Republican Representative Vince Leach (LD 11) sent out a press release on Wednesday announcing that the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has picked him as their “Legislator of the Week.” In his release Leach writes, “For decades ALEC has been the flagship organization at the state level fighting to promote free markets, low taxation, and federalism.”
In fact, ALEC is a front organization that allows corporations and politicians to scheme behind closed doors on ways to create and rewrite state laws. These “model bills” are often created only to benefit huge corporations or advance politicians’ own special interests. ALEC has been behind efforts to privatize schools, disenfranchise voters, attack worker’s rights, and more.
“Representative Leach may see this a badge of honor to brag about, but there’s nothing honorable about being associated with an organization that helped create such awful policies as the anti-immigrant law SB1070 in Arizona, and exists mainly to serve the interests of corporations and donors,” said Josselyn Berry, Co-Director of ProgressNow Arizona.
Representative Leach has long been involved with ALEC, with his financial disclosure forms showing that the organization regularly pays for him to be wined and dined at conferences all over the country. A report from March 2018 shows Representative Leach is a current member of ALEC, along with numerous other Arizona legislators and even lobbyists from APS and The Goldwater Institute. That report can be found here.