VIDEO – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the most direct way for a corporation to buy legislation that helps their bottom line. They just pay a nominal membership fee ($7,000 – $25,000 per year) and get access to over 2,000 state lawmakers.
Also, they can become a corporate member of any one of the nine task forces for only an additional $2,500 to $10,000 per year. As a corporate member, they can help write legislation, vote on the model bills, and meet multiple times each year with state legislators that fall all over themselves for their money and attention. It doesn’t take much to get part-time state legislators to do the bidding of corporate members.
The legislators take ALEC bills back to their home state, introduce them as their own, and the public has no idea that corporations were the major influence behind it. Here are some examples of what ALEC does:
- Altria/Philip Morris USA benefits from ALEC’s newest tobacco legislation — an extremely narrow tax break for moist tobacco that would make fruit flavored tobacco products cheaper and more attractive to youngsters.
- Health insurance companies such as Humana and Golden Rule Insurance (United Healthcare), benefit directly from ALEC model bills, such as the Health Savings Account bill that just passed in Wisconsin.
- Tobacco firms such as Reynolds and pharmaceutical firms such as Bayer benefit directly from ALEC tort reform measures that make it harder for Americans to sue when injured by dangerous products.
- Corrections Corporation of America (private prisons) benefits directly from the anti-immigrant legislation introduced in Arizona and other states that requires expanded incarceration and housing of immigrants, along with other bills from ALEC’s crime task force.
- Connections Academy, a large online education corporation and co-chair of the Education Task Force, benefits from ALEC measures to privatize public education and promote private on-line schools.
Famous ALEC Alumni: Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressman Joe Wilson, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, former House Speaker Tom DeLay, Andrew Card, Donald Rumsfeld (1985 Chair of ALEC’s Business Policy Board), Governor Scott Walker, Governor Jan Brewer, and more.
Featured speakers have included: Milton Friedman, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, George Allen, Jessie Helms, Pete Coors, Governor Mitch Daniels and more.
We know, it’s hard to believe it’s this easy. But IT IS! These are just a few examples of how ALEC can get politicians elected by the people to work the hardest for corporate interests. You can learn more about how corporations can buy state politicians and laws at this website.