Corporate Sponsors Quit ALEC, Lansing Politicians Should Follow Suit

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Contact: Zack Pohl, (517) 980-6190zack@progressmichigan.org

Michigan citizens demand that lawmakers put constituents first

LANSING – To date, five major funders of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have indicated they will not renew their membership to the controversial conservative lobbying organization. Progress Michigan is now calling on Michigan lawmakers to join these corporate citizens and terminate their ALEC memberships. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Inc., Intuit, Inc., and the Gates Foundation have all made announcements in recent days amid mounting criticism over ALEC’s support for “Stand Your Ground” gun laws like the one in Florida that was implicated in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. 

Last year, Progress Michigan released a report on the pervasive influence of ALEC in the Michigan Legislature, noting several lawmakers who used taxpayer funds to pay their ALEC dues. A full list of Michigan lawmakers involved with ALEC is below.

“It’s time for these lawmakers to end their involvement with ALEC and commit to providing honest and open government to the people of Michigan,” said Zack Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “The fact that Coke, Pepsi, Kraft, Intuit and the Gates Foundation have all left ALEC speaks to just how toxic the group has become. It is ridiculous that corporations and the wealthy are allowed to draft bills that are passed by the Legislature, and it’s time to cut off the flow of special favors and easy access for this corporate front group so our elected leaders can focus on putting Michigan back to work.”

Below is a list of current and former Michigan lawmakers who have participated in ALEC, along with whether they’ve paid ALEC dues with taxpayer funds and the leadership role they have taken on through the task forces where lawmakers and corporate lobbyists vote behind closed doors on model legislation. The list contains research conducted by the Center for Media & Democracy. 

Michiganders can add their names to the petition at www.progressmichigan.org/ALEC.

 

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 MichiganCivil Justice Task Force.
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