While we in Wisconsin have known about Alec for a little while now, they have flown under the radar now for quite sometime. No More: today The New York Times exposed them!
It is no coincidence that so many state legislatures have spent the last year taking the same destructive actions: making it harder for minorities and other groups that support Democrats to vote, obstructing health care reform, weakening environmental regulations and breaking the spines of public- and private-sector unions. All of these efforts are being backed — in some cases, orchestrated — by a little-known conservative organization financed by millions of corporate dollars.
The American Legislative Exchange Council was founded in 1973 by the right-wing activist Paul Weyrich; its big funders include Exxon Mobil, the Olin and Scaife families and foundations tied to Koch Industries. Many of the largest corporations are represented on its board.
Their Modus operandi, is they they hold a "convention' in a very swank hotel, invite hundreds of republican politicians, then send them all home with a political agenda and bills they want passed in various states. Then the politicians who were there come home and introduce those bills many times word for word(yes plagiarism is only bad in college it appears).
As the New York Times points out:
There is nothing illegal or unethical about ALEC’s work, except that it further demonstrates the pervasive influence of corporate money and right-wing groups on the state legislative process. There is no group with any comparable influence on the left. Lawmakers who eagerly do ALEC’s bidding have much to answer for. Voters have a right to know whether the representatives they elect are actually writing the laws, or whether the job has been outsourced to big corporate interests.
For more information check out ALECexposed
and in case you are wondering who Paul Weyrich is, he is a Wisconsin native and is best known for this gem:
I wonder where they got the idea for Voter ID laws?