Will Wisconsin Follow Minnesota's Lead and Ban ALEC "Scholarships?"
"Wisconsin's neighbor Minnesota has a gift ban similar to that of the Dairy State, and in 1997, Minnesota's Campaign Finance and Disclosure Board prohibited the corporate-sponsored gifts. "The fact that the corporate money is passed through ALEC, a conduit for the gift, does not isolate the corporations from their status as givers," the Board wrote.
In March, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a complaint with Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board alleging the ALEC "scholarships" violate Wisconsin's ban on legislators receiving gifts from corporations that employ lobbyists in the state.
The Minnesota opinion was not discovered until recently, and CMD filed a supplemental letter with Wisconsin's GAB on December 6 bringing the issue to their attention."
Scholarships Create Appearance of Impermissible Quid Pro Quo
"Accordingly, Wisconsin legislators are appointed to task forces because they introduce ALEC Task Force bills -- which tend to benefit the task force's corporate members -- and the task force's corporate members then pay for gifts of flights and fancy hotel rooms worth hundreds, and cumulatively thousands, of dollars for those same legislators. Those flights and hotel rooms make it possible for legislators to attend additional ALEC Task Force meetings so they may be lobbied to introduce more task force model legislation. Such transactions reek of a quid pro quo."