August 10, 2015 11:00 pm -

[su_center_b]And the ever-erudite Josh Marshall explains exactly why he is the GOP’s most notorious “pay-to-play” candidate at TPM:

Two weeks before the first GOP debate, when other presidential candidates were in Iowa or New Hampshire, two GOP contenders – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – were at a San Diego resort headlining the annual conference hosted by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Commonly known as ALEC, the group is somewhat unique in American politics. It boasts more than 2,000 members of state legislatures, the vast majority of whom are Republican. And at its annual meetings and other sponsored retreats and events, it pairs those state lawmakers with lobbyists and executives from its roster of corporate members. Together, lawmakers and private interests jointly collaborate on subcommittees – ALEC calls them ‘task forces’ – to set the group’s legislative agenda and draft portable ‘model’ bills that can then be taken home to legislators’ home states to be introduced as their own initiatives. The private sector members of these task forces have veto power over each committee’s agenda and actions. ALEC’s agenda, therefore, always prioritizes the interests and voices of its donors over elected lawmakers.

ALEC doesn’t publish a list of either its corporate members or its publicly-elected legislator-members. It doesn’t allow members of the media to access its conferences. And it doesn’t disclose its donor list. Much of what we know about the group comes from periodic voluntary individual disclosures and a large Wikileaks-style whisteblower cache of documents.

The Doc urges you to take in the whole thing here.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.