A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC—the American Legislative Exchange Council—presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership.” But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.
In state houses around the country, hundreds of pieces of boilerplate ALEC legislation are proposed or enacted that would, among other things, ease environmental regulations, dilute collective bargaining rights, make it harder for some Americans to vote and limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers—each accomplished without the public ever knowing who’s behind it.
Using interviews, documents and field reporting, this episode of Moyers & Company explores ALEC’s self-serving machine at work, acting in a way one Wisconsin politician describes as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.”
Following up on a 2012 report, this update includes new examples of corporate influence on state legislation and lawmakers, the growing public protest against ALEC’s big business-serving agenda, and internal tactics ALEC is instituting to further shroud its actions and intentions.
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