State House leaders off to ALEC

Posted May 2, 2013

As House lawmakers debated whether to halve the number of North Carolina children eligible for free pre-kindergarten, several key members were missing from the chamber.

House Speaker Thom Tillis, Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, and Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, left early Thursday to attend the ALEC Spring Task Force meeting in Oklahoma City, scheduled for Thursday and Friday. 

According to Tillis spokesman Jordan Shaw, the only state funds spent were for registration fees - a practice also extended for legislators' trips to other conferences, like the National Conference of State Legislators.

ALEC, or the American Legislative Exchange Council, describes itself as a free-market, limited-government group.

According to the group's website, "ALEC’s national Task Forces serve as public-policy laboratories where legislators develop model policies to use across the country."

"Unique to ALEC Task Forces is the public-private partnership," the website says."Legislators welcome their private sector counterparts to the table as equals, working in unison to solve the challenges facing our nation."

Membership is inexpensive for lawmakers, but big corporate interests pay tens of thousands of dollars for a seat at the table and the access it brings. 

Saine is ALEC's new state chairman, replacing former House Speaker and budget chair Rep. Harold Brubaker, R-Randolph, who retired from the legislature in 2012. 

Several ALEC model bills have been filed in North Carolina, including the "Founding Principles Act" that became law in 2011, backed by Brubaker and Sen. Don Vaughn, D-Guilford, also a former ALEC member. 

Many other bills bear striking resemblance to ALEC legislation, including proposals to repeal the renewable energy standard, offer school vouchers to parents, and reform environmental regulations. 

Tillis won the group's Legislator of the Year award in 2011. 


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  • matthewwood007 May 6, 2013

    ALEC is a s grassroots as the astro turf tea party bus renters

  • matthewwood007 May 6, 2013

    This group used to hide in the shadows but now, they are just like instant grits.....meal ridden mush, instant for any states consumption of a nutrition lacking meal for citizens.

  • Plenty Coups May 3, 2013

    They're off to get lessons from a "small government" group so they can do "big government" actions here in NC.

  • floydthebarber May 3, 2013

    The NC GOP is bought and sold by lobbyists like those from ALEC. They never have and never will represent the TRUE will of the people of North Carolina. If a bill isn't good enough to be thought up and drafted by our own legislators then it shouldn't even be considered. Republicons are now open about their corruption by outside groups, at least.

  • downtowner May 3, 2013

    Sorry Catgirl, but you seem to have no evidence to back up that claim. To the rest of the comments, I stand with you in opposition to this corruption of our legislature with corporate interests. I have and will always oppose this corruption.

  • FlagWavingFascistCrank May 3, 2013

    .....and your "guess" ain't PROOF.

    No one is against ALEC ready-to-pass-as-law legislation because it's "More Conservative", but rather because it's CORPORATION FRIENDLY legislation pushed by their puppet shills like Thom Tillis....their STAR BOY.

    Amazing how you aren't outraged about THAT....but not surprising, seeing how you've easily digested those talking points that make you believe that selling your government out to billionaires and their corporate, profit-driven interests is a GOOD idea, and "Patriotic" besides. THAT ain't real conservatism....how frightening you can't recognize that.

  • FlagWavingFascistCrank May 3, 2013

    Fair enough, catgirl.....you won't have any trouble providing a list of corporate legislation sponsored by NCSL and signed into law by democrats?

    Take all the time you want, and we won't accept "proof" from the usual suspects. (Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, etc,)

  • catgirl May 3, 2013

    "ALEC is mostly funded by corporations, NCSL is not.
    ALEC gets most of its funding from its for-profit corporate members. NCSL does not allow for-=profit corporations to be members."

    Please go to the NCSL website and look at their "Sponsors" page. Certainly for profit companies. Just because they aren't "members" doesn't mean they don't influence. Many of the companies are the same for ALEC and NCSL. Whether a company is a "Platinum Sponsor" or a dues paying member makes no difference.

    "NCSL rarely writes legislation, while ALEC writes more legislation than any other body in the country. NCSL approves or disapproves of legislation written by others."

    NCSL regularly sends out position papers with suggested legislation. I'm guessing they disapprove of other organizations' bill writing because it is more conservative than their drivel. For years NCSL had the monopoly control of State Legislatures, they resent losing that I'm sure.

  • SARCASTICLES May 3, 2013

    Irony 101: The same crowd that calls Obama "Hitler" is tickled to support a State government that gets it's marching orders from an organization that (with a straight face) has an agenda of writing legislation based on a corporate wish-list, sponsored by billionaires who's family did business with Joseph Stalin.....and they call themselves "Patriots" (also with a straight face).

    They need to look in a mirror before accusing others of hating America, the Constitution, and Freedom.
    They have the audacity to wrap themselves in the Flag at the same they support selling us out to corporate interests.
    (The very DEFINITION of FASCISM)

  • SARCASTICLES May 3, 2013

    Remember back when ALEC had the spotlight turned on it?
    Major corporations all across America bailed out of ALEC when it became apparent what ALEC actually DOES.

    How proud we can be in North Carolina, knowing that Thom Tillis is hard at work pushing corporate legislation as NC law!

    Fascism = The merger of corporations with the state.

    Congratulations, NCGOP. Thanks for selling us out to the wishes of the Koch brothers and their corporate thrall.