ALEC, American Legislative Exchange Council, has attracted negative attention across the United Stated for their actions in legislature and under representing the states involved. Activists against ALEC in Utah are making a stand and pushing to get the people of Utah, including its legislators, to act now and prevent the council from making decisions without the best interest of the people in mind.
Maryann Martindale is the executive director for Alliance for a Better Utah and is a vital part of the Kick ALEC Out campaign.
“We’ve been looking into ALEC for over a year, and our point in all of this is to make sure the people know who these legislators are that are writing and passing the bills for Utah,” Martindale said. “There’s just no transparency. What ends up happening is that legislators are writing bills for Utah outside of the state and it’s obvious that these bills are only meant to benefit the people and corporations involved in ALEC. The people have little to no say.”
Martindale said she believes that every bill that comes through Utah legislature should be marked and say where exactly it comes from. She continued, saying she believes it’s unfair to to have people outside of the state determine what’s best for people in the state.
The Alliance for a better Utah website launched their online campaign against ALEC in late May. The website states that “ALEC has been writing legislation which Utah legislators have been passing off as their own work. The bills written by ALEC cover virtually every area of public policy, including health care, budgeting and tax policy.
“The agenda embedded in these bills is about tilting the system toward those with money and power. Through deregulation of industry, voter suppression and setting up barriers to direct democracy, ALEC legislation has greatly influenced the political landscape in many states, including Utah.”
Eric Ethington is the Interim Communications Director at Alliance for a Better UTAH and said he believes that a ALEC has a very negative effect on the public schools in Utah.
“ALEC is constantly pushing school vouchers even though the school systems in Utah are saying that they don’t want it,” Ethington said. “A school voucher takes money away from public schools and subsidizes private schools. This is the kind of agenda ALEC pushes and continues without any regard for the actual needs of Utah citizens.”
The goal of this campaign is to expose ALEC and encourage legislators to either stand up and claim ownership to their membership in ALEC and be public about their actions, or resign with ALEC like many already have.