ALEC Talking Points: Duck the Tough Questions!

No this has nothing to do with Sir Baldwin playing Angry Birds on the runway

See on Scoop.it – Horn-y News

 

WASHINGTON — When the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) first started facing public scrutiny about its extraordinary ability to turn “model bills” written by corporate lobbyists into state law, the secretive group sent out a list of talking points to its members, telling them what to do when faced with questions about the role of the group’s corporate sponsors.

The guidance, in a nutshell: Change the subject.

“The following information is designed to help you navigate away from those tough questions and get back to talking about policy,” says the memo, which was obtained by the public interest group Common Cause and provided exclusively to The Huffington Post. “If you are asked any of these questions, acceptable responses are provided, but please then direct the conversation back to the policy to which you want to discuss.”

The sample questions, which the memo stated were mostly taken from actual encounters with journalists and state legislative committees, provide a good representation of the fundamental criticisms ALEC has been facing. Among the questions:

  • Didn’t ALEC actually write this legislation in conjunction with private corporations and then convince state legislators to pass it throughout the country?
  • Isn’t this just a front for big corporations to push their legislative policies on policy makers?
  • Isn’t this just another way for big corporations to lobby behind closed doors?
  • I see the huge cost for private companies and the minimal cost for legislators. Why the difference and doesn’t this jus [sic] prove that big corporations run ALEC?
  • How much does __________ contribute to ALEC? I’ve seen figures in the hundreds of thousands. Reports suggest __________ have been contributed to ALEC.
  • Isn’t it true that Koch (or insert other members’ names) provided ALEC over $500,000 in funding over the past few years?
  • Your corporate members are the real ones pushing the issues and controlling ALEC, aren’t they? They do give the most money.

The model answers provided by ALEC have the consistent theme of attempting to obscure the influence of its corporate members and to shift emphasis onto the role of legislators, whose dues comprise only 2 percent of the group’s budget, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy….

read the entire article on www.huffingtonpost.com