Zaid Jilani at ThinkProgress went to a lot of trouble to get the goods on ALEC at their annual meeting in New Orleans a few days ago. I urge everyone to read the report and watch the video on RawStory of ThinkProgress reporters getting thrown out of the conference by security.
TP also got hold of a list of ALEC's corporate sponsors. There are the usual suspects, big energy, big pharma, big retailers. But I was surprised to see the level of participation of non-US based international corporations, from England (British Petroleum-estimated contribution $100,000), France (Sanofi-estimated contribution $25,000), Germany (Bayer-estimated contribution $50,000), and Japan (Takeda-estimated contribution $100,000). Maybe I'm naive, but if we're concerned that American corporations are writing model legislation and then sending in their robopoliticians to do their bidding, shouldn't we be even more concerned that foreign corporations are doing the same thing? Can it even be said with a straight face that the legislative members of ALEC are representing American interests, when they are funded by foreign corporations to such a significant extent? Isn't this violating some oath of office somewhere?
Do the Tea Partiers know that some of their biggest funders aren't American? Are they ok with that?
TP's list of documented ALEC contributors for this year's conference over the fold.
According to Think Progress, the Financiers Of ALEC’s 38th Annual Meeting are:
PRESIDENT LEVEL (Estimated $100,000 based on previous documented levels)
CHAIRMAN LEVEL (Estimated $50,000)
American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
American Electric Power
State Policy Network
Walton Family Foundation
Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
Freepont-McMoran Copper & Gold
Johnson & Johnson
National Rifle Association
BlueCross BlueShield Association
Gulf States Toyota
American Federation for Children
BlueCross Blue Shield of Lousiana
Genesee & Wyoming Inc.
Harris Deville & Associates
Kansas City Southern
Louisiana Chemical Association
Louisiana Railroads Association
Society of Louisiana CPAs
Southern Strategy Group
The Capitol Group
The Trustee level is new this year and it can probably be argued that their contribution at least partially was motivated by support for New Orleans, and God knows New Orleans needs the help. I can't think of such a benign motivation for the other contributors. And I don't understand why two of ALEC's top three contributors are foreign. Just because they do business here doesn't give them the right to use stealth tactics to push their bought-and-paid-for representatives rewrite our laws in their favor. I think this looks terrible and unpatriotic and is a legitimate concern that should cross party lines.
I think it's time to ask some hard questions of most of these corporations, like whether Americans on both sides of the aisle can afford to buy their products any longer.