The idea of absolute control means exerting one’s will over every aspect of an organization from the very top down to the lowliest position. In their drive to control America from the top down, it is insufficient for the Koch brothers to control Congress and the Supreme Court without owning the occupant of the White House any more than controlling every Republican state legislature without control over those state’s city and county governments. It is true the Koch’s are poised to spend nearly a billion dollars to put a Koch surrogate in the White House, and to completely take over the entire nation they are paying an American Legislative Exchange Council subsidiary to impose their corporate agenda on every town, village, city, and county in America.
Many Americans have never heard of the Koch brothers much less their legislative arm in Congress and, more importantly, state legislatures across the country. What the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) does is allow corporations to write legislation for Republicans to introduce and then pass into law. Corporations pay the Koch brothers’ ALEC for the privilege of allowing their operatives to write corporate legislation for Republicans and it makes ALEC, and now a subsidiary, more powerful than any special interest, lobbyist, state legislator, and in the majority of cases informs how and why corporations control Republican state governments. Apparently, though, controlling state legislatures is not enough for the Kochs and their corporate cabal so they set their sights on local jurisdictions like city councils, mayors, school districts, and county supervisory boards to round out their sphere of corporate influence on America from the federal government down to the local village council.
The American City County Exchange (ACCE) is an offshoot of (ALEC) that describes itself as “America’s only free market forum for village, town, city and county policymakers.” Beginning in 2015, ACCE became an ALEC-operated project and not a separate Koch-funded social welfare 501(c)(3} charitable non-profit organization. Like its mother organization ALEC, ACCE is wholly funded by corporations whose operatives write and vote for “model legislation and measures” for city and county governments to give the Koch brothers and corporations complete control of every jurisdiction in the nation regardless of size.
The only difference between ALEC and ACCE is that where ALEC (the Kochs) exerts complete control over the United States Congress and state legislatures, ACCE will seize control of all city and county governments in the nation. As the Guardian accurately reports, with Koch and corporations funding their operations, ALEC and its subsidiary ACCE have effectively handed “corporate America a direct conduit to control the policy making process of city councils and municipalities” in every state in America. It is a bloodless coup d’état, but bloodless or not, it is still a complete takeover of every legislative body in America with absolutely no opposition or outrage; that is the effect and consequence of a nation with an incredibly ill-informed and stupid population.
Despite controlling most of America’s government, the Kochs just were not getting the results they wanted fast enough using ALEC as its legislative arm in Congress and state legislatures along with ALEC’s sister organization, the State Policy Network (SPN), SPN is tasked with abolishing public pensions, unions, minimum wage, and employee benefits like sick leave, overtime pay, and worker’s compensation in state legislatures, but they have not succeeded fast enough for the Kochs and it is not for lack of trying. So the Koch’s decided to create and use ACCE to impose corporate control of city and county governments with the goal of imposing corporate control over school districts, banning city and county-level union representation, privatizing local public school districts, eliminating prevailing wage laws, abolishing commercial zoning regulations, and eliminating local environmental provisions their corporate funders and churches claim are either communist intrusions on the ‘free market’ or a vicious liberal government attack on religious liberty.
The American City County Exchange held its organizational meeting last month in Dallas to help its corporate operatives push policies important to advancing the Koch corporate libertarian vision on all Americans. According to Jon Russell, ACCE’s national director and town (not city) council member in Culpeper, Virginia, “There are some really good ideas out there that are percolating, and those are the kinds of out-of-the-box thinking that we are really pushing hard.” The “out-of-the-box thinking” Russell wets his knickers over includes pushing corporate operation of city and county services like garbage pickup and providing water and sewer services, eliminating collective bargaining and unions, banning prevailing wage and overtime laws, and imposing corporate control of public schools. ACCE’s goals are imposing ALEC’s state-level corporate control over every municipality in America under the guise of free markets and fiscal responsibility.
As a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who specializes in campaign finance, Jessica Levinson, noted, like ALEC, ACCE’s mission is not fiscal responsibility, helping municipalities, or improving conditions for Americans. Levinson is completely correct in saying that “There’s a lot of money to be made in local government,” and that for the Koch brothers “privatization makes perfect sense, working hand in glove with corporations makes perfect sense, and expanding (ALEC’S) corporate agenda to county and city governments makes perfect sense.” A research analyst at Common Cause, Jay Riestenberg, echoed Professor Levinson and said that ACCE opens the door for corporate influence over local governments and profit from that control. Riestenberg said, “This’ll ease the way for corporations to take over all local services. The public sector is a $6 trillion enterprise, and this is a huge money-making opportunity for them.”
It is true there is an inordinate amount of public money corporations and the Kochs want to steal, but absolute control of every aspect of American government is much more important to the Kochs. As Professor Levinson said, everything about using an ALEC subsidiary to impose corporate control of government and pillage town, city, and county coffers makes perfect sense to the Koch brothers. Because they will never be satisfied until they have imposed corporate-ownership libertarian-style on all aspects of American government. The new ALEC subsidiary, the American City County Exchange (ACCE) will give the Koch’s the control they so desperately lust, and the Koch cabal’s corporations running local governments will profit handsomely from all American taxpayers.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.