by Max Brantley
Arkansas legislators, particularly Republicans, are on board with the fatcat-underwritten American Legislative Exchange Council, a lobby masquerading as an educational organization that churns out cookie cutter legislation for introduction by compliant state legislators. ALEC provided the playbook, among others, for Arkansas Republican obstructionism on implementing broader health coverage under new federal law.
In Virginia, a group has put a pencil to ALEC influence and found a "disturbing" level of influence in that legislature, 50 bills since 2007. I bet the number here is higher than you might think. Arkansas legislators even brought in ALEC staffers to testify for the legislation they pressed on the local yokels.