Six weeks ago, Chuck Edwards attended the 46th Annual ALEC Conference in Austin, Texas. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) met at the posh JW Marriott hotel, where state legislators and corporate lobbyists gathered to draft and vote on 'model bills' and resolutions for lawmakers to take back home.
Of importance to ALEC are bills and resolutions targeting the integrity of our democracy, unions, the strength of our public education system, and the health of our environment.
ALEC is a pay-to-play corporate influence operation where special interests buy seats on issue “task forces” and craft model legislation with lawmakers with no public disclosure.
According to a recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and USA Today, “copycat bills amount to the nation’s largest, unreported special-interest campaign, driving agendas in every statehouse and touching nearly every area of public policy.”
At the conference, ALEC held workshops on 1) how to extend and protect the gerrymander, 2) how to protect the electoral college -- and Donald Trump, 3) how to prohibit union activities, 4) ways to privatize education, 5) how to promote fossil fuels and resist the Green New Deal.
ALEC conference members also took a tour of the Mexican border by Chinook helicopter, presumably so that they could 'see' what's going on without, you know, getting too close.