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New Report Exposes Extreme ALEC Agenda in Arizona

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Seventeen bills introduced in the Arizona legislature in 2013 can be tied to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and every member of the Republican leadership in the state are current or recent ALEC members, according to a new report

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JL A (282)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 3:06 pm
PR Watch
Published on PR Watch (

New Report Exposes Extreme ALEC Agenda in Arizona
by Nick Surgey [1] — April 4, 2013 - 11:08am

Flag of ArizonaSeventeen bills introduced in the Arizona legislature in 2013 can be tied to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and every member of the Republican leadership in the state are current or recent ALEC members, according to a new report from the Center for Media and Democracy and its allies "ALEC in Arizona: The Voice Of Corporate Special Interests In The Halls Of Arizona’s Legislature [5]."

“ALEC is a secretive but powerful force in Arizona politics,” said Lisa Graves, CMD’s Executive Director. “This report exposes how corporations and Arizona legislators, have worked together to keep citizens in the dark about ALEC’s extreme agenda.”

"ALEC in Arizona" identifies seventeen bills introduced in the 2013 session that appear to reflect ALEC model legislation. These bills would defund Arizona’s public school system (SB 1409 [6] and HB 2617) [7], eliminate collective bargaining rights (HB 2330) [8], undermine the Affordable Care Act (HB 2588 [9]) and make it more difficult for Arizonans to sue corporations using class action lawsuits (SB 1452 [10]).
ALEC, the Goldwater Institute and Americans For Prosperity

The report documents how the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, along with David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Arizona (AFP-Arizona), are working to support the ALEC agenda in Arizona. Both Goldwater and Americans for Prosperity are members of ALEC.

This session, six ALEC members, including Arizona state chair Debbie Lesko, co-sponsored HB 2588, which would undermine reforms from the Affordable Care Act. The language is nearly identical to the ALEC “Health Freedom Compact Act, [11]” which was sponsored as a 2011 ALEC bill by Goldwater’s Nick Dranias. Goldwater then created a 2013 video ad [12] opposing the creation of an Arizona health insurance exchange, while AFP-Arizona list blocking the expansion of Medicare under the Affordable Care Act as their number one legislative objective [13] for Arizona in 2013.

Another bill that would prohibit public employees in Arizona from taking leave for union activity - SB 1348 [14] – is a virtual carbon copy of the ALEC “Prohibition on Paid Union Activity (Release Time) by Public Employees Act [15]”, which was sponsored by Goldwater [16] at the ALEC conference in North Carolina in 2012. AFP-Arizona list this issue as their number six legislative objective for 2013 [13]. At least ten ALEC legislators co-sponsored the bill. A recent report [17]co-released by CMD and Arizona Working Families, investigated Goldwater’s activities in more depth, examining their involvement within ALEC and their other lobbying activities.
Arizona Legislators Operate Secret Scholarship Scheme

Every member of the 2013 Arizona Republican leadership is listed as being a current or recent ALEC member, as are 27 other Arizona lawmakers. Despite ALEC’s non-partisan claims, every one of the 35 identified members are Republican. After a high turnover election in November 2012, during which 13 ALEC members left the legislature, 26 freshman Arizona legislators took up their seats in January. As ALEC step up their legislator recruitment this month ahead of their spring conference in Oklahoma City from May 2-3, 2013, the number of Arizona ALEC members will likely increase even more, and as they are discovered we will make this information public on

The report also details more than $200,000 worth of gifts paid to legislators through the Arizona ALEC “scholarship” fund, using money solicited by Arizona legislators from corporate lobbyists. By using ALEC as a conduit, the fund operates to hide the actual identity of the corporations who wrote the checks. Between 2006 and 2011, these corporations included Salt River Project ($30,000), University of Phoenix ($10,000), Freeport-McMoRan ($12,000) and Apollo Group/Insight Schools ($12,000).

Legislators documented as receiving awards include seven of the eight current Arizona Republican leadership. Between 2006-2011, Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin received $5,945.27 in gifts from the fund, Senate Whip Adam Driggs got $9,610.83 and ALEC Arizona chair Debbie Lesko received $6,149.76. The internal workings of the Arizona fund, as well as identical funds in other states, were explored in another recent report that CMD co-released in November 2012, titled “Buying Influence: How the American Legislative Exchange Council Uses Corporate-Funded “Scholarships” to Send Lawmakers on Trips with Corporate Lobbyists. [18]”

ALEC in Arizona was released today by CMD, Arizona Working Families, Progress Now Education, People For The American Way Foundation and Common Cause, at a press conference outside the Arizona State House. This is the third annual report on ALEC’s influence in Arizona. Previous reports exposed the connections between ALEC and the controversial SB1070 anti-immigration law, as well as numerous other anti-worker and anti-environmental bills based on ALEC “model” bills.

Read the full Arizona report here [5].

Attachment Size
ALEC_In_Arizona_2013.pdf [5] 1.03 MB
Center for Media and Democracy • 520 University Avenue, Suite 260 • Madison, Wisconsin 53703
Phone: 608-260-9713 • Fax: 608-260-9714
Source URL:

[11] ohio.pdf

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 3:11 pm
... and there it is AGAIN-KILL the beast! Tear up these bills, not even good for toilet paper. This shit is getting dangerous, pre-primary stuff in full swing.

JL A (282)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 4:03 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 4:54 pm
This is a covert push to destroy individual rights and freedoms which will result in a police/fascist state. America must be destroyed at all costs and brought to heel. 300+ million Americans speaking their minds scares the bejeesus out of the Euro elites. Subdue America and you get your one world government. What do you think Putin's up to in Russia. He too serves the masters.

Holly Lawrence (430)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 6:07 pm
Arizona just plain sucks! Why does this State keep getting away with this crap????

JL A (282)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 6:57 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Holly because you have done so within the last day.

TomCat S (132)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 4:09 am
Calling an ALEC agenda extreme is like calling a Vatican agenda Catholic.

Gene J (290)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 5:21 am
Oh, it isn't just Arizona, J L, Alec has been doing this since the red takeover in 2010, those same bills, word for word, popped up in every state they took over. Including here in Minnesota where the republicans took both Houses for the first time ever, fortunately we elected a Democratic governor to hold them at bay. That legislature spent two years trying to pass all of Alec's agenda, unsuccessfully, though they campaigned on jobs, jobs, jobs, just like the big boy republicans nationally. The good news, for us, is that once Minnesotan's saw their extremist agenda for what it was, we turned them back out of office in 2012 and took back both Houses. All of the Senators elected in 2010 will be gone in 2014. I am extremely hopeful the same thing will happen at the national level and just want the Democratic party to field a NEW, bright face to the American people for President. I'd like that to be a woman. There are many who would do wonderful things in that office, I don't want the dogfight to fracture the party, but it is time a woman got that nomination. I'm not sure Hilary will want it or can win it, she's still a polarizing force. I love Tammy Baldwin in the Senate and she is first term but I also think she'd make an outstanding President. The next four years are going to be very interesting.

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 5:31 am
Noted thanks

JL A (282)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 8:06 am
You are welcome Carol.
Sure isn't just AZ Gene. Thank you for the MN snapshot of what was tried and the backlash as a model to observe and follow elsewhere.

Birgit W (160)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 2:46 pm

Lois Jordan (63)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 3:43 pm
Thanks for posting, JL. Yes, we've had a terrible time with this ALEC-supported bunch here in AZ. Fortunately, redistricting did help a bit, though--my 3 terrible GOP legislators were replaced with 3 Dems. who have all expressed support for a progressive agenda when I write them. They are among an expanding group voting against GOP interests.
The main problem is up in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located. It has been "Goldwater country" for longer than I can even remember. Although Goldwater turned out in the end to be more of a centrist, the Mormons have overtaken much of the politics, and ALEC boosted them by supplying even more money. Down here in So. AZ, we have a large progressive population fighting against the Phoenix bunch.
Some good news today: there's an "anti-Arpaio" rally down here---which is quite a message being sent "up north" since Arpaio has no say here...we're out of his jurisdiction. Our local Occupy is also very active with protests.

JL A (282)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 3:46 pm
You are welcome Lois. Thanks for providing more information about the AZ political context related to this story!

Yvonne Taylor (37)
Saturday April 13, 2013, 6:51 am
Shared, thank you.

JL A (282)
Saturday April 13, 2013, 7:41 am
You are welcome Yvonne.
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