O Rats!

There is much talk in Wisconsin these days of the anti American right wing extremist group called – ALEC.

ALEC holds annual conventions where they give all Wisconsin republicans a free trip to wherever their convention is and then tell them what legislation they want introduced and pushed. This covers such topics as privatization of schools, tort reform, right to work legislation etc… Well many polictians come back from these conventions and just introduce the bill’s ALEC gives them Word by Word and Line by Line, while others will change some wording and pretend its their work. In case you were wondering how extreme they are, they have named Robin Vos their state chairperson. While we at BloggingBlue have probably done a disservice by not focusing on them a little more, I wanted to focus on one story I came across recently.

Kid\'s Eating Rat Poison an acceptable risk(I recommend the full read, but its a bit long..

“There are certain levels of acceptable risk in society,” says Todd M. Wynn, director of the ALEC Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force, in an interview about the EPA rules with the Heartland Institute’s Heartlander website. “And parents play an important role by weighing the potential risks and benefits of using a product.”

“Unfortunately, EPA expands its reach into the American economy more and more each and every year,” Wynn said. “This year it will be d-Con, but next year another useful product will be burdened by additional regulations or banned outright from the market.”

“It is outrageous to say it is ‘acceptable’ for tens of thousands of kids to get poisoned each year,” said Aaron Colangelo, an attorney for the NRDC. Colangelo told the Center for Media and Democracy that “there is not an undue economic burden associated with reformulating these products,” pointing out that the rest of the industry had complied with the new rules without adverse economic impact. Additionally, he said, “the health care costs for treating these kids certainly outweigh the economic costs of reformulation.”

As for the claim the EPA action is an example of the “nanny state” with the government substituting its judgment for that of parents, Colangelo says a child’s exposure to rat poison often occurs in settings outside of a parent’s control. “It is one thing to say parents need to be conscious of what their kids are doing in their own homes,” he said. “But exposure [to the rodenticides] is not limited to one’s own home.”

Colangelo tells CMD “kids find it everywhere. Outside their apartment complex, or in public parks, or in schools, or in public housing. Little kids will put anything in their mouth.”

So who cares if a few kids die a horrible death, if a memeber organization can make a couple extra bucks in profit? Lets just hope we dont know anyone who actually does die this way. Its so much easier to not care about the kids who die, if you dont know them personally. And I thought Grover Norquist was a disgusting human being.

For anyone who wants to know more about ALEC, here is a good starting point. Representative Mark Pocan went to the convention and had some interesting stories to tell.

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