ALEC Moves to Extend Influence to the Local Level

Not satisfied with efforts that only focus on turning our 50 states over to corporate interests, ALEC’s new initiative reaches down to the local level to expand its influence: cities, counties, towns and even villages. 

ALEC’s American City County Exchange (ACCE) "will offer corporate America a direct conduit into the policy making process of city councils and municipalities," reports The Guardian.

Corporate lobbyists will now not only write model bills that get introduced by its mostly Republican legislators in the states, they will draft model resolutions, bills, and ordinances on the local level. 

ALEC

We’ve been reporting on efforts across dozens of states to weaken or eliminate solar net-metering, calling people that have solar  "free riders." That’s ALEC in action, implementing one of its prime "environmental" targets for 2014. Its "Updating Net Metering Policies Resolution" was used in the recent Arizona case.

Other model bills for this year retain lots of loopholes for the fracking industry and prevent EPA’s carbon regulations for power plants from going into effect.

But now, much of the action is occurring in cities and towns. Many are moving, for example, to ban fracking, prevent coal and natural gas export terminals and restricting railroads from carrying oil.

Mayors, city council members, and county board officials will all be hearing from ALEC’s new group – big corporations and fossil fuel interests.
As it so well know for on the state level, this new initiative will attempt to gain local officials as members, where they can work with corporate members to pass model right-wing legislation.

Besides further ingraining its ideology, ALEC hopes to attract enough local officials as members to close its budget gap. ALEC lost some 60 corporate members and 400 legislator members when its connection to Stand Your Ground Gun Laws was revealed. "There are almost 500,000 local elected officials, many with considerable powers over schools and local services that could be attractive to big business," reports The Guardian.

"It just wouldn’t be possible for any corporation to effectively lobby the hundreds of thousands of local elected officials in the US, which until now has left our local mayors and school board members largely free from the grasps of coordinated lobbyists. Alec is now trying to change that," Nick Surgey from the Center for Media and Democracy, told The Guardian. 

Attacks on science and scientists by ALEC and Heartland (both backed by the Koch Bros and big oil) are behind the poisoned debate over climate change policy. While Heartland stokes the attitude of climate denial,  ALEC writes and pushes the laws to turn back the clock.

Read our article, ALEC Gears Up For 2014.

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