#NCSEN: ALEC ponies up for Speaker Thom

download (27)The American Legislative Exchange Council seems to be catching it from both sides in American politics. Leftists see the group as a conservative bogey-man ready to erase the big-government “gains” achieved in the 60s and 70s.

ALEC was founded by movement conservatives in 1973 to try and inject a capitalist viewpoint into government debates.  Critics on the right see the organization as having veered dramatically from that mission  — taking a fascist turn and becoming a vehicle for large corporations to buy off politicians in order to win corporate welfare and other special favors.

ALEC supports public-private partnerships and toll roads — even offering up templates for legislative proposals that can be customized to fit any governing body. 

Harold Brubaker and Thom Tillis — the only two Republican speakers of the NC state House since Reconstruction — are both major players within ALEC’s national organization.  Brubaker resigned from the House in 2012 to start a lobbying practice — which happens to be chock full of ALEC-affiliated clients. 

I cross-checked Tillis’ Senate campaign report data, as of September 30,  with this site (which details lobbyists, law firms, and corporations affiliated with ALEC).  I was able to identify $54,000 in contributions from people with clear, unambiguous ties to ALEC.  Lump those funds in with the other five and six-figure contributions from Super PACs, and a really disturbing pattern starts to emerge.

A maximum individual contribution from the spouse of Harold Brubaker — the ALEC-connected lobbyist — appears on the report.  Another interesting name on the report was that of Diane Cullinan Oberhelman of Illinois.  She ponied up $5200 to the Tillis campaign.  Ms. Oberhelman is close friends with former First Lady Laura Bush — so there’s probably a Karl Rove tie there, too.  (Oberhelman has also donated to liberal Democrat senator Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and leftist congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Tx). She’s handed out nearly $20,000 in campaign contributions in 2014.  She gave more than $45,000 to candidates across the country in 2012.)

More significantly, her husband Doug is CEO of Caterpillar — an active member of ALEC.  Mr. Oberhelman is also working with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to push “comprehensive immigration reform”  through Congress.

4 comments for “#NCSEN: ALEC ponies up for Speaker Thom

  1. Raphael
    February 18, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Some may call TIlli$ the best politician that money can buy. I call him nothing but a rent boy for the $pecial interest$.

    Sleaze is Tilli$’ middle name.

  2. Vallee
    February 19, 2014 at 5:32 am

    Never liked ALEC after I saw how they were pushing legislation that is in the corporations’ best interests but not in the interests of We the People. Take a look at those who attend the meetings. They are usually the ones we have troubles with and probably deserve a good old-fashioned primary. ALEC is the enabler of corporatism.

  3. Atnor
    February 20, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I’ll be honest… I’ve seen quite a bit of legislature stuff pushed by ALEC that I’ve agreed with. When they support limited government, pro free markets, non crony capitalist stuff, I’ll be right there. :)

    Much of the screeching and hysteria that the left puts out about them is ridiculous outrage at exactly those types of efforts that I would probably support. I remember watching that horrible Bill Moyers special on ALEC and wondering exactly what they were complaining about, since all the “evil” and “underhanded” proposals were fairly good, common sense ideas.

    But certainly, I’m no wide-eyed idealist :) I know establishment, big government Republicanism when I see it, too. :) There is a big difference between corporatism/crony capitalism and actual honest-to-goodness less government and pro-free markets. ALEC is certainly guilty of that kind of nonsense too, and I’m certainly wary of anyone getting cozy with them.

    If you’re voting for Tillis, pretty sure that kind of bigger government special interest ownership is exactly what that’s gonna get for ya. :)

  4. Fly In the Ointment
    February 20, 2014 at 5:05 am

    “Ground Control to Speaker Thom…”

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