As noted here last week, Denver will host this year’s annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Better known in political circles as simply ALEC, the national conservative, pro-free market group has been an advocate of limited government and a resource for model legislation to state legislators in Colorado and around the country for 44 years.
And that hasn’t sat well with assorted critics on the left for almost as long. Among them is venerable liberal group Common Cause, which has scheduled a “teach-in” this Saturday for the press and the rest of the public “to discuss the national secret lobbying group’s influence in Colorado politics” in advance of ALEC’s July 19-21 gathering at the Hyatt Regency Denver. A Common Cause media advisory promoting its teach-in promises:
Expert panelists will discuss how ALEC’s agenda on healthcare, workers’ rights, public education, climate change, media access, voting rights, and criminal justice have found its way into the Colorado legislature. The event will also focus on an upcoming Colorado Common Cause report on ALEC’s influence in Colorado politics, explore ALEC’s lack of transparency, and highlight ways ALEC is abusing its public charity tax status as a lobbying group.
As we noted the other day, liberal critics and some mainstream media long have been critical of ALEC. They cite its close ties to business and accuse it of doing the business world’s bidding in America’s statehouses. There’s even an “ALEC Exposed” website set up by the left-leaning Center For Media and Democracy.
Common Cause also is touting another website meant to counter the ALEC meeting; site visitors are greeted with the warning, “ALEC is not your friend; the biggest threat to America you’ve never heard of.”
Here are more details of the Common Cause presentation from its announcement:
Teach-In about the American Legislative Exchange Council’s influence in Colorado
10am-2pm, Saturday July 15
First Baptist Church of Denver
1373 Grant Street
Denver, CO, United States
Carla Castedo (Colorado Director for Mi Familia Vota)
Pamela Resendiz (Executive Director of FRESC)
Gena Ozols (Political Director at NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado)
Ilana Spiegel (Colorado Public Education Advocate)
Paul Booth (President of Take a Stand for Democracy)
Luis Toro (Director of Colorado Ethics Watch)
Thamanna Vasan (Economic Policy Analyst at the Colorado Fiscal Institute)
Hilda Nucete (Program Director at Conservation Colorado)
Dr. Blake Reid (University of Colorado-Boulder Law School)
Elena Nunez (Executive Director of Colorado Common Cause)