Letter writer: Corporate interests reached into public pool time

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Thanks to the Moral Monday Movement, I’ve learned about the collusion between our government and their addiction problem — corporate money. The American Legislative Exchange Council is the source of corporate money behind the tendency to privatize without public knowledge at public expense.

On the local level, privatization happens with pressure from the American City County Exchange. Recently I’ve learned that our five county pools have been privatized. The pools closed earlier this year, Aug. 7, in order to have private parties. (Was it Tim Moffitt who took control of the Parks and Recreation Department away from the county?) …

ALEC’s influence on state legislatures is the origin of the mandatory sentencing laws, whereby the prison systems have been largely privatized. … The anti-public-education laws are ALEC laws.

Privatization of everything owned by the public — the VA, the post office, Social Security, is a conversation that must be explored and debated. This trend is furthering a transfer of wealth from us, the 99 percent, to the 1 percent ALEC-member companies that have, because of money in politics, have way too much sway in our government.

This is not capitalism — this is pay-to-play economics. What can we do? Avoid ALEC member companies. Google it! Watch “The United States of ALEC” on YouTube.

I’m driving an electric Nissan Leaf after reading the October 2014 article about the Koch Brothers in Rolling Stone — and I love not buying gas!

Here’s the exciting news. Since Trayvon Martin was killed, I believe it’s 106 major U.S. corporations [that] have left ALEC! People have great power for change.

More than any other single source, the Koch brothers’ money has contaminated our state legislature. Their funding of ALEC’s “model legislation” has become law in many states. Many of these laws have been deemed unconstitutional, but since the legislature has changed funding of our judiciary elections (and our appellate judiciary elections), I believe some of our judges are starting to go to the dark side.

These things do affect us. Duke Power’s coal ash, fracking, our kids’ education, the millions behind bars, control of our water, all connected. Taking money away from our public schools is resegregating our society. That is not making a better world for our kids.

And I lost a week of swimming with my kid. What are they going to charge us for the pool pass next year since now this is all about a private corporation making money?

— R. James Harris


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Letter writer: Corporate interests reached into public pool time

  1. Hey Dummy, Wake Up and Think For Yourself

    Where do you think the electricity to power that Leaf comes from? That’s right kids, it’s coal. Think the Koch brothers are the problem? They are 48th on the list of people giving money to politicians. Want to know who the top 10 are? 6 are unions and 8 give money almost exclusively or exclusively to Democrats. In the top 10 only Sheldon Adelson is giving the majority of the money to Republicans. 10 of the top 20 donors are unions and 14 of the top 20 give their money to Democrats with only 3 of 20 giving to Republicans. If ALEC gave twice as much money as they do now they still would not rank in the top 100. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.