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ALEC Exposed
July 14, 2011 11:53 AM   Subscribe

ALEC Exposed is a wiki site set up by The Center for Media and Democracy which posts and chronicles leaked documents including more than 800 model bills drafted and approved by corporations during ALEC meetings. The documents have been analyzed and marked-up for clarity. Journalists along with the general public are invited to download the documents and sift through the bills in order to help map the connections back to their own state legislation and legislators.

What is ALEC? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve model bills.
posted by stagewhisper (22 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks so much for posting this. The Nation is doing a series of pieces on ALEC Exposed as well.
posted by zarq at 12:14 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


that sort of work needs to be done not by me but outsourced, the way that Big Pharma now uses India and its people to test drugs etc...they too feel Americans too occupied to bother with such nonsense when it can all be done practically free.
I note too--sadly--that an entire new replacement bridge for the SanFran Bay bridge (to Oakland) is being built in Hong Kong in a factory built just for that, then shipped here. And still less expensive than building it here.
Cheap is Good! Free, Better.
posted by Postroad at 12:14 PM on July 14, 2011


Smart, ALEC.
posted by msalt at 12:15 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The depth of this is astounding. And more than a little frightening.
posted by zarq at 12:23 PM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is just efficiency. It'll be even more efficient when the corporations can just go ahead and do the lawmaking directly, avoiding the middlemen (but that might cost jobs to wealthy white people). After all, what good is a law -- any law -- unless it puts some money into the pocket of some rich dude?
posted by Legomancer at 12:31 PM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


My company is not an ALEC member but an industry lobbying group that we belong to is. I'm not surprised. The signs are everywhere. For instance, one of the people in the government affairs group left the company last year to join a lobby intending to get rid of healthcare reform. This is so tightly wound into the fabric of how corporations operate that it's going to take something radical to remove it. Perhaps ALEC Exposed will be that something radical, but I fear that it's going to take more than that.
posted by tommasz at 12:42 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


These guys really do seem like they are doing everything they can think of to tank the United States. It's really appalling. What is a citizen supposed to do in the face of this?
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:03 PM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


These guys really do seem like they are doing everything they can think of to tank the United States.

They aren't trying to tank the US, they simply don't care if it tanks. The idea is simply to make more money. In the globalized economy it doesn't matter where your labor or customers are, so you can feel free to screw over whoever you like; there are plenty of others out there.

Don't flatter yourself into thinking that they dislike you. It's actually worse: you're nothing to them except someone who is possibly currently holding some of their money.
posted by Legomancer at 1:08 PM on July 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


you're nothing to them except someone who is possibly currently holding some of their money.

Its even worse than that - they consider this state of affairs better. If your grandmother has to choose between eating cat food and eating heart medicine, well, that sucks, but its not their problem.

Taxes and government are seen as impediments to real growth and opportunity. They've spent the past 40 years building shadow governments, organizations, and think tanks to support, develop, and drive this ideology.

While they were recruiting, educating, and organizing, the American left was busy fighting amongst themselves and basically letting their guard down.

Now this is where we are at.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:16 PM on July 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


The media has us frenzied over Kaylee's Law when we should be demanding a 'Cui Bono' Law.

This is really some spectacular corruption though. There isn't even a mechanism to fix this problem if we wanted to. The Feds can't get involved in lawmaking among the states beyond the question of constitutionality. You'd have to go through each state individually and clean this up, or pass a new amendment, and that seems about as likely as them realizing the errors of their ways and undoing everything.

I guess the "upside" is that these guys have no sense of history and what sort of stew they're cooking.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:37 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how long, in light of the ever widening definition of corporate "personhood", it will be before companies simply run for elective office. Your state senator, Acme, Inc.
posted by maxwelton at 1:52 PM on July 14, 2011


"I guess the "upside" is that these guys have no sense of history and what sort of stew they're cooking."

Actually, I think they have a very good sense of history, and they are pushing to return to a state of affairs that the American Experiment was meant to do away with, namely a ruling class of aristocracy who has all the money and all the power and gets to lord it over those who are not from the same level of society as they are.
posted by daq at 1:52 PM on July 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Jennifer Government anyone?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:58 PM on July 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, I'm sure that's what they're after. I'm not seeing a group of people who are capable of knowing when they've pushed too far, which means they are relying on being able to eventually quell any uprising with force. This is a terrible mix for everyone but the arms dealers, and while there is a lot of money there, there's a lot more elsewhere, and I'm not sure who they will be able to find to pull the triggers. I.e., this has "we'll be greeted as liberators" written all over it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:59 PM on July 14, 2011


To clarify, I'm not even talking about like French Revolution era history when I say they have no sense of it, I'm talking about the first decade of this century.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:00 PM on July 14, 2011


I note too--sadly--that an entire new replacement bridge for the SanFran Bay bridge (to Oakland) is being built in Hong Kong in a factory built just for that, then shipped here.

Yikes! you mean all those cranes and construction workers that have been beavering away for the last several years right next to the existing bridge are actually just faking it until the bridge from HK shows up? That's terrible!

In reality, one particular component of the bridge (the suspension tower and the deck anchor plates) was fabricated in Shanghai. Most of the bridge - such as the 452 deck plates that people will actually be driving on - were built just down the road in Stockton, and the piles were all built in situ. More details here. Please stop and check your facts before posting. There are several million people living around the Bay Area, I think you could give us some credit for being aware of of how our own infrastructure is built. Not to mention having enough common sense to realize you can't fit an entire 2-mile suspension bridge onto a ship, and that it would have to fit under the Golden Gate Bridge to even get into the Bay.

The Chinese companies in question put in a competitive bid, finished the work months ahead of schedule, and prequalified all of their welding staff to US certification standards before beginning work. Maybe we could learn something from them instead of complaining about their ability to fulfill our requests.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:29 PM on July 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


were/was/typos/edit box.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:30 PM on July 14, 2011


More of Paul Weyrich's legacy.
posted by warbaby at 7:38 AM on July 15, 2011


Democracy Now interview with Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media Democracy.
posted by homunculus at 11:16 AM on July 15, 2011


Citizens United really was the nail in the coffin of American democracy. Color me cynical, but I don't see any viable way of achieving change within the system. Corporations have been working hard at this since the 70s and we're well into endgame now.
posted by mek at 7:30 PM on July 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


NPR ran another story on this today, including an infuriating interview with the chairman of the group.
posted by codacorolla at 1:05 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Corporations Funding The Annual Meeting Of The Powerful Right-Wing Front Group ALEC
posted by homunculus at 1:13 PM on August 5, 2011


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