Tag Archives: ALEC

Privatizing on the sly or how to shift wealth upward.

Ever wonder how to make wealthy people wealthier while gutting the middle class, you know like fulfilling the true core mission for ALEC?  Let’s repackage that concept.  How would you make government smaller

Smaller government isn’t really the goal.

 

and create a source of funding for your campaign? Can you say privatization?  That’s right. Those same people who get the “contracts” replacing or killing those “government” jobs can make “contributions” to the campaigns of those who promote the wealth re-distributions.  And in those right-to-work-for-less, anti-union states there is no union to counter-balance that electoral influence.  Why would anyone think that Republican legislatures are behind the transfer of state jobs into private hands and why would that transfer work to the detriment of minorities and even non-heterosexual employees?  Simply put transferring government revenue from the many citizens to the few citizens through government contracts has been their true goal all along and they have the track record to prove it as the Party has become the refuge of people with antiquated views on race and other things (see the polling on interracial marriage).  Republican legislatures can just initiate privatization of departments within state agencies thereby circumventing fairness in hiring and termination. Take, oh say, a maintenance department within say a state’s corrections department in, oh say, Alabama or Mississippi, neo-feudal strongholds, and privatize it.  You see if you privatize the departments you can get around things like personnel boards and minority hiring initiatives and fair employment practices when expending government funds and virtually hand the reigns of government services over to people with your political views, however discriminatory they may be like the old spoils system.

Herr Hosemann, Brother Faulkner has a message for you!

“We’re not the same old Mississippi that our fathers’ fathers were,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, declared hours after the Supreme Court handed down its June 25 decision in a case from Shelby County

Oh, really?  Then why would Mississippi Republican lawmakers advocate an initiative to address non-existent in-person voter fraud.  I say non-existent unless Herr Hosemann, the Vote-Nazi, can prove that the Republican control of the state house and all state-wide political offices except for one is the result of in-person voter fraud.  “Not the same old Mississippi?” when tradition is so deified, when love of your “fathers’ fathers”  tyranny over black folk is so cherished that efforts to change  the Mississippi state flag (the sole remaining U.S. state flag which bears the Confederate battle flag’s saltire) the flag adopted in 1894 after the Klan drove blacks out of politics with killings and terror, efforts to change a flag infamously linked with slavery and the Klan were soundly defeated in 2001. 

You’re not the same old Mississippi as your fathers’ fathers but somehow like the literacy tests of years past and the jelly-beans-in-a-jar test and the bubbles-in-a-bar-of-soap quiz of your fathers’ fathers old South, you philosophical descendants of the Klan-run South have taken the initiative that was passed overwhelmingly by white voters, an initiative in which there is no mention of birth certificates, and made a birth-certificate hoop, a totally unnecessary requirement as production of the document is not necessary for citizenship, part of the voting process.

And then there is the typical victimization of the lesser members of the “superior” race by the propagandists.   Mississippi’s initiative law says

“The sponsor of an initiative shall identify in the text of the initiative the amount and source of revenue required to implement the initiative.” 

This Republican and former ALEC member Mississippi State Senator Joey Fillingane did by stating in the petition that “free photo identifications could cost the State of Mississippi up to $100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars) to be paid from the State General Fund”

However,

Fiscal Analysis
Prepared by the Mississippi Legislative Budget Office
Based on Fiscal Year 2010 information, the Department of Public Safety issued 107,094 photo IDs to U.S. citizens of voting age. The individuals were assessed $14 per ID to offset a portion of the $17.92 cost per ID. The cost is estimated to remain the same, but the assessment will no longer be allowable under the provision of Initiatve 27. Therefore, the Department of Public Safety is estimated to see a loss of revenue of approximately $1,499,000.

 

As for the characterization of politicians as racists in the next section, every bit as racists, just more cunning.
How? Try tying voting to income by giving “free” government IDs to people who don’t have driver’s licenses when you know the income gap between blacks and whites in the state of Mississippi. Who is more likely to be channeled into the citizenship-challenge process?
The Law as follows:
“No person shall be eligible for a Mississippi Voter Identification Card if the person has a valid unexpired Mississippi driver’s license”
was translated from The Initiative section:
“A qualified elector who does not have a government issued photo identification and who cannot afford such identification may obtain a state issued photo identification free of charge from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.”

And the conservatives tacked on the citizenship challenge as the voters were not asked about a birth certificate hoop and did not request one.

Just as in the case of Jim Crow Mississippi, racists propagandists have used unfounded fear to further their political careers, suckling at the breast of government as officials, while soaking in political contributions as the people they’ve frightened suffer.  “Not the same old Mississippi as your fathers’ fathers?”  Republicans complain that there isn’t enough money to fund Medicaid expansion, while creating another bubbles-in-a-bar-of-soap quiz, which proves nothing in terms of definitively establishing citizenship while costing the poorest state in the union an initial $1.5 million while effectively accusing citizens of being non-citizens, requiring them to provide “your papers please” like people confined to a ghetto in Hitler’s Germany, obliterating their Americanism by telling them that their previous registration is insufficient to cast a ballot, telling them that they, like felons, can not vote. Now the “elector must show appropriate identifying documents required by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety as provided by law.”

Amazingly, the conservatives have, through fear, convinced white people in the state that everyone should be criminalized, shifting the burden of proof away from the state and to the individual, every citizen is now guilty until proven innocent. Well done, crypto-fascists(conservative Republicans), on succeeding in doing what Herr Goebbels did so well subdue the masses by targeting minorities.

 

Brother Faulkner you can say it again.

 

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Mississippi to Drown Public Schools in a Bathtub or How to use the Charter Trojan Horse to attack Public Schools

The anti-labor minions of the oligarchs say you fix education in Mississippi by making sure teachers aren’t part of the state retirement system (effectively reducing the return on their education) and that they don’t have to meet licensing requirements (two-features of the recently passed Mississippi Charter-School bill), right? Wondering how paying teachers less and removing licensing requirements help children in public education? The thing is they’re not really meant to. These two standard subversions, probably produced and spoon-fed to Mississippi’s Legislature by ALEC or Better Education for Mississippi or FreedomWorks (they’re really indistinguishable enemies of public education and truth be told would rather have the whole department abolished), reduce costs for any future privatization and more immediately increase the amounts available for payment to the “education service provider,” “governing board members” and “leadership and management team” incarnated in the Mississippi (Cherry-Picking) Charter School law. And to further entrench the power in Republican hands the law removes some rather pesky regulation. So that they and their buddies can suckle un-harassed at the government tit and funnel money back into Republican election campaigns through donors who favor less regulation the RepubliCons injected this: Charter Schools are exempt FROM REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO PUBLIC PURCHASES. How’s that for avoiding any chance of Operation Pretense-styled investigations or PEER investigations? The RepubliCons have become masters of evasion and avoidance by changing the rules so that Voodoo economics prevail. They change the laws to avoid having to do what “ordinary” people must do so that they can make fortunes while holding or running for public office like Mitt Romney with his Cayman Island bank accounts. They set the stage by simply shaping the rules to allow trillions in revenue to be kept off-shore and personal funds in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. Funny how that less-regulation thing dovetails so nicely with the lobbyist-created loop holes to produce Midas fortunes for so few, i.e. the way the Commodities Modernization Act ultimately benefited AIG and Goldman Sachs. But what the benefit that the public got from the Collateralized debt obligations could hardly be described as a trickle. It was a trick demonstrating the true wine into sewer water magic which is the mark of Voodoo economics. The appeal is to the greed of the poor and middle class people like me who are susceptible to the notion that if the wealthy have more we all stand a chance of being wealthy like them. It’s an appeal to our greed.

You see the same Voodoo economics at work here in Mississippi where the populace has been convinced that by siphoning off a few kids (in Charter Schools) from the rest while using the same money or funding(simply subdividing the under-funded Adequate Education Funding program), everybody will be better off, Voila! Trickle-down (Voodoo Economics) applied to education.

FYI: Shanghai China (population 20 million) went the opposite direction of small select groups with “development of a more inclusive system in which all students are expected to perform at high levels; greatly raising teacher pay and upgrading teacher standards and teacher education” and their students out performed the world.

The truth is that in everything from the flag that was adopted to dis the Union after the Civil War to the Seg Academies that were formed in the wake of a court decision to the Charter School movement, there is a strong element in Mississippi which is anti-union of any stripe and would prefer separate but equal. Failing that, they can maintain their preferred stratification by operating two public education systems, one of which they control by crafting a rule which says that

“Each member of the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board must have demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to charter schooling as a strategy for strengthening public education.”

Of course that is a hand-crafted, cushy position for someone from Heritage, K12, or any of the other proponents of privatization. Oh, by the way the Authorizer Board gets paid government funds and there is nothing to prohibit a member of the board from going to work for the “education service provider” after leaving the board. And of course they can all contribute to RepubliCon campaigns. Here comes the Education-Industrial Complex, created and controlled by the RepubliCon Party.

The really funny thing is how they get so many poor and working class people to vote with and for them. Maybe the RepubliCons are employing a sense of inferiority among some Americans embodied in the notion that both Gordon Gekko (“Greed is good” – at least for the Oligarchs) and W.C. Fields (“You can’t cheat an honest man” – the RepubliCon deception only works on poor people and the middle class if they approve their ill-treated as deserved, as the way things ought to be in a survival of the fittest society and thus sympathize with the Romney types who never give a sucker an even break) were right.

Nothing eery about voter ID | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Nothing eery about voter ID | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com.

All of a sudden I saw it. It had reappeared on the internet, a defense of Mississippi’s photo ID law from a reader in Alabama. It was time to take another one down and perform an autopsy.

Inside the guts of “Nothing eery about voter ID”

Nothing eery about voter ID

Republican Playing Voted ID Games(2)

Deciding whether to believe the Brennan Center study which “estimated 48,000 low-income Mississippians could have trouble obtaining government-issued photo identification” or an afterthought-study (no federal observers, eligible voter percentages) which suggests only 21,855 Mississippians total would need one?

Mind you, the afterthought was prepared by proponents who requested $395,000 for poll-tax (driver’s licenses aren’t free and Mississippi’s unexpired license requirement is tantamount to a recurring voting fee) ID litigation and requested none for related education and outreach.

A very conservative figure for a Mississippi education and outreach program would be $200,000. Georgia’s costs $840,000 and featured radio and TV public service announcements, direct mail, and packages to government agencies. And then there’s this post-Civil War purge element: “a person can obtain the free voter ID card at a clerk’s office by presenting the same material accepted to register to vote.”

This Haneyism, after Mr. Haney from television’s “Green Acres,” masks the fundamental change in Mississippi voting requirements. Proponent, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann knows full well that Mississippians didn’t need to present a birth certificate to register to vote before the disenfranchisement legislation, therefore this implied ease is most disingenuous. And where, Mr. Haney, is the money for the clerk’s office “to access birth records” and who will pay?

Registered voters have registration cards, and in signing a voter roll are affirming their identity, like swearing to tell the truth in a court of law (without showing a photo ID to the judge). Mississippi Republicans have in effect established the presumption of guilt in voting law and suggest cheating is rampant, when nearly every statewide official is, ahem, Republican.

Mississippi’s Photo ID

In reference to the Clarion Ledger opinion piece entitled “Republicans playing voter ID games”

I am responding to the following comment within the quotes (” “) on the piece

by Trenton Winford

” First, can you not simply reply to the actual post? This is ridiculous.

Second, I honestly do not care what Karl Rove does or does not do because he has no say in Mississippi policy. This is a Mississippi law. Period.

As for preventing something that is not a current problem, that is exactly what preventive medicine, health awareness campaigns, abstinence-plus sex ed, subsidies, etc. are. Do you have a problem with all of those, too? ”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Of course Mississippi RepubliCons would like to convince the unaware that they “honestly do not care what Karl Rove does or does not do because he has no say in Mississippi policy. This is a Mississippi law. Period.”

The initiative which became the Mississippi photo ID law and which a Mississippi state Senator (Joey Filligane) originally put into circulation is oddly, nearly identical to ALEC model legislation. The average Mississippian didn’t know that and probably thinks the law was some sort of home-grown phenomenon. Although this in itself is an indication of the disingenuous faux-innocence which is the Mississippi mask, considering the ubiquity of the proliferation of these laws in RepubliCon spheres nationwide. Some Mississippians will pretend not to know that this voter constriction has been part of the national RepubliCon game plan for some time. And Mississippi Republicans who aren’t aware that they are running plays from this playbook must belong to that know-nothing, Rip-Van-Winkle-Tea party.