Republicans Not Wanting to do Right

by Bob Murl Bearden

Not wanting to do the right thing, the republicans in the senate blinked again and telegraphed their allegiance to the National Rifle Association. Despite a bi-partisan bill on national background checks they again let 90 percent of the American people down just so they could keep their money givers happy. The words of one of Johnny Horton’s last recorded songs wafts through my mind, “It’s the same old tale that the crow told me, way down yonder under the sycamore tree.”

But, it’s not just the senate republicans who are addicted to the money givers. That is a cancer that is spread out all over creation and it infects our nation and its politics insidiously. We have it right here in ‘Good ole River City” Oklahoma City, US of A. ALEC came to town this past week and our city bosses succumbed to the lure of the money givers without so much as a whimper.

ALEC for those of you who may not know where of that acronym reeks of stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. A somewhat innocuous title until you lift up the rug of deceit it is hiding under and smell the foul odor from which it reeks. This is a group that was formed some 40 odd years ago in a right-wing smoky backroom think tank to write legislation that would destroy the working class, the middle class of America if you will.

They have a lot of heavy hitters as corporate backers including some of Oklahoma’s own Devon Energy, Chesapeake Energy, the Koch Brothers and many other national, regional and local corporations and companies who pony up a few cool million to buy favors and politicians to rewrite the laws of our states and nation to the express personal favor of those who hate workers, unions and everything they stand for.
ALEC came to town and we in the labor movement along with various and sundry friends from the faith community and environmental groups, decided to take a few countermeasures to let the public know what this cabal of secrecy was all about. We planned a rally and march to coincide with the arrival of ALEC and purchased with an iron-clad contract a room next to the one ALEC had selected for its conference in the Cox Convention Center for a Community Forum Panel discussion about what ALEC was planning and how it operated.

Leave us fast forward to the actual day Thursday May 2nd 2013. Suddenly we were informed that the room we had legally leased next to ALEC would no longer be available, in fact we couldn’t even have space on the same floor, didn’t matter what our contract said we were unceremoniously kicked out of our space and sent packing down to the lower levels of the Cox Center by the city bosses to camp out on the hockey ice rink for our community forum on the next day. Thank you very much Governor Fallin and Mayor Mick!

And to add insult to injury ALEC is so paranoid that real people might actually find out and be properly appalled at what they are about that they enlisted the Oklahoma City Police to guard all entrances and exits to the second floor of the Cox Center with instructions that unless you had a pass no that said ALEC on it there would be no admittance to that level. Thanks Mick, fine fellow that thou art. So much for open to the public government in the Heartland of America!

Why is it that those who seek to destroy our rights always want to do it behind closed doors? It what they are attempting to do in Oklahoma is so great why is it that they can’t do it out in the open so that all can see. If they are such above-board upstanding citizens of this great nation why do they need to turn the Cox Center into a police state?

Inquiring minds would like to know? ALEC participants don’t go around wearing ‘Brown Shirts’ but their methods reek of a former era when ‘Brown Shirts’ and jackbooted jerks marched in lock step and they too had an agenda that they didn’t want anyone to know about!” —– Bob Bearden


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