Lobbying isn’t just a Beltway phenomenon. Big businesses take their fights to the states, where they can get their way with far less fuss and expense than on the national stage.
Even though the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council lost important sponsors in 2012 as a result of supporting voter ID and Stand Your Ground legislation, a new Bill Moyers investigation finds it remains a powerhouse.
From the opening segment of this show:
What if you were a corporation that stood to make a bundle if oil from the Canadian tar sands was imported by the United States?
And what if you thought federal laws to protect the environment were going to stop that oil-importing from happening?
You’d set your sights on Washington, spread some money around inside the beltway, hire big gun lobbyists to wine and dine the politicians, and stroke the regulators to let the “free market” work, right? Right. You would do all that, but you wouldn’t stop there.
You’d also take your battle to the states, because if you can get laws that serve your interest in one state capitol after another, it might not matter much what Washington has to say about it. Especially in a time like this when our national government is polarized, paralyzed, and dysfunctional and an obstinate minority is determined to keep it that way…
This is how ALEC has worked for years, pushing changes state by state that could never have been achieved if they had been put to the test of open and broad popular support. ALEC has been so successful working its will behind closed doors in secret, that most Americans had never even heard of it until recently.
Moyers also has an interactive map that allows you to put in your address and see if your state legislator is a member of ALEC.