The Missouri Progressive Action Group and Ethical Society of St. Louis are bringing Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause, to St. Louis on June 8thto discuss the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Missouri’s legislative process.
The spotlight has been on ALEC in recent months because of the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida and the controversy over that state’s “stand your ground” law. Coke, Pepsi, and Kraft have recently withdrawn their support of ALEC, which was founded in 1973 by conservative leaders to bring state legislators and corporate lobbyists together to write model bills that reflect ALEC’s principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.
Common Cause has been in the forefront of the national effort to call attention to the negative effects of some of the laws being passed at the state level aimed at weakening workers’ rights, denying citizens the benefits of health care reform, dismantling the system of public education, and gutting environmental protections.
Dr. Edgar will discuss how Common Cause is challenging ALEC’s non-profit status with the IRS and explain the long term implications of a government controlled by corporate interests at the expense of the common good. A former member of Congress, Dr. Edgar also served for seven years as the general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.
Following his presentation, a panel of local advocates for public education, workers’ rights, environmental protections, and unfettered access to the ballot box will discuss ALEC’s influence in Missouri politics. Moderator will be Don Marsh, host of “St. Louis on the Air” on KWMU 90.7 FM.
Denise Lieberman, Senior Attorney, Advancement Project;
Chris Guinther, President, Missouri National Education Association;
Byron Clemens, Regional VP, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO;
John Hickey, Executive Director, Sierra Club Missouri Chapter;
David Cook, President, Local 655 United Food and Commercial Workers.
Doors open at 6:15 PM on Friday, June 8th and program begins at 7 PM. The Ethical Society is located at 9001 Clayton Road. There is no charge for the program. More detailed information about ALEC can be found at www.alec.org and about Common Cause at www.commoncause.org.
Local media contact is Harvey Ferdman (314) 469-0595.