State legislators meeting with their counterparts from other states to discuss policy ideas – that all sounds well and good, right? But what if corporate lobbyists are paying for the whole event, and are inside the private meeting, and are even writing the draft bills that the legislators are discussing?
Welcome to the world of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the ultimate smoke-filled backroom, where corporations gain access to legislators and get the laws they write enacted throughout the country. ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often denying Americans’ access to justice when they are harmed by corporate wrongdoers.
Brendan Keefe of WXIA-11 TV in Atlanta decided to invite himself to a recent ALEC conference where state legislators from George were being feted by corporate lobbyists. Sure enough, ALEC wasn’t too happy about the public seeing what was going on. Luckily, Keefe got it all on film.