Occupy ALEC in Arizona: Fight Corporate Influence In State Laws

ALEC will be in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, and so will Arizonans determined to shut down the  group’s “States and Nation Policy Summit.” ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with approximately $6.5 million in annual revenue. ALEC describes itself as a “nonpartisan national association of state legislators” and does count about 2,000 legislators (nearly one-third of state legislators) among its members — but these are almost all Republican. ALEC’s other members include some 300 corporations: Amazon.com, BP, AT&T, Chevron, UPS, Wall-Mart, Fed-Ex, Visa, TimeWarner, just to name a few whom you very likely patronize.

Two progressive advocacy groups including the Washington D.C,-based People for the American Way Foundation have released a report that shows just how deeply ALEC has entwined itself in Arizona’s legislature. The report, “ALEC in Arizona: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in the Halls of Arizona’s Legislature,” points out that nearly 50 Arizona lawmakers belong to ALEC:

Arizona corporations that provide financial support to ALEC include the Salt River Project, Taser International, and Pinnacle West Capital Corp., the parent company of Arizona Public Services Co., the state’s largest utility company.

“There’s no way ordinary citizens can match the level of access and influence that ALEC provides to these corporations,” Baker said. “So Arizonans are subjected to laws that serve the interests of the rich and powerful.”

In the report are side-by-side comparisons of dozens of “model bills” that were created at ALEC conferences and actual bills that have appeared in the Arizona legislature. ALEC officials indeed note that 19 out of 36 such “model bills” introduced into the Arizona legislature have become law. ALEC spokeswoman Kaitlyn Buss describes ALEC as a “resource” for legislators, though one with an admittedly particular focus, on promoting “free market, limited government and federalism (ideals).”

ALEC’s “model” legislation indeed has particular traits: It is anti-immigration, anti-union, and anti-federal health-care reform initiatives. You can thank ALEC for the growth of the private prison industry and for the continued attempts to privatize government functions, from public schools, utilities and transportation to the “regulation of public health, consumer safety and environmental quality.” Arizona corporations that support ALEC include Taser International and the Pinnacle West Capital Corp.,which is the parent company of the state’s largest utility company, Arizona Public Services Co.. ALEC also receives significant funding from the Charles Koch Foundation (CFK) and other hard-right groups.

Occupy ALEC is just one group planning to protest excessive corporation influence in the Arizona state legislature by rallying at the ALEC conference in Scottsdale. On Wednesday, the first day of conference, there are plans for a noise protest, a “Business Suit bloc” and other tactics; Thursday will see a march at Freeport McMoran, a number of decentralized actions, and a speaking event with the publisher of ALECexposed.org. More about the protest can be seen via this  schedule.

In Arizona, ALEC is in danger of taking over the state legislature and the state’s laws, if it hasn’t already. High time to occupy ALEC and expose the connections among corporate greed, corporate legislation and community oppression.

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Photo by Elvert Barnes


Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Portland N
ALEC has been around for thirty years and lead the assault against any meaningful health care reform. OK you have a pre-exisiting condition, do you already have healthcare. I am confused because if you could afford private insurance you could easily afford the Premium under the Health Care Reform Act. You say that you are also anti-federal healthcare reform, if you do not have health care now are you covered under Medicare/ Medicaid. They are both federal health care that the Right now is now trying to kill. If you have no insurance and end up at a hospital, the audience of one of the Republican debates applauded you being allowed to die rather than to give you care. I am sure Jesus asked everyone he healed if they had insurance coverage. You do know it would not be posible let alone feasible to build that border fence through vast areas of the American/Mexican Border. Passing "papers please" laws in Arizona and Alabama may have forced undocumented aliens further into the underground but has also cost both states hundreds of millions of dollars as the crops rotted in the fields and orchards across both states. Documented aliens steer clear of both states because if they get swept up in the system their families are broken up for months and even years at a time.If you are not full blooded native American there is a good chance that you are a decendent of illegal aliens.

Nancy L.
Nancy L6 years ago

Thanks for posting.

Portland Neola
P. L. Neola6 years ago

ALEC is very new to me. I am all for the anti-immigration. I am for building the border fence. I am also anti-federal healthcare reform, because I have a pre-existing health condition and I do not like being forced to invest in mandatory health insurance, of which I can no longer afford nowadays. But, with everything else, I am uncertain and very uncomfortable.

Mary J.
Mary J6 years ago

http://www.boycotteverything.com is a site thats been up for about 3 months. Lots of great articles, lots of stuff to talk about, but no one will open up and post. Only 4 members now, but the founder, V is aching to get some banter on. Please check it out. I know anyone reading this will find a venting ground there.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Anyone who needs any information, help in uderstanding or just words of encouragement can email me through my Care 2 page.

Of course you will have the koch-roaches like Mike C, Diane O, Steve R and all the rest of the wanna-be 1%ers who think if they do their dirty work, their overlords will seat them at their table. Pity them, they know not what they do.

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Martha E (cont'd)
Talk to family, friends and neighbors about the threat ALEC poses to America, her economy and her democracy, like they say talk is cheap except if you pay by the minute...lol. Find and visit an Occupy site near you and offer you support, kind words can go a long way in showing that they have support of millions of Americans. This is no longer a left-right, Democatic vs Republican fight and has not been for quite a while. Americans have been purposely divided so that we keep an eye on each other rather than what these thieves, plutocrats and their minions have been doing. The more we get the word out there the more solidarity we can show in opposing this American coup d'état the more likely we can actually stop it before too much damage has been done. They want us to be afraid of police in combat gear coming to knock down our doors to silence us like they have to Occupy encampments across America but Occupy and the 99% are not going away they are getting smarter and more mobile. They want us to be silent and to disappear from public view but we cannot and should not for our sakes and our children's and grandchildren's. The Senate is now trying to ram through a bill that gives the government to declare Americans on American soil to be enemy combatants and to be able to detain them indefintely incommunicado...
I pray to God this is not the next weapon against the Occupy movement. Call your Senators to have them kill this bill ASAP. Anyone who need

Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Martha E
Individually we may not have the $$$ like the members of ALEC do but but if only a tenth of Americans (30 million people) stopped buying goods and services made or sold by ALEC Corporate members targeting two or more each week we could send a very powerful message to ALEC. If we each boycotted 2 $3.00 products a week that would be a hit of $180,000,000 dollars a week to their bottom lines...something they would definitely notice. Find other retailers other than Walmart to shop. Find out if your state and federal legislators are carrying the water for ALEC and not for the people who voted them in and if they are contribute what you can to their opponents. Support the Occupy movement any way you can, they are the most visible and vocal segments in the 99% vs 1% war that has been ongoing for 30 years. Push your federal Congressmen and Senators to call for a ban on police using force on peaceful protestors...

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

It's extremely discouraging because we the people don't have the money to influence, like the corporations do. I'll keep fighting, but with the Supremes deciding that corporations are people, I am very discouraged.

Mike Chrissie
Mike Chrissie6 years ago

Ho hum

Sandra B.
Sandra B.6 years ago

We need to OCCUPY Washington, and OCCUPY at the voting booth