Senator Dan Lederman (R-16/Dakota Dunes) comes soldiering back from the American Legislative Exchange Council's annual meeting in Salt Lake City to propagandize on behalf of the real nefarious radical infiltrators of every statehouse in the country.

Oh, but ALEC isn't radical, Lederman tells WNAX News. It's not very radical, says Lederman, to want limited government and choice for schools or want to hold schools to standards. Calling ALEC "radical," says Lederman, is a distraction from trying to find solutions.

That's an enormously ironic statement, since the landmark ALECky legislation to come from Pierre this year, Referred Law 16 (né House Bill 1234) increases the role of centralized government in education and distracted nearly everyone in Pierre from seeking practical solutions for improving education based on evidence instead of ideology.

Sen. Lederman says the primary focus of this year's ALEC meeting was how to get a better education system for the same or less money. I'm betting the emphasis was on "less." An effective public education system is the greatest practical and ideological threat to the plutocracy Lederman and ALEC serve. ALEC pursues the entirely radical agenda of starving the public schools and bringing the education of our children under private corporate control.

Fortunately, folks in District 16 have a chance to stop that radical agenda. Newly named Democratic challenger Michael O'Connor of Alcester has filled the vacancy left by Harrisburg school superintendent Jim Holbeck. If you want to protect your public school from ALEC machinations like Referred Law 16, you'll want to help O'Connor win.