Reporter Blocked from Meeting of Legislators and Corporate Lobbyists.

June 9, 2015 in News, Video by Slad

“Georgia senator, and former ALEC member, Nan Orrock, called the group a ‘corporate bill-mill‘, where votes on potential legislation count corporate votes on an equal footing with representatives’.”

Corporate Capitol

 

Lobbyists and lawmakers rubbed elbows and shared spoils at a recent meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held in a Savannah, Georgia resort hotel.

Georgia senator, and former ALEC member, Nan Orrock, called the group a ‘corporate bill mill’, where votes on potential legislation count corporate votes on an equal footing with representatives’.

11 Alive News investigative reporter, Brendan Keefe, attempted to conduct interviews and observe proceedings at the resort, as legislators sat across the table from lobbyists.

Keefe recorded a New England legislator, who is an ALEC member, and two lobbyists, in the resort’s bar, admitting that fees paid by lobbyists pay the cost of the trip for member legislators.
The corporations’ tailor-made bills handed down at meetings like this one –some of which are simply fill-in-the-blank forms– pass into law even more seamlessly; in one instance, nearly word-for-word.

After being turned away at the meeting room door, he’s calmly ignored or misdirected by several staffers, while failing to have even one of his questions answered satisfactorily.
Meetings of legislators are normally open to journalists with Keefe’s credentials, however, lawmakers have exempted themselves from transparency laws, and ALEC, likewise, had no intention of allowing coverage of the event.

Eventually, despite the fact he was a paying guest of the hotel, he was surrounded by off-duty Sheriff’s Deputies and asked to leave.

-MS


 

The Civil Liberties Defense Center features a large trove of information on ALEC, here:
http://cldc.org/dissent-democracy/patriot-act-government-repression/fighting-corporate-control/ 

 


VIDEO

The Investigators: ALEC – The Backroom Where Laws Are Born

BrendanKeefeMMJ
Published on May 20, 2015

This is a glimpse into the world of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-funded charity that pays for lawmaker trips to resorts where they leave with ready-to-pass bills.
Neither ALEC nor the Georgia legislature would show us where the money comes from, or whom it goes to.