Corporate Backers quit ALEC, Lansing politicians should follow suit

We’ve written in this space about the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council several times before, but in recent weeks their organization has faced renewed scrutiny. This is in part thanks to revelations that they have worked diligently (and secretly) to pass “Kill-At-Will” laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law that let Trayvon Martin’s killer go free, union-busting laws like in Wisconsin, and voter suppression efforts across the country. 

ALEC is not just another conservative advocacy outfit. An estimated 98 percent of their funding comes from big corporations, not grassroots members. Corporate lobbyists write ALEC “model legislation” and then send these bills off to state capitols around the country – including to Republican politicians in Lansing, several of whom were caught last year paying their ALEC dues with taxpayer funds

Laws are supposed to protect our rights and help keep us safe – that’s just common sense. In the wildest example of an ALEC bill designed to do nothing more than protect its corporate benefactors, Rep. Joe Haveman, who represents the safest Republican seat in the state House, introduced and passed an ALEC model bill that released a Pennsylvania corporation from liability for making workers sick by asbestos exposure. Attempting to defend his copied-and-pasted legislation from the single media outlet that questioned him on it, Rep. Haveman said it shows that Michigan is “open for business.” 

This is unacceptable. Sign our petition – demand that Republican politicians withdraw from ALEC immediately.

So far, progressive activists have been able to convince Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, Intuit, Inc., and the Gates Foundation to stop funding ALEC. Turns out their far-right agenda doesn’t look very good when a little transparency is introduced.

Republican politicians in Lansing have proved again and again that they are far more concerned with protecting their corporate lobbyist buddies than creating jobs or adopting real reforms that would protect Michiganders and help preserve our rights. Now it’s time for us to fight back. Sign our petition and demand that Republicans in Lansing cut off the flow of special favors and easy access for this corporate front group immediately.

Note: list of lawmakers with ALEC ties below.

 

Michigan House of Representatives

 

Michigan Senate

  • Former Sen. Jason Allen (R-37) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2006. Former ALEC State Chairman for Michigan. Currently is the Senior Deputy Director for Veterans Affairs at the Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs.
  • Former Sen. Patricia Birkholz (R-24) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2005. Currently is the director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes.
  • Sen. Darwin Booher (R-35) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2005, 2007 and 2009 while a state representative.
  • Sen. Bruce Caswell (R-16) – Health and Human Services Task Force.
  • Sen. Mike Green (R-31) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2011.
  • Sen. Goeff Hansen (R-34) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2005, 2007 and 2009 while a state representative.
  • Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R-29) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2005, 2007 and 2009 while a state representative, and in 2011 while a state senator.
  • Sen. Rick Jones (R-24) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 while a state representative.
  • Sen. Mike Kowall (R-15) – paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2009 while a state representative, and in 2011 while a state senator.
  • Sen. Arlan Meekhof (R-30) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2009 while a state representative.
  • Sen. John Moolenar (R-36) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2007 while a state representative.
  • Sen. Mike Nofs (R-19) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2008 while a state representative.
  • Sen. David Robertson (R-26) – paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds in 2005.
  • Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-20) – ALEC State Chairman for Michigan, Civil Justice Task Force.
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