ALEC-drafted ‘Model Bills’ Popping up Everywhere

In an op-ed published in the New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman puts a much-needed spotlight on the rightwing corporate front group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

“Despite claims that it’s nonpartisan, [ALEC] is very much a movement-conservative organization, funded by the usual suspects: the Kochs, Exxon Mobil, and so on,” wrote Krugman. “Unlike other such groups, however, it doesn’t just influence laws, it literally writes them, supplying fully drafted bills to state legislators.”

Through the corporate-funded ALEC, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern American rights. Krugman points to Florida’s now-infamous Stand Your Ground law, an ALEC-written bill used to justify the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

“If there is any silver lining to Trayvon Martin’s killing, it is that it might finally place a spotlight on what ALEC is doing to our society — and our democracy,” writes Krugman.

The so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations. “Many ALEC-drafted bills pursue standard conservative goals: union-busting, undermining environmental protection, tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy,” says Krugman. “Did I mention that ALEC has played a key role in promoting bills that make it hard for the poor and ethnic minorities to vote?

“Shining a light on ALEC and its supporters — a roster that includes many companies, from AT&T and Coca-Cola to UPS, that have so far managed to avoid being publicly associated with the hard-right agenda — is one good way to highlight what’s going on. And that kind of knowledge is what we need to start taking our country back.”

To read more of Krugman’s article, click here.