July 20, 2015
by Mary Bottari
This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or “ALEC,” will bring together hundreds of corporate lobbyists with state and local politicians at a posh hotel in San Diego for the group’s annual meeting. ALEC alum Scott Walker, who has signed over 20 ALEC bills into law, will address this month’s meeting, as well as Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, who participated in ALEC meetings before he joined the U.S. Senate. Community groups are planning on bringing a little transparency to the proceedings, by welcoming the candidates and ALEC participants on July 22.
ALEC has had a mixed year. Over a dozen companies, including tech giants Google and Facebook, stopped funding the group over its role in promoting climate change denial, yet after the 2014 elections gave Republicans control of 68 out of 98 state legislative bodies, some states have had few impediments to the corporate-friendly legislation that ALEC peddles. For example, in just the first half of 2015, Wisconsin became a “right to work” state and repealed the prevailing wage; Michigan blocked local control over minimum wage and paid sick days; and Texas banned cities from regulating fracking.
A look at the San Diego ALEC agenda tells us more about what ALEC has planned for 2015 and beyond.