What’s the Fordham Institute doing hooking up with ALEC?
Today’s topic is relationships— specifically the recent hook up between the dirty dogs at the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC and a certain think tank known for straight laces, Educational Excellence™ and some seriously questionable dance moves. So just what institute has been getting busy with ALEC even as a growing roster of corporations dumps the increasingly controversial network? I can keep it to myself no longer, reader: it’s none other than our gadflying friends at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. But what brought this happy couple together? And is theirs a fling thing, or a ring thing? Inquiring minds most definitely want to know.
2 hot 2 handle
So where were we??? Ah yes— la histoire d’amour. Our story starts with a bad break up, make that lots of bad break ups, as in 91 of them (and that’s not including the more than 400 state legislators who’ve given ALEC the brush off). You see as consumers caught wind of what ALEC has been up to off camera (voters, suppression of; ground, standing of) they put pressure on companies like General Electric, Amazon.com, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble and Wal-Mart (yes, even Wal-Mart) to dump the legislative lobby group. Which left ALEC feeling, well, a little hurt, not to mention a little broke. Wasn’t there anyone willing to see past all of the bad press into ALEC’s heart of hearts? Cue music please…
I do—share your agenda
Fordham officially tied the knot with ALEC this summer at the network’s August board meeting (see p. 38), in an *intimate* and *low key* ceremony confined to a small group of *close friends.* That’s because Fordham was among a handful of organizations and companies— the aptly named *dirty dozen*— which opted to become new members of ALEC last year. Meanwhile, the hot new couple is already rumored to be expecting a prodigal son. According to a trove of internal documents leaked to The Guardian, ALEC recently launched an operation known as the Prodigal Son Project aimed at wooing back some of its corporate heartbreakers.
Sources close to the limited government love birds say that the hook up wasn’t entirely unexpected as the gadfly gang at Fordham and the ALEC krew have loads in common. Both ranked *bootstraps* as their must-have accessory last year (and all prior years). And both share a belief that poverty doesn’t matter—especially if you aren’t poor. Speaking of poverty, did you hear that it’s caused by single parenthood and poor choices rather than low wages? That’s why it really doesn’t make any cents to raise the minimum wage. In fact, it makes much more cents to draft model legislation eviscerating existing wage protections for workers while making it harder for communities to raise wages. Bootstraps, baby! And while it’s anyone’s guess as to whether chief gadfly, Michael Petrilli, will be able to enlist the support of ALEC in his campaign to usher in a *marriage renaissance,* there’s one kind of union that the new couple definitely won’t be inviting over anytime soon.
Sources close to the couple say that a honeymoon in Ohio is in the works as the Buckeye State carries special significance for both partners. In addition to its mission of *advancing educational excellence* nationwide, Fordham is committed to delivering excellence in a more concentrated form in Ohio, where it sponsors 10 academies of excellence and innovation. ALEC has also showered love upon the Buckeyes in recent years, helping to usher in model legislation requiring voter ID and expanding the role of police in reporting immigration violations. The couple was recently seen scouting possible honeymoon locations in Cleveland.
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