John Nichols, a political reporter for The Nation, recently wrote the introduction to a series of articles about the relationship that state-based legislators have with a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a membership-only group that brings together state legislators and representatives of corporations to draft model bills that can then be introduced at the state level of government. An archive of ALEC documents was recently leaked to the Center for Media and Democracy.
"All of those pieces of legislation and those resolutions [in the documents] really err toward a goal, and that goes is the advancement of an agenda that seems to be dictated at almost every turn by multinational corporations," Nichols tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. “It’s to clear the way for lower taxes, less regulation, a lot of protection against lawsuits [and] ALEC is very, very active in [the] opening up of areas via privatization for corporations to make more money, particularly in places you might not usually expect like public education.” [complete interview here]
Also on the show: Louisiana State Rep. Noble Ellington, a Republican from the 20th district and the National Chairman of ALEC, responds to The Nation's report.