Via a column by Paul Krugman, we are led by clicks to a number of great ALEC resources. (ALEC background here and here.)
If you're brand new to ALEC, here's a taste from SourceWatch.org (my emphasis and paragraphing):
ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that.This is how the Movement Conservative project has gained control of many state legislatures. Think of it — over 1000 ALEC-authored bills introduced in the states each year. Who else has that kind of power?
Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills.
They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.)
[Corporations] fund almost all of ALEC's operations. 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—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills.
ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 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. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door.
Learn more at ALECexposed.org.
So let's look at a few lists.
■ The following names the 23 corporations on ALEC's corporate board. These are the Daddy Dinos, the Bigs; the other corporations (below) are just associate predators.
Listed with the names are the company's total lobbying expenditures, not just via ALEC, but its entire reach. (Note that the 2011 totals are through June only — just a half-year's worth of politician-purchases).
|American Bail Coalition||$0||$80,000||$35,000|
|Energy Future Holdings Corp.||$3,974,014||$4,731,228||$2,770,000|
|Johnson & Johnson||$6,560,000||$6,700,000||$3,106,000|
|Reed Elsevier Inc.||$2,130,000||$1,670,000||$810,000|
|Salt River Project||$1,170,000||$870,000||$370,000|
|State Farm Insurance||$3,420,000||$3,620,000||$1,540,000|
|United Parcel Service||$8,430,526||$5,587,349||$2,642,399|
Most of these names should be familiar to you. Koch Industries is obviously the Koch Bros. Wal-Mart is the Walton family. The Kochs and Waltons are two of the eighteen families behind all the "death tax" propaganda.
■ ALEC also has many for-profit corporations, law firms, governmental groups, and non-profits as members or supporters. Click to see.
The for-profit corp list is huge; your consumer dollars at work. Note the CATO Institute, that "insufficiently hackish" lover of democracy, on the non-profit supporter list.
I offer this list and these links as reference — if the heat on ALEC turns higher, you may be glad to keep it handy, or bookmarked.
What you can do — There are campaigns starting, thanks to the Trayvon killing connection. This is one; I'm sure there are or will be others. Feel free to lend a hand; it's not dark yet....
(To follow on Twitter or to send links: @Gaius_Publius)