Letter: ALEC and the legislature
Have you ever wondered where those outrageous bills that flood the AZ legislature come from? They come directly from the files of the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC. ALEC is a bill mill, producing boiler-plate, right wing legislation which they distribute to friendly state officials around the country. And no state is friendlier to ALEC than Arizona.
ALEC is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. It is funded by large corporations and industries such as oil, insurance, financial and Koch Industries. ALEC sponsors “seminars” where they bring state legislators together with sponsors to go over their latest agenda priorities. After several days in posh accommodations, paid for by ALEC, the legislators head home, ALEC bills in hand.
Arizona’s Republican agenda mirrors ALEC’S: reduce or eliminate corporate and state taxes, state environmental protection, and gun laws. Tighten voting restrictions and access to abortions. Privatize public schools. In fact, if you lay ALEC’S sample bills beside a list of Republican sponsored bills, they are almost or completely identical.
Nearly all of Arizona’s Republican legislators and leaders are ALEC members; not a single Democrat is. Many Arizona Republicans have attended ALEC seminars, some of them three and four times. And when ALEC recently put on a workshop in Arizona, they were welcomed warmly by Governor Ducey, who then gave the keynote speech.
ALEC has a firm guiding hand on Arizona’s current legislature. Their hold will not be broken until we elect a Democratic legislature. I urge you to go on-line, input ALEC In Arizona, and spend time with some of the related websites. Among other information, you can find the names of Arizona’s ALEC members and a list of their ALEC activities. It will also give you a glimpse of our future if we don’t change direction.