative dating service that arranges hookups between mostly Republican state lawmakers and corporate lobbyists.
The actual “dates” occur at meetings like those unfolding in San Diego — a council spokesperson said 1,300 conferees were in attendance — and take place behind locked doors,