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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-12 04:40 PM
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Report: Shadowy corporate group behind many laws passed in Florida
From Tampa Bay's The Buzz blog:

July 26, 2012

Some of the most controversial bills introduced recently in the Florida Legislature were thought up by out-of-state corporate interests with financial motives, according to a report released Thursday by a two national watchdog groups and Progress Florida. The report says the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is a shadowy force exerting an uncanny amount of power over Floridas lawmaking process.

ALEC advances so-called model bills on items like public education, immigration, labor issues, healthcare, gun rights and voter rights. Replicas of those business-friendly bills often end up in legislation sponsored by Florida lawmakers who are ALEC members, the report found.

Dozens of Florida lawmakers have ties to the group, which has been thrust into the spotlight this year as the main force behind the rapid spread of Floridas Stand Your Ground law across the country.

We realized that this was a massive corporate agenda that often puts the corporate agenda in front of public interest and in some cases, public safety, said Doug Clopp, of Common Cause, a liberal group. What ALEC represents is the poster child for a non-transparent that puts corporate profits ahead of the public interest.

Common Cause, along with the Center for Media and Democracy, and Progress Florida, authored the 50-page report.

The report claims that ALEC and its corporate partners woo Republican lawmakers with free trips to its resort-like annual meetings, then give them model legislation to pitch in their statehouses. In many cases, the legislation provides benefits for private companies, including prison operators, gun sellers, charter school operators and retailers.

The group is holding its annual meeting this week in Salt Lake City.

The report claims the following bills surfaced in Florida in recent years with language identical to ALEC model bills:

..... (list of 2011 and 2012 bills crafted by outside groups)

ALEC has denied the allegations, but, under pressure after the Trayvon Martin death, the group shut down its Public Safety and Elections task force in April. That committee was responsible for helping spread the Stand Your Ground law and voter identification laws.


A copy of the 50-page report is here.

Dozens of Florida Republicans at ALEC legislative conference courtesy of taxpayers, lobbyists, August 4, 2011

The Nation: How ALEC Took Florida's 'License to Kill' Law National, March 22, 2012

Report: American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) exerts unprecedented influence over Florida, July 26, 2012

List of Florida ALEC Politicians

Remember, Floridians, the way to stop these people and to effectively block Rick Scott's extremism in the Governor's office is to end the GOP control of the Legislature in November.

All seats in the Florida Senate and House are up for election in November. We must exercise the power that we the people have to change the legislature for the betterment of the people, at long last, instead of enabling this swarm of thieves to strip away Florida's future to line their own pockets.

Have we, finally, had enough of these people? I dare to hope, yes.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-27-12 12:36 AM
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1. Not only Florida. ALEC influences and writes legislation for 50 states and the feds.
Edited on Fri Jul-27-12 12:36 AM by No Elephants
And ALEC is small potatoes compared with the organizations with corporate members that work on foreign policy.

We have the best democracy that money can buy.
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