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ALEC's Corporate Stranglehold on Georgia Laws

ALEC's Corporate Stranglehold on Georgia Laws

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Published by bettergeorgia
The American Legislative Exchange Council, is remarkably powerful in Peach State politics. ALEC and its legislative leaders in the state have supported and pushed some of Georgia’s most devastating legislation. ALEC’s agenda is a combination of an arch-conservative ideology and the pecuniary interests of corporations. The resulting ALEC “model bills” that have been adopted by ALEC task forces and have advanced in Georgia have harmed the rights and opportunities of everyday citizens in the process.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, is remarkably powerful in Peach State politics. ALEC and its legislative leaders in the state have supported and pushed some of Georgia’s most devastating legislation. ALEC’s agenda is a combination of an arch-conservative ideology and the pecuniary interests of corporations. The resulting ALEC “model bills” that have been adopted by ALEC task forces and have advanced in Georgia have harmed the rights and opportunities of everyday citizens in the process.

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Published by: bettergeorgia on Oct 13, 2013
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10/21/2013

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An investigative report by
Better
Georgia
BETTERGEORGIA.COM
ALEC’sCorporate Strangleholdon Georgia Laws
 
1
Table Of Contents
EY 
F
INDINGS
................................................................................................................................. 2 A 
BOUT
 ALEC .................................................................................................................................. 3G
EORGIAN
P
OLITICIANS
 A 
SSOCIATED
 W 
ITH
 ALEC ........................................................................... 5Current Office Holders .......................................................................................................... 5Former Office Holders ........................................................................................................... 8 ALEC
 
C
ONVENTION
 A 
TTENDANCE
................................................................................................. 10T
HE
M
ONEY 
T
RAIL
........................................................................................................................ 23Campaign Finances .............................................................................................................. 23 ALEC ‘Scholarships’ In Georgia .......................................................................................... 23Lobbyist Financed Excursions ............................................................................................ 25I
SSUES
 A 
ND
B
ILLS
.......................................................................................................................... 26
 Education ................................................................................................................................ 26
  ALEC’s School Voucher Bills In Georgia ............................................................................. 26 ALEC’s Voucher Tax Credits In Georgia ............................................................................. 29 ALEC’s Virtual Education In Georgia ................................................................................. 32
 Health Care ............................................................................................................................. 33
  ALEC’s Worst Practices: Copy and Paste Healthcare Credit .............................................. 33 ALEC’s Worst Practices: Health Insurance ......................................................................... 35 ALEC’s Worst Practices: Tax Cuts For Insurance Companies ............................................ 38 ALEC’s Bill To Lower Healthcare Standards ...................................................................... 41 ALEC’s Plan To End Medicare In Georgia .......................................................................... 43
 Immigration and Guns ........................................................................................................... 47 
  ALEC’s Draconian Immigration Bill In Georgia ................................................................. 47 ALEC’s Kill At Will Bill In Georgia ...................................................................................... 49
Taxes ........................................................................................................................................ 50
  ALEC’s Tax Plans In Georgia ............................................................................................... 50 ALEC’s Autopilot Tax Cuts Bill In Georgia ......................................................................... 51
Crony Capitalism .................................................................................................................... 53
  ALEC’s Asbestos Bill In Georgia .......................................................................................... 53 ALEC’s Bill To Alter Common Law ..................................................................................... 56 ALEC’s Bill To Limit Citizens Ability To Sue ...................................................................... 58 ALEC’s PR Model Resolution In Georgia ............................................................................ 59 ALEC’s Internet Restriction Bill In Georgia ........................................................................ 61 APPENDIX
 
 A:
 
 ALEC’
S
C
 AMPAIGN
C
OMMITTEE
C
ONTRIBUTIONS
/R 
EIMBURSEMENTS
 ..................... 63 APPENDIX
 
B:
 
C
 AMPAIGN
C
OMMITTEE
S
PENDING
O
N
 ALEC ......................................................... 64 APPENDIX
 
C:
 
G
EORGIA 
S
 ALEC
 
S
CHOLARSHIP
 A 
CCOUNT
B
 ALANCE
S
HEETS
,
 
2006-2008 ............. 75 APPENDIX
 
D:
 
 ALEC
 
ELATED
L
OBBYIST
E
XPENDITURES
.............................................................80
 
2
Key Findings
The American Legislative Exchange Council, is remarkably powerful in Peach State politics. ALEC andits legislative leaders in the state have supported and pushed some of Georgia’s most devastatinglegislation. ALEC’s agenda is a combination of an arch-conservative ideology and the pecuniary interestsof corporations. The resulting ALEC “model bills” that have been adopted by ALEC task forces and haveadvanced in Georgia have harmed the rights and opportunities of everyday citizens in the process.
 
Georgia has the most ALEC Legislators of any state in the country.
Seventy-onemembers of the legislature, all Republicans, are associated with ALEC; Georgia has by far themost of any state. Additionally, half of Georgia’s federal representatives are ALEC members oralumni.
 
 
Georgia’s ALEC members are incredibly active in ALEC. Sen. Chip Rogers, and Rep. Casas heldleadership positions in ALEC, while Sen. Judson Hill does currently.
Each ALEC conventionattracts a large number of Georgian legislators, numbering into the dozens.
It is notknown how many are attending ALEC’s 40
th
Annual Convention in Chicago, Aug 7-9
th
.
 
The large number of legislators outside the limelight attracts
swarms of lobbyists
. Legislatorshave received
over $140,000 in lobbyist gifts
while attending ALEC conventions. Inaddition, ALEC has a
special fund set up to avoid disclosure
, called the ‘scholarship’ fund.It funnels money secretly from corporations to legislators to pay for travel, totaling more than$170,000 over only three years.
 And an additional $155,000
in expenditures from campaignaccounts.
The conflicts of interest from this torrent of cash are numerous andunconscionable.
With limited financial disclosure, this report attempts to connect the dots between the corporate interests providing gobs of money to legislators.
 
Georgia doesn’t have many ALEC bills; Georgia has ALEC laws.
The authors of thisreport lacked the capacity to identify every ALEC law enacted in Georgia. Dozens of ALEC billshave been enacted into law recently. This report highlights a selection of the ALEC bills enactedin Georgia, and expose the real world results of those policies. The results have been horrible.
 
 
 ALEC’s education policies enacted in Georgia are a catastrophe.
Thanks in large part tothe efforts of Rep. Casas, Georgia has enacted ALEC’s model voucher policies, and foregone theaccountability efforts that should come with such legislation to disastrous results.
 
 
 ALEC’s healthcare policies enacted in Georgia are a series of ineffective giveawaysto the insurance industry.
Sen. Judson Hill has gone to great lengths to work with insuranceand pharmaceutical corporations to pass whatever they want, and even had the audacity to try tomake these models for the nation. These policies are failures, not models. Georgia has the fifthhighest percentage of people who lack health insurance.
1
 
 
 ALEC’s brand of crony capitalism
has produced bills to rig the legal system for corporations,prevent capitalist competition, and even
outsourced the design of tax plans to ALEC andits corporate allies.
 ALEC’s Annual Meeting, August 7
th
-9
th
, is its 40
th
, and ALEC is celebrating its long and influential legacy.In Georgia we live with that legacy, and know ALEC is nothing to celebrate.

1
GeorgiaHealthNews.com, 09/12/12

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