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2019
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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 03.28.12
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

ALEC: The corporate go-to "guy"

One of the contributing factor to the death of Trayvon Martin was the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law. One might think that the law was just the brainchild on a rightwing nut case legislator. One would be wrong; the law is the product of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is a 501 (c) (3) organization funded by corporations through tax deductible contribution of from $5000 to $50,000 plus specific project funds. ALEC develops changes to laws that directly benefit corporations.

The legislation is developed by task forces composed of state legislators and corporate members, which vote to approve "model" bills. They have their own corporate governing board that meets jointly with the legislative board. They fund almost all of ALEC's operations; legislators pay a membership fee. It was $50.

Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations.

Only the "in-group" know the real source of the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law.

ALEC describes itself as a "unique," "unparalleled" and "unmatched" organization. It might be right. So, as the Supreme Court said "corporations are persons" and they are writing the laws at the state level. Learn more at ALECexposed.org.

By the way, the meetings of the task forces and the educational seminars sponsored by ALEC for state legislators take place at very nice venues with expenses paid for by ALEC. The American tax payer participates in the development of these brilliant pieces of legislation by funding ALEC through the tax deductions of the corporations.

According to ALEC's filings with the IRS this is over $7 million per year.

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