ALEC, for those of you who don't already know, is the Koch brother funded American Legislative Exchange Council, a rather benign name for an insidious organization that uses corporate money and all expense paid retreats to indoctrinate and influence members of state and local governments. Virtually every Republican member of the NC General Assembly is a member of ALEC and many hold key positions on ALEC Task Forces.
Republican Rep. Fred Steen, who is also the ALEC state chairman, has publicly stated that,"The [ALEC] conferences allow legislators to hear what business has to say." This is an outright lie. These meetings are a way for corporations to buy influence, push a radical right wing agenda, and get access to politicians who in turn allow them to ghost write "model bills," voted on behind closed doors, to rewrite state laws that affect every aspect of your life and directly benefit the corporations behind them.
A good example of this influence was the appearance of the school voucher plan championed by Paul Stam. Stam attended the 2011 ALEC conference and suddenly a voucher is a must have solution to NC public schools. The so-called selling point is that it gives parents a "choice." The reality is this just more bovine scatology from Stam and is identical to the ALEC Parent Trigger Act that puts 75% of tuition costs on taxpayers and that public money into a few private hands.
This is nothing more than a corporate attack on the right to a quality public education in NC, with the aid of the very people who were elected to serve the public.
John Hood, president and chairman of the conservative Locke Foundation, described ALEC conferences in INDY Weekly as akin to a "gathering of a high school civics club" and "It's a group of people publishing reports and getting together for nerdy conversations."
I call it Social Networking for Sociopaths.