Occupy organizers say corporate money has too big of an influence on Minnesota’s government and there needs to be reforms. Scott Hargarten of OccupyMinneapolis and OccupyMN says those reforms target the corporate influence that groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) .
Hargarten says corporations use ALEC “to coerce state governments into basically serving their interests” by passing model bills the corporations have drawn up. “There’s not a single bill produced by ALEC that doesn’t explicitly serve their interests, whatever the actual language of the bill might be. It’s part of a design to increase their profits at the expense of the average person.” Hargarten told the press on Monday. Occupy plans to unveil it’s plan for state government reform during a 4pm February 29th rally on the front steps on Minnesota’s state capitol building.
Before then, organizers are asking people to attend tomorrow’s Minnesota precinct caucuses and push for campaign finance reform. Hargarten says people should attend whatever party caucus they choose, Republican DFL or Green. As leverage with the DFL Occupy MN is urging people to vote for “uncommitted” instead of President Obama. Partial transcript of Scott Hargarten of Occupy MN statement to the press: “The long and the short of it is that occupy as a whole thinks there is something going pretty significantly wrong with our democracy.
Somehow along the line the influence of money has crossed the line from, you know, a benign, you know, icky necessity to something truly kind of monstrous and manipulative. “I mean, we fundamentally feel that at this point in our democracy the way our media works and the way our government works, the average person’s needs and interests can not be adequately represented by our government any longer. “And so it’s basically our mission to try to organize the people and get the average person excited and involved in politics and involved in their own good interest and demand the institutions of our society to recognize the needs of the average person once again. “
We’re focused on ALEC simply because they are a particularly egregious example. As basically a organizations that corporations use to produce model legislation to go out across basically every state. And they use those model bills to coerce state governments into basically serving their interests.
“There’s not a single bill produced by ALEC that doesn’t explicitly serve their interests, whatever the actual language of the bill might be. It’s part of a design to increase their profits at the expense of the average person. “So Occupy, like Minneapolis right now today, as part of a national action on February 29th, we are producing a piece of our own model legislation to try to reform Minnesota government, and governments across the nation, to basically limit the influence of corporate money and make our government more representative once again.”