You may have seen this recenteditorialfrom the Patriot-News detailing the relationship between some Pennsylvania lawmakers and right-wing lobby group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It lays out how the major corporations and wealthy individuals who fund ALEC use the organization to covertly lobby for controversial laws. It also cited a recent pledge considered by the group, that would require the elected officials who are its members to “put the interests of [ALEC] first.”
This raises serious questions about those elected officials who are ALEC members and makes it plain why some elected officials may not want to be identified as being ALEC members. The editorial quoted State Senator Jake Corman saying he was never a member of the group. In fact, this document (pg. 10), shows that not only was Senator Corman an ALEC member, but that taxpayers paid for his membership!
The same document also details trips taken by legislators to ALEC-sponsored events. Taxpayers footed the bill for travel and meals. It is inappropriate for our legislators to spend public money on a private lobbying organization that requires them to put the organization ahead of their constituents.