ALEC Exposed

Cantor Introduces ALEC's Agenda to the House

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (courtesy of cantor.house.gov)House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), an alumnus of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which the Center for Media and Democracy has been investigating through ALECexposed.org, recently highlighted a memo on his "Upcoming Jobs Agenda." He described his agenda as "pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations ... that have tied the hands of small business people and prevented job growth."

His wish list was sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which announced on September 6th that Obama's forthcoming jobs plan should scrap its "aggressive and voluntary regulatory agenda and adopt an immediate moratorium on any regulation that will harm job growth." The committee has already approved the "Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation" (TRAIN) Act.

Profit Motive Underlies Outbreak of Immigration Bills

Immigrants for saleJuly 29 marked the one-year anniversary of Arizona's controversial immigration law, a year that has seen similar anti-immigrant bills emerge across the country. Thanks to the release of over 800 pieces of "model legislation" by the Center for Media and Democracy, we can now pinpoint the source of the outbreak to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a bill factory for legislation that benefits the bottom line of its corporate members. While it has been reported that more immigrants behind bars means more income for ALEC member Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), less discussed has been how immigrant detention benefits commercial bail-bond agencies, an industry represented in ALEC through the American Bail Coalition.

Publicopoly: ALEC and the Bid to Make Private All That is Public

The Center for Media and Democracy is reposting Beau Hodai's examination of the privatization schemes advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as part of CMD's effort to report on, and gather reporting about this organization through our ALECexposed.org work. This story was originally published by DBA Press (pdf) and is also available for download through this link. (pdf) You can also jump to the article's source materials directory here.

“Legislative Laundry” -- Investigative Report on the Mechanics of the ALEC Scholarship Fund

The Center for Media and Democracy is reposting Beau Hodai's investigation of so-called "scholarships" funded by corporations to bring state politicians to gatherings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as part of CMD's effort to report on and gather reporting about this organization through our ALECexposed.org work. This story was originally published by DBA Press. You can also download this report in PDF format and you can view documents relating to ALEC scholarship fund activity here.

Brownskins and Greenbacks: ALEC, the For-Profit Prison Industry and Arizona’s SB 1070

(The Center for Media and Democracy is pleased to reprint this illuminating article about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and reactionary immigration policies pushed into law in Arizona, as part of our ongoing reporting on ALEC and gathering of reporting about this organization in our work on ALECexposed.org. This story was originally published by DBA Press in June 2010)

"Beside my brothers and my sisters, I'll proudly take a stand. When liberty's in jeopardy, I'll always do what's right. I'm out here on the frontline, sleep in peace tonight. American soldier, I'm an American soldier..."

So goes the ringtone on Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce's phone -- as performed by Toby "'cause we put a boot up your ass, it's the American way" Keith. Seconds into any conversation with Pearce on the issue of illegal immigration, you'll find the song fits. Pearce is -- in his mind -- the "American soldier." What's more, just as he sees himself a soldier, Pearce envisions his home to be none less than the front in a war which threatens the very fiber of the nation.

ALEC: Facilitating Corporate Influence Behind Closed Doors

Closed meetingThrough the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), corporations pay to bring state legislators to one place, sit them down for a sales pitch on policies that benefit the corporate bottom line, then push "model bills" for legislators to make law in their states. Corporations also vote behind closed doors alongside politicians on this wish-list legislation through ALEC task forces. Notably absent were the real people who would actually be affected by many of those bills and policies.

With legislators concentrated in one city, lobbyists descend on the conference to wine-and-dine elected officials after-hours, a process simplified by legislators' schedules being freed from home and family responsibilities. Multiple Wisconsin lobbyists for Koch Industries, the American Bail Coalition, Competitive Wisconsin, State Farm, Pfizer, and Wal Mart were in New Orleans, as were lobbyists for Milwaukee Charter School Advocates, Alliant Energy, and Johnson & Johnson. Corporations also sponsor invitation-only events like the Reynolds American tobacco company's cigar reception, attended by several Wisconsin legislators including Health & Human Services chair Leah Vukmir.

Nonpartisan “Truthtelling” at ALEC

Tucker CarlsonA "radical, possibly deranged, truthteller" will be the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, said political commentator Tucker Carlson at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in New Orleans. Speaking between workshops on the benefits of carbon emissions and task force meetings where corporations and politicians vote on "model bills," Carlson joined right-wing leaders who sang the praises of the Tea Party and "sticking to your guns," cursed Obama and other "big government liberals," and praised the same "cut, cap, and balance" agenda manifest in the ALEC bills and pushed by national politicians in Washington D.C.

Top Companies Claim To Fight Global Warming, But Sponsor ALEC’s Climate Denial

(By Brad Johnson, reposted from ThinkProgress, August 8, 2011)

Greenwash paintThe fight against global warming pollution requires the investment of everyone, including the world's multinational corporate giants. Many companies have taken official stances on climate pollution, pledging to reduce their greenhouse footprint in order to reduce the threat of a destabilized climate.

However, a number of these same companies are sponsoring toxic, far-right denial of climate science. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) pushes an extremist denier agenda throughout the United States, funded in secret by corporations. ThinkProgress has acquired a list of the sponsors of ALEC's 2011 annual meeting, held last week in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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