Tuesday, April 26, 2005

 

Santorum amateur privateer compared to Buehrer

Ban the U.S. Weather Service from competing with AccuWeather in online services? That's what Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a.k.a. anal froth, recently proposed.

But His Frothiness is a dabbler compared to Ohio's State Rep. Steve Buehrer, one of the far right's wingnuts that for some bizarre reason - god help us to understand why - is taken seriously in Columbus.

Buehrer is the "author" of HB 188, the Orwellian-named Electronic Government Services Act. The purpose of this act is "to prohibit a government agency from providing duplicative or competing electronic commerce services with the private sector."

Yes, that's right. Why just ban government internet weather service information when you can ban ALL government internet information?

Now, admittedly, this would only apply to Ohio. But, "WTF?," says Steve, "How can my buddies earn a windfall when state agencies are giving the shit away free?"

Well, Steve, we know you don't give a damn about taxpayers, but anyone - especially a state legislator - should be able to figure out that these online services are not free. Taxpayers paid for them. Actually, they pre-paid for them, so keep your weasel hands off.

This is actually the second time old weasel face has tried to ban government internet services. His 2002 effort, didn't escape the notice of the Plain Dealer that editorialized (no longer in the PD's archives):
State Rep. Steve Buehrer, a Republican from Toledo, managed to tuck this disturbing, anti-consumer measure into the...House budget bill-a measure that was approved without a (public) hearing.
[ . . .]

That House members would go along with a proposal that reeks of contempt for the public is unconscionable....This is a textbook example of a legislator who has forgotten he works for the public, not for those who mine public information and attempt to profit from it....What anti-public measure is next? Going after libraries for lending books that currently sell in bookstores?

[. . .]

Ohioans who resent Buehrer's clumsy attempt to benefit private companies that peddle public information (to) contact him at: district74@ohr.state.oh.us.
We keep wondering why rightwing radicals like Bueher hate Ohioans. One explanation is that he doesn't serve the will of his constituents. In truth, Bueher serves the will of one group and one group only: the American Legislative Exchange Council.

What's ALEC? A longer explanation is here, and Ralph Neas of People For the American Way described it as "a menacing right-wing/corporate marriage of convenience -- ALEC promotes itself as a membership organization of state lawmakers. However, follow the money trail. . . you will discover how ALEC's corporate funders control the group's issue-specific task forces, wield veto power over proposed model legislation, and equip right-wing state legislators with ready-made bills to advance funders' special interests at the expense of the public interest in areas from environmental protection to health care to open government and far more."

Buehrer was named as national Legislator of the Year by ALEC in 2002. Why? Because more than any other legislator in the nation, Buehrer takes ALEC-written legislation and introduces it as if it was his own. Dismantling Civil Service and the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax are two more examples of Buehrer willing to do the legislative lifting for out-of-staters.

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