ALEC Director of External Relations Caitlyn Korb spoke yesterday at a Heritage Foundation "Bloggers Briefing," begging conservative bloggers for help while prepping "a very aggressive campaign to really spread the word about what we actually do." Korb appears to be a new ALEC employee who recently worked for the Cato Institute. Both ALEC and Cato have received funding from Koch family foundations. The Heritage Foundation is an ALEC member.Today, at a luncheon hosted by the Augusta and Staunton Democratic Committees, Delegate David Toscano and Senator Creigh Deeds briefly touched on ALEC's influence in the Virginia General Assembly. Each man noted that ALEC has recently removed previously public information from their website. Delegate Toscano said that he'd found some bills that were clearly modeled on ALEC's draft legislation. But, neither seemed to have first-hand knowledge with Deeds noting that "none of the legislators with whom I associate have attended their conferences...." Well, I didn't really expect either of these guys to have direct relations with ALEC, but many Valley Republicans are roosting with ALEC on a regular basis.
Along with the Citizen's United case, super pacs, and voter suppression laws ALEC threatens the very roots of our democracy by separating citizens from a meaningful say in their government. As I proclaimed in an earlier post, it is everyone's duty to stay informed and follow ALEC's subverting and corrupting influence. If you patronize companies that support ALEC let them know your strong disapproval and take your business elsewhere. Sign PROGRESS|VA's petition to send a message to legislators to stand with constituents rather than ALEC. Join with Common Cause and the national campaign to expose the corrupting influence of ALEC.
Around here, when all the turkeys are removed from the poultry house the doors and windows are opened to allow breezes and sunlight to cleanse the fowl environment. That's exactly what we must do with the American Legislative Exchange Council - cleanse the foul environment. In politics as on the farm, bright sunlight is the best disinfectant.
More on ALEC at Mother Jones.
UPDATE 4/23/12: The New York Times exposes ALEC in a front page story, "Conservative Nonprofit Acts as a Stealth Business Lobbyist."