In a rare moment of the mainstream media actually doing its job and potentially biting the hand that feeds it (in advertising revenues), WXIA TV in Atlanta went to a resort hotel where lawmakers and members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) exchange more than just words and ideas.
ALEC, if you aren’t familiar, is as Georgia Senator Nan Orrock (D) says, a “corporate bill mill” who cranks “out legislation.” ALEC is why we have several states passing nearly identical bills at almost the same time – and all of those bills are socially and economically conservative. Many are anti-choice, pro-gun, pro-discrimination and anti-union, anti-poor people, and all are pro-corporate and pro-billionaire.
According to Orrock, who was once a member of ALEC, bills are voted on by both legislators and representatives of corporations. I bet you didn’t hear about this part in Schoolhouse Rock. In fact, ALEC even writes the bills. If the bills make it out of the secret room, they then go to the legislature.
How does ALEC get lawmakers to cooperate? For one, they give them “ALEC scholarships” to attend meetings. These scholarships can be upwards of $10,000, which are legal bribes from corporations, filtered through ALEC. Did you know that ALEC is registered as an educational charity? That means the
bribes deductions scholarships are tax deductible for the corporations.
The most frightening thing about the video is that after the reporter began asking questions of an ALEC representative, he was escorted out of the hotel by a sheriff (a man paid by the taxpayers, not by the lobbyists), despite the fact that the reporter and the crew were paid guests of the hotel. When asked if the news crew was violating a law, the sheriff said to another sheriff, “don’t say nothing.”
Here’s the video:
Featured image courtesy of ShutDownTheCorporations.org.