Bloomberg has a good piece on the money and big-time corporate influence behind the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that provides conservative state lawmakers with cookie-cutter legislation so they don't have to do any of that pesky thinking themselves. ALEC is currently holding its annual conference in New Orleans. Count Reps. Ed Garner and Andrea Lea among the attendants (Surely there are others. Garner and Lea have made mention of the conference through social media outlets). Lea tweeted this morning that she was attending a conference with "Dr Craig Idso-author 'Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment.'" Yes, you read that correctly. Hopefully Idso and conference attendees have read Orwell's "Politics and the English Language." From the Bloomberg story:
The opportunity for corporations to become co-authors of state laws legally through ALEC covers a wide range of issues from energy to taxes to agriculture. The price for participation is an ALEC membership fee of as much as $25,000 — and the few extra thousands to join one of the group’s legislative-writing task forces. Once the “model legislation” is complete, it’s up to ALEC’s legislator members to shepherd it into law.
“This is just another hidden way for corporations to buy their way into the legislative process,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a Washington-based group that advocates for limits on money in politics.