Not a Smart ALEC: Stupid and Evil

I’ve discussed before how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate-backed lobbying group that has essentially written many laws at the state level, including Wisconsin, Florida, and Michigan, has a massive influence on U.S. politics. Well, it’s pretty clear ALEC needs smarter stooges:

Funded almost entirely by large corporations, ALEC produces “model legislation” favorable to industry that state lawmakers can introduce as their own bills. Usually, the legislators tweak the language of the bills to make them state-specific or to obfuscate their origins. Usually, but apparently not always.

In November, Florida state Rep. Rachel Burgin (R) introduced a resolution (PDF here) that would officially call on the federal government to reduce corporate taxes, but she apparently forgot to remove ALEC’s mission statement from the top of the bill, which she seems to have copied word-for-word from ALEC’s model bill:

As the government transparency group Common Cause reports, “Burgin quickly withdrew the bill hoping that no one had noticed and then re-introduced it 24-hours later, with a new bill number (HM 717), but now without the problematic paragraph.” Apparently no one noticed until this week.

In a sane political system, this person’s political career would be over. Good news for Burgin though.

Seriously, if you hear about any legislation that a private business can make a buck off of, ALEC is probably behind it. They don’t have your interests at heart, since there are two kinds of Republicans: millionaires and suckers. And there just aren’t that many millionaries…

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