I first heard about ALEC 2 years ago, and was scared. However the story read kind of like some kind of weird conspiracy theory, so I shoved it to the back of my mind. But this last legislative session has convinced me that ALEC is very real, very rich and very scary. I figured that out BEFORE today's PFAW report came out, showing just how bad things are. ALEC appears to own Arizona outright.
I know, I know. That sounds alarmist. Frankly, I'm OK with that. I'm alarmed.
- 49 out of 90 serving legislators are ALEC members. While not a member, the Governor has publically pledged support for ALEC's agenda.
- Despite major companies like Coke, Pepsi, Intuit, and Kraft renouncing ALEC, I have yet to hear one of those 49 say that they might be reconsidering their association.
- Legislators are documented refering questions to ALEC lobbyists about the bills they themselves supposedly wrote and sponsor. Seems to me that if you are going to sponsor a bill, you darn well better understand it. I'm not sure some even READ them.
Unlike PFAW, I don't want ALEC stopped because I disagree with their entire agenda. In fact, in another post, I will talk about some of the grey areas and places where I disagree with PFAW's agenda.
What alarms me is the level of influence that one organization has over the laws being pushed in our state. If republican lawmakers want to get together and make a plan, fine. But a plan written by corproate interests and outsiders, backed by piles of money, is another thing entirely.
What also alarms me is that our elected officials don't seem to have a problem with being the puppets to these masters. They submit bills that read like photocopies of things submitted elsewhere, with little thought to the impact on the people they are SUPPOSED to work for; their constituents.
I sound very naive and idealistic right now, but I'm not ashamed of that. Maybe it's effect of having my blinders removed. Heck, maybe that's what I'm TRULY mad about; having my idealistic ideas about how government is supposed to be function proven so very, very wrong.