The American Legislative Exchange Council which is a corporate funded organization responsible for drafting as many as 800 pieces of model legislation has been deserted by many of its major sponsors including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s and even the Gates Foundation. Last year a

From Lisa Gates founder of ALEC Exposed.

…what ALEC does is really extraordinary to many people who hadn’t heard of them before last year when we launched ALEC Exposed. What ALEC does is it provides so-called scholarships to state legislators to travel to fancy resorts, where they go to closed-door meetings of ALEC task forces. And at those closed-door meetings, corporate lobbyists and special interest groups vote, as equals, with state politicians, with our elected officials. And so you have unelected corporate lobbyists voting as equals, behind closed doors, with elected officials with no press and no public present. And then those elected officials go back out in their states. And if they’re leaders of that state for ALEC, they have a duty, under ALEC’s public bylaws, to get those bills introduced and made into law.

Those bills run the gamut of efforts to basically rework and rewrite our rights in numerous ways, including on the right to vote. Those bills include efforts to strip the rights of workers, both in the public sector and private sector, to organize and even have access to paid sick leave. They include efforts to make it more difficult for us to pass any rules at the state or federal level to deal with climate changes underway. Their agenda includes massive tax giveaways for the biggest corporations and wealthiest individuals in the world. And it also includes a massive privatization scheme to take your tax dollars and redirect them into the private sector, into the private till, through privatizing prisons to for-profit prisons, for-profit school companies, and even the notion that American citizens, that the American people, shouldn’t really own public assets or public institutions, that those buildings—our buildings—should be sold off to the private sector and basically leased back to us.

And so, through ALEC, ALEC has been exerting extraordinary influence on laws in states across the country through this process where corporations have even more influence than through ordinary lobbying. And they do so behind closed doors and in the dark. And so, we’ve helped shine a light on what ALEC is up to. And I think it does corrupt democracy for these procedures to go on and for these politicians to debase themselves in such a way that they would actually deign to give a corporate lobbyist, unelected official, an equal vote to themselves through the ALEC task forces.

As we learned, foreign owned companies like ORC and Jordan Cove Energy are working to influence local politics and there is a concerted local movement to privatize our government services as evidenced first by the road department layoffs in 2008 and now attempt to convert solid waste to a transfer station.