Not So Strange Bedfellows

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 17 2011 @ 6:35pm

by Zoë Pollock

Pareene peeks under the sheets of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Or as he calls it, a "sort of a for state lawmakers and the nation's worst industry lobbies":

Here's how the ALEC process works: GOP state legislators go to fancy conferences where they sit down with lobbyists and right-wing activists and draft right-wing legislation together. They return home and introduce it without mentioning the source. The lobbies then throw some cash at the legislators working to advance their agenda. Then, these days, the bill passes, and everyone else gets around to getting outraged about it, long after their outrage would do much good. Repeat.

This is how incredibly similar anti-immigration bills end up passing, independently, in Arizona and Tennessee. This is how bills against public employee collective bargaining end up passing in Wisconsin and Indiana. This is the process behind state resolutions banning the establishment of "Obamacare." Our biggest national wars are being fought, and largely won, in the statehouses, with liberal activists not even joining the fight until after they've lost it.

The Nation has an entire series exploring the legislation that's been passed with ALEC's help. The full trove of leaked documents is here.