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New ALEC Member Talking Point Exposed: “Higher Pay Hurts Americans”

Brian Crawford, a senior executive at the American Smugness Foundation (<<not his real job).

Brian Crawford, a senior executive at the American Smugness Foundation (not his real job).

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The Guardian has published details of a recent meeting in Washington, D.C. between conservatives and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in which the anti-worker lobby discussed its two-pronged attack of litigation and legislation to help prevent a higher minimum wage.  ALEC members argued that their “new battleground” against worker compensation will be fought at the local level using lawyers and paid-for politicians to fight the public’s demand for higher wages.   Armed with ALEC model legislation titled “the living wage preemption act,” they hope their allies can stifle wages for America’s lowest paid workers in the name of corporate profits.

Showing the true nature of far-right lobbyists and exposing just how out of touch they are, Dean Heyl of the International Franchise Association said that the minimum wage movement around the country was really a battle between the right and unions.

“I’m a Republican. We’re seeing the unions looking at the cities as their next target – we beat them on the federal level, we beat them on the state level. But the cities are much tougher, because there are more of them.”

Brian Crawford, a senior executive at the American Hotel and Lodging Association, spoke about his group’s preparation for litigation in Los Angeles and other cities to block minimum wage hikes.  Crawford urged conservatives to adopt the mantra that “higher pay hurts ordinary Americans.”  

Sorry for the delay. This blog post was just struck by lightning.

He also noted that “hopefully there was no press there,” The Guardian writes:

It was crucial, he said at the meeting, to have “the right face, and that’s one of the things we’re focusing on… Not the Hyatts, not the Hiltons, not the Marriotts, but the small business people, telling their story about the American Dream – the independently owned Holiday Inn, owned by an Asian-American who came to this country, put all their life-savings into it, and now they’re going to lose this business because they can’t afford a $15 wage.”

The lobbying executive added: “We have a lot of resources; we have the studies, the economic data. And we have the real-life stories that we can put out there. The key component is the PR.”
Crawford likened the conservative battle against city wage increases to a game of Whack-a-Mole: “We’re trying to beat them down when they pop up.”

Brendan Fischer, general counsel for the Center for Media and Democracy, told The Guardian that “the conservative commitment to local decision-making was serving as cover for lobbyists who invented legislation for businesses.”

“They are prepared to eliminate local control to support the interests of their corporate funders,” Fischer said. “Minimum wage increases in cities like Seattle are starting to force companies like Walmart to respond with their own higher wages – and that’s precisely what ALEC is trying to stop.”


One Comment on “New ALEC Member Talking Point Exposed: “Higher Pay Hurts Americans””

  1. What reaĺly gets to me about this article, besides that a whole group of people believe in this concept, is that there are going to be hoards of working class Americans who will latch onto this as truth and run with it. Never mind the depth of corporate greed which wiĺl exploit labor thus requiring the tax payers via public assistance to shore up the wages of these folks who are being underpaid. Why should the American public be on the hook to pay labor costs for the stingy business owners who ascribe to this sort of policy?

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