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Kind of Blue: Why Red State Beacon ALEC Was Right at Home in 'Liberal' Chicago

As many of us know, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held its 40th annual convention last week in the Palmer Hotel in downtown Chicago. Since ALEC ranks right up there with the Koch Brothers as a liberal's scariest boogeymen, there were protestes and arrests were made. With good reason: ALEC has provided conservative state legislators with some of the most odious legislation over the past few decades. Their fingerprints are easily visible — from Wisconsin's treatment of public union employees to Florida's "Stand your Ground" law. Liberals, progressives, and those who identify themselves as Democrats are comfortable with assigning these policies to those crazy crackpot Republicans, but the truth shows that many of ALEC's policies were perfected in the blue-bathed light of Chicago.

Except for the five years when Harold Washington was mayor, from 1955 until last year, somebody named Richard Daley sat in the mayor's chair in Chicago's City Hall. Chicago's public assets were looted via privatization. Public housing in predominatedly African-American areas was steadily demolished beginning in the 1990s. The city's once great public transportation system shrunk and starved for funding.

The city was ahead of the curve when it comes to school reform. Public schools have been closed to provide cheap land to real estate developers in the interests of gentrification, and experienced African-American teachers were let go. Paul Vallas, who was CEO of Chicago schools, has destroyed public schooling in Philadalphia and New Orleans and has gone on to become a proponent of charter schools.

Vallas was succeeded by the thoughly unqualified hack, Arne Duncan. Duncan, with the help of corporate elites and other wealthy benefactors such as the Pritkers, ignored the needs of the poorer commmunities and accelerated the destruction with even more school closings. Arne Duncan was introduced to then State Senator Barack Obama by Craig Robinson, the First Lady's brother. When Obama bacame President, he took his basketball playing buddy and made him Secretary of Education. Only in America.

Daley machine hack Rahm Emanuel, a Democratic mayor, tried to break the union teachers of the Chicago Public Schools.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, with his anti public union stances, got progressives all riled up, but it really is simply a matter of degree. Just last year, Richard Dlay suggested that cities and other public entities simply default on their pension obligations and let the chips fall where they may, because then the unions would have to renegotiate.

Shock Doctrine indeed.

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism was one of the first to detail how this process is being manipulated by the country's elites. Check out his post and check out the relevant part of the embedded video of Ty Fahner speaking to the Civic Club of Chicago. I can't wait to see how this plays out at the state level. We've got billionaire Republican Rauner. We've got Bill Daley, you know, the man whose family has ravaged Chicago for a half a century and who wrote NAFTA. Just think, we may only have one man standing between us and being pillaged by the likes of billionaires like Ken Griffin, the Pritzkers, and the like.

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