Abby Rappaport’s “In Case You Were Underestimating ALEC’s Role” at The American Prospect provides a disturbing example of the far-reaching influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council on Republican state legislators, who eagerly do the bidding of big business.
Florida Representative Rachel Burgin recently filed a pretty typical bill for a conservative Republican, asking the federal government to lower corporate taxes. But there was one thing that made Burgin’s measure a little unusual: It began by stating the mission of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). That’s likely because Burgin’s bill had its origins with the corporate-funded nonprofit.
…The next day, Rep. Burgin quickly withdrew the bill hoping that no one had noticed and then re-introduced it 24-hours later, with a new bill number (HM 717), but now without the problematic paragraph. Nobody seems to have noticed until now.
The incident is instructive about ALEC’s ability to turn Republican elected officials into corporate puppets. For a more in-depth expose of ALEC’s adverse impact on state legislatures, check out The Nation’s excellent series, beginning with John Nichols’ “ALEC Exposed.”