Politics

How Laws Are Really Made, or How Corporations Rule

ALEC

Investigative journalist, Brendan Keefe, finds a group called American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In private meetings which even reporters aren’t allowed to witness, never mind voters, lobbyists for corporations present bills for legislators to propose and enact. Best of all, these meetings are “protected” by the law enforcement officers… so much for serving and protecting the constituents.

Here’s the video.

Here’s ALEC’s “response” to the investigation.

ALEC statement on NBC Atlanta (WXIA-TV)

For several years, ALEC has welcomed journalists from prominent outlets to ALEC workshops and plenary sessions. In December 2014, 34 journalists were credentialed to attend the Washington, D.C. meeting. The ALEC media policy clearly states which meetings are open.

Unfortunately, the recent piece on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) broadcast by NBC Atlanta (WXIA-TV) sensationalizes and misrepresents ALEC member engagement and policy discussions. ALEC is a forum for the exchange of ideas and free-market policies by a diverse array of members including legislators, business and thought leaders, think tank scholars and individuals.

11 Alive Atlanta takes issue with the format of policy discussions as well as ALEC travel reimbursement and media policies, all of which are clearly posted at ALEC.org. The report exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of ALEC.

All ALEC policy discussions are abstract, educational in nature and use examples from existing state policy as the basis for academic discussion and professional development. All drafts are posted at ALEC.org, as are those models approved by the Board of Directors, comprised solely of state legislators. This was not made clear in the 11 Alive piece.

Unlike other state legislative organizations, ALEC is not taxpayer funded. Travel reimbursement for continuing education is a universally accepted practice and conforms to regulations set forth by the IRS and state ethics commissions. ALEC reimbursement guidelines are posted at ALEC.org.

ALEC members look forward to future meetings where they will exchange ideas as they have for 42 years. Policy formulation is a collaborative process whereby all stakeholders impacted by a given issue should be engaged. There is no greater demonstration of American democracy than the gathering of people to discuss and exchange ideas.

“Democracy” at work.

Politically unbiased yours,

Beau

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