“Scholarships…” shady nonprofits and “model bills…” they’re all components of a far reaching, and pervasive system by which corporations buy state politicians, corrupt our laws, and twist government to their own advantage. If you’ve ever wondered why the corporate-funded “tea party movement” wants to move more power to the states and away from the prying eyes of the federal government, you need to
From Yahoo! News, six of the seven most shocking revelations from the NPR story about the American Legislative Exchange Council (if you thought the Chamber of Commerce was bad…)
1. Just over the past year, more than 200 of the organization’s “model” bills — drafted by corporations with the lawmakers — became law around the country.
2. Because member organizations don’t actively advocate for policies, ALEC’s conferences — where these bills are created — are not considered lobbying. That means companies don’t have to disclose which lawmakers they’re talking to or how much they’re spending at these conferences.
3. It also means that ALEC gets to keep its nonprofit status. Corporations can write off the donations they give ALEC as charitable gifts, and ALEC does not have to disclose its membership, donors, or how it spends its money.
4. Lawmakers are told to bring their families and are treated to golf tournaments and parties at these conferences. Corporations sponsor open bars and baseball games, which lawmakers do not have to disclose as gifts.
5. There are an unnamed amount of “scholarships” that ALEC gives out so that politicians do not even have to pay their own travel expenses to get to the conferences. Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce, the sponsor of anti-illegal-immigration law SB1070, traveled to the conference on such a scholarship.
6. Five of the politicians pushing for laws nearly identical to Arizona’s in other states were in the same hotel conference room with the Corrections Corporation of America in which SB1070 was crafted.