Arizona’s SB1070 is All About Business – Not Legalityby cell-out-arizona on Oct. 29, 2010, under Arizona, Immigration, Lobbyists, Privatization, SB 1070
Part II of Laura Sullivan’s exposé aired this morning on NPR. In it she details the inner workings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC was responsible for drafting the bill language for what became Arizona’s anti-immigrant bill SB1070 as well as several others just like it. Arizona was the only state that “successfully” passed the bill, but states like Pennsylvania and Michigan still have active legislation similar to SB1070. When private organizations can cloak the actions and efforts of companies like the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) it’s no wonder we can end up with anti-democratic racist laws being passed into law.
Shaping State Laws With Little Scrutiny
Laura Sullivan, October 29, 2010, NPR
When you walk into the offices of the American Legislative Exchange Council, it’s hard to imagine it is the birthplace of a thousand pieces of legislation introduced in statehouses across the county.
Only 28 people work in ALEC’s dark, quiet headquarters in Washington, D.C. And Michael Bowman, senior director of policy, explains that the little-known organization’s staff is not the ones writing the bills. The real authors are the group’s members — a mix of state legislators and some of the biggest corporations in the country.
“Most of the bills are written by outside sources and companies, attorneys, [and legislative] counsels,” Bowman says.
Here’s how it works: ALEC is a membership organization. State legislators pay $50 a year to belong. Private corporations can join, too. The tobacco company Reynolds American Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. and drug-maker Pfizer Inc. are among the members. They pay tens of thousands of dollars a year. Tax records show that corporations collectively pay as much as $6 million a year. (More…)