-By Beth Hawkins
May 18, 2012- A year ago, even a divining rod would have been tempting to a reporter trying to tease out details about the workings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The group’s corporate, ideological and lawmaker members wouldn’t admit to an association, much less describe the model bills cooked up at its cushy confabs.
Today, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. One need only pick up one of the 4,000 documents recently obtained by Common Cause, which has filed complaints against the group here and at the national level, and out tumble nuggets of political chicanery.
Exhibit A: The agenda from last week’s ALEC meeting in Charlotte, N.C., where its task forces polished proposed bills that are likely to pop up in the next legislative session here and around the country.
-By Sarah Blaskey and Steve Horn
May 16, 2012- Taxpayer-subsidized stealth lobbyists: Lobbyists who circumvent normal lobbying regulations and procedures to advance the corporate agenda in statehouses nationwide on the taxpayer dime.
If Washington DC is the new Versailles, run by corporate overlords and their lobbyist-hired guns, then the 50 statehouses are its paternal twins. That is, while they look different in form, they share the same genetic function as avenues for the fulfillment of the corporate agenda.
-By Rebecca Leber
May 7, 2012- The American Legislative Exchange Council’s anti-environment agenda is fueled by none other than Big Oil companies, which sit on ALEC’s “task forces.”
The watchdog group Common Cause published ALEC’s full member list, revealing four of the five major oil companies behind the group’s anti-environment legislation. These four oil companies — Shell, BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil — are also the four most profitable, taking a combined $30.6 billion profits in just three months this year.