On August 7-9, 2013, ALEC will be meeting at the Palmer House Hilton at 17 w Monroe in Chicago, IL. It is there that activists from all over the country will converge and shut down ALEC’s 40th annual meeting and expose ALEC’s organization.
For a petty hundred dollars a year, State Legislators are afforded the opportunity to dine on expensive food, stay in expensive hotels, smoke expensive cigars, drink expensive wine and participate in expensive activities. This is all paid for by their new friends at ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), which is 98% funded by multinational corporations.
ALEC can aptly be described as the most dangerous concoction of Lobbying firm, Conservative think-tank and Political Machine.
When ALEC is done bribing state legislators, they sit legislators and corporate lobbyists in a room together. The lobbyists write “model legislation”, some of which is mentioned below. The legislators then place those “model bills” on the floor of statehouses across the U.S., often word for word. What this boils down to is corporations writing state laws, all behind closed doors with no transparency or accountability.
ALEC’s activities were once almost entirely unknown. Then ALEC was forced to confront a direct attempt to shut down their meeting in Scottsdale, AZ on November 30, 2011, and a nationwide coordinated direct action on February 29, 2012. These actions mitigated the ability of the public and the corporate media to ignore the activists performing them, simply by creating another obstacle to ALEC’s activities.
ALEC works to kill unions
- ALEC was involved in the passage of a Wisconsin bill effectively ending collective bargaining for public sector unions.
- ALEC has pushed right to work (“for less”) legislation which eliminates protections that prevent employers from discriminating against prospective employees who are unionized.
ALEC promotes incarceration
- ALEC corporations include private prison companies such as CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), which create a demand for prisoners.
- ALEC has pushed 3-strikes laws which compel courts to incarcerate third-time felons for life even if they have never committed a violent crime.
ALEC is a detriment to public education
- ALEC Has introduced “voucher programs” in states which divert funding from public to private schools.
- ALEC Has diverted funding from public schools to charter schools.
ALEC promotes the criminalization of immigrants
- Arizona state law SB1070 (“show me your papers” law) (an ALEC model bill) makes it a crime for an immigrant to be in Arizona without carrying documentation.
- SB1070 also allows officers to detain people if they “look like an immigrant”.
ALEC pollutes the earth
ALEC inserted a provision into the Illinois State Legislature’s “Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act” which allows fracking firms to withhold information about chemicals used in fracking by claiming them as “trade secrets”.
ALEC exploits indigenous peoples' lands
- ALEC member corporation “Salt River Project” (SRP), was authorized under AZ state law to pump groundwater from native O’odham land into Phoenix, AZ. Literally draining native wells.