Yesterday, community leaders in Arizona spoke out against the undue influence that corporations hold in our democracy. With the help of secretive organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), wealthy corporations and special interests are able to sit down with state lawmakers and present “model bills” that serve to transfer taxpayer dollars and public resources into a few private hands – with the goal of privatizing schools and prisons, rolling back environmental regulations and attacking workers’ rights, to name a few.
Coinciding with an ALEC meeting in Scottsdale, speakers at a press conference in front of the Arizona State House identified specific ALEC legislation that has directly impacted their families and communities. Present at the event were many concerned Arizonans, activists, the media and groups such as Occupy Phoenix.
People For the American Way Foundation and Common Cause released a joint report, “ALEC in Arizona: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in the Halls of Arizona’s Legislature,” which examines the extensive influence wielded by corporations, with the assistance of ALEC, in shaping Arizona’s laws through a side-by-side comparison of ALEC model legislation and actual bills submitted by ALEC-associated politicians.
The full video is available here.