The 50-page document spells out, in exquisite detail how ALEC is able to exercise undue influence over public policy and lawmaking by wining and dining Republican legislators.
Every member of the current 2013 Republican leadership, in both the Arizona state House and Senate, is identified as a current or recent ALEC member. Arizona consistently has one of the highest concentrations of ALEC legislators of any state in the United States – at least 49 of the 90 legislators in 2011-2012 were members of ALEC. This report identifies 35 current legislators as known to be current or recent ALEC members. Following a high turnover election in 2012, in which 29 new legislators were elected, the actual number is likely much higher, but ALEC refuses to disclose to the public the names of the public officials that are “members.” (emphasis added)
Some of the ALEC “model” bills found in the 2013 Arizona legislature would:
- Defund Arizona’s public school system by expanding vouchers and charter schools
- Eliminate the collective bargaining rights of organized workers
- Change laws dealing with class action lawsuits so corporations and manufacturers can escape liability for injuring or killing Arizonans
- Change state laws to strip the power of organized workers and labor unions in negotiating contracts and make it harder for workers to fund their unions
- Move to eliminate Arizona’s public retirement security system and require employees to opt into risky defined contribution plans
- Undermine reforms in the federal Affordable Care Act that would expand healthcare coverage to Arizonans
- Oppose legislation to limit gun violence and make it harder to protect against gun deaths
This report adds new findings to two previous reports about ALEC’s influence in Arizona, released in November 2011 and April 2012. ALEC bills introduced in past Arizona legislative sessions, include the controversial SB 1070 immigration law, several voter suppression and voter ID bills, a prison privatization bill, and anti-environment bills that promote a polluters’agenda.The framers of Arizona's Constitution made certain that a mechanism for corporate accountability for harming citizens and workers was clearly included in the founding document. That has NOT stopped ALEC-owned lawmakers from finding ways to chip away at those constitutional protections.
The link above will take you to the full report. We must not allow ALEC to continue undermining the rights of Arizonans.
By the way, at last night's event, panelists remarked about Arizona being a "subsidiary" ALEC. The event focused on members of the Arizona Legislature. Perhaps the NEXT edition of the ALEC in Arizona report should explore the way the Arizona Corporation Commission is effectively now a WHOLLY OWNED subsidiary of ALEC.
Coverage of yesterday's press conference by Phoenix news team from KPHO Channel 5
CBS 5 - KPHO