ALEC, Scott Walker and cozy lobbying opportunities | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ALEC, Scott Walker and cozy lobbying opportunities

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 10:52 AM

'INTIMATE AND DISCREET LOBBYING ACTIVITIES': ALEC pairs conservative legislators with lobbyists with credit cards. Objective: Lobby client-friendly legislation.
  • 'INTIMATE AND DISCREET LOBBYING ACTIVITIES': ALEC pairs conservative legislators with lobbyists with credit cards. Objective: Lobby client-friendly legislation.

Talking Points Memo connects many of the dots
related to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), state legislators (generally Republicans attending on state taxpayer money), presidential candidate Scott Walker and the corporate agenda written into legislation there.

You might as well call Scott Walker the man from ALEC. Plus the slogan, things go better with Koch.

TPM has good summaries of these meetings:

Commonly known as ALEC, the group is somewhat unique in American politics. It boasts more than 2,000 members of state legislatures, the vast majority of whom are Republican. And at its annual meetings and other sponsored retreats and events, it pairs those state lawmakers with lobbyists and executives from its roster of corporate members. Together, lawmakers and private interests jointly collaborate on subcommittees – ALEC calls them ‘task forces’ – to set the group’s legislative agenda and draft portable ‘model’ bills that can then be taken home to legislators’ home states to be introduced as their own initiatives. The private sector members of these task forces have veto power over each committee’s agenda and actions. ALEC’s agenda, therefore, always prioritizes the interests and voices of its donors over elected lawmakers.


Operating as a 501(c)(3), the group claims to be an educational outfit that provides nonpartisan research to lawmakers for their “continuing education.” Because it is allowed charity status under the tax code, ALEC’s donors can write off their membership dues and contributions.


It’s a mistake, therefore, to think of ALEC primarily in terms of its documented association with Charles and David Koch. Rather, it’s an organization that facilitates intimate and discreet lobbying opportunities where donors have access to a self-selecting set of willing accomplices drawn from the nation’s fifty state legislatures. Those lawmakers are often pampered on donors’ dimes at the organization’s gatherings. And all of it is tax deductible for the companies because ALEC turns what would ordinarily be lobbying expenses into ‘scholarships’ for state lawmakers to further their educations. So if you’ve ever wondered why voter ID laws, so-called ‘right to work’ laws, attacks on private and public sector unions, attacks on clean air standards and sustainable energy, pro-charter school bills, attacks on college accreditation and teacher certification, laws proposing to centralize rulemaking on energy, pollution, power plants, state pension investments, tort reform, or food labeling seem to pop up in different state capitals seemingly simultaneously, with the identical legalese backed by the same talking points and even the same expert witnesses, ALEC is often the reason
Self-selected legislators? Indeed, the Arkansas delegation to San Diego recently was a Republican Murderers Row. Pampered? Indeed, lobbyists Ted Mullenix, Robbie Wills, Len Pitcock and Gilbert Baker (yes, THE Gilbert Baker involved in the Maggio bribery scandal) were on the official ALEC agenda as hosts of a dinner at a fancy San Diego steakhouse. Had you turned up to sit in on this session, you may be assured you would not have been welcome. That's how the coronation banquets worked for the House and Senate leaders (who decide who gets to attend these ALEC swillfests). Mullenix rounded up money from lobbyists to pay for the soirees, laundered the dough through the Republican Party of Arkansas and sent out the message that the public was NOT invited. Lobbyists were.

Want to know how the Arkansas legislature works. Go to an ALEC meeting. But it will cost you if you want to play.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Deputy killed, police chief wounded in Sebastian County. Suspect in custody

    40/29 TV reports that two law officers were shot about 7 a.m. today near Hackett in Sebastian County and at mid-afternoon came word that one of them had died. Later in the day a suspect was taken into custody in the shooting.
    • Aug 10, 2016

Most Shared

  • Conflicts of interest in the legislatures

    The Center for Public Integrity and the Associated Press collaborated for a project aimed at highlighting state legislators whose lawmaking might be affected by private business interests.
  • Industrial hemp pilot program coming soon to Arkansas

    One of the booths at this week's Ark-La-Tex Medical Cannabis Expo was hosted by the Arkansas Hemp Association, a trade group founded to promote and expand non-intoxicating industrial hemp as an agricultural crop in the state. AHA Vice President Jeremy Fisher said the first licenses to grow experimental plots of hemp in the state should be issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board next spring.
  • Cats and dogs

    I've always been leery of people who dislike animals. To my wife and me, a house without dog hair in the corners and a cat perched on the windowsill is as barren as a highway rest stop. We're down to three dogs and two cats, the smallest menagerie we've had for years.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation