Compiled Thursday Coverage of the ALEC Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah…

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 “I know you’re being attacked by a lot of these leftist groups in your states. I know you are,” Ron Scheberle, ALEC’s executive director told lawmakers during lunch Wednesday before turning to the group’s corporate sponsors. “Thank you. Thank you for standing with us. I know you’ve been attacked a lot — extortion threats and letters. But those who are here today are standing strong.”

“Alec is a conglomeration of the world’s richest multinational corporations,” Jesse Fruhwirth said. “They’re a lobbying organization that relies on a pay to play, where if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can buy legislation.”

 “This corporate?funded 501(c)(3) organization…has unprecedented access to lawmakers and to the composition of the bills they pass into law. Out of Florida’s 160 state legislators, 60 have had ties with ALEC since 2010 through dues records or records of its task forces where corporate lobbyists vote as equals with legislators on “model” bills behind closed doors.”

Anti-ALEC Protest And Rally For Public Education Thursday

“The American Legislative Exchange Council has descended upon Salt Lake City for its annual meeting, and the nonprofit that secretly feeds lawmakers biz-friendly bills is being harried by local activists at every stop. Thursday activists are picketing ALEC for efforts to dismantle public education.”

Color Of Change Applauds Walgreens’ and General Motors’ Decisions to End their Membership in ALEC

“30 Companies Have Left the American Legislative Exchange Council, Announcement Comes During Group’s Annual Meeting in Utah; Civil Rights Organization Now Calls on Online Retailer eBay to Drop ALEC.”

Report claims Florida lawmakers do bidding of corporate-funded ALEC

“Some of the most controversial bills introduced recently in the Florida Legislature were thought up by out-of-state corporate interests with financial motives, according to a report released Thursday by a two national watchdog groups and Progress Florida. The report says the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is a shadowy force exerting an uncanny amount of power over Florida’s lawmaking process.”

Pre-fab bills

 “Paying membership dues (often out of campaign contributions) in order to access “model” legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council is the legislative equivalent of purchasing term papers online (“ALEC bringing its clout, agenda and convention to Utah,” Tribune, July 15).”Any lawmaker who cannot draft his or her own legislation based on the needs of constituents has no business serving in the Utah Legislature.

“I elect local people to serve in our Legislature, and I expect them to focus on listening to Utah citizens to creatively solve local issues.

“Certainly, this is harder than simply downloading “model” legislation, but if you aren’t willing to do the work, don’t run for office.

“Buying pre-fab legislation from a secretive organization two time zones away is beneath the dignity of the office of an elected representative. This remains true, whether the organization is conservative or liberal.

Ingrid Griffee - Salt Lake City

“ALEC represents a pay-to-play system at its worst, a system where the most powerful corporations buy their way in,” Common Cause President and CEO Bob Edgar, a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, said.

ALEC under fire (Video)

“(Lisa) Graves points to the organization’s by-laws, made public through the IRS that say state chairmen “shallpropose model legislation in their states. State chairmen are sitting lawmakers, including Utah State Senators Curt Bramble and Wayne Neiderhauser and state representative Chris Herrod.”