The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has been around since 1973. It is known for writing "model legislation" for major industries and encouraging their introduction through legislative partners in state houses across the nation. Their closed-door meetings have long been considered mysterious and no one can say for sure just how significant their influence has been over lawmaking, although it is believed to be substantial.
According to the Brookings Institute, ALEC model bills are introduced into state legislatures at a fairly steady rate and have a better chance than most legislation of actually being enacted into law. Moreover, the bills that pass are often linked to social and economic issues that are considered controversial, like 5G. The Capital Research Center, meanwhile, reports that around 1,500 bills based on ALEC’s model legislation are introduced in state legislative bodies each year and a fifth of them end up becoming law.
Interestingly, some bills that mandate changes in existing environmental laws aimed at protecting citizens in ways that protect corporations and their pollution will appear in one state and then later show up in other states almost word for word. Some past examples include bills to ban GMO labeling in states like Oregon, Colorado and California; public funds for charter schools; expansions of the private prison system; bills that keep drug costs high; and bills related to hydrofracking and pipeline installations.
Thousands of laws are in place around the country because one trade organization representing the world's biggest corporations and industries has taken over the policy narrative in so many state legislatures. ALEC was founded on the notion that the heads of private industry are more qualified to lead our nation than career politicians, and their legislative infrastructure consists of corporate leaders colluding with elected officials to devise their model legislation policies. The greater public good does not figure anywhere into the process.
ALEC says its membership contains “nearly one-third of the country’s state legislators and stakeholders from across the policy spectrum,” with 80 percent being Republicans, along with hundreds of industry and trade associations, mega corporations and foundations.
According to PR Watch, “even though many states prohibit corporations and lobbyists from influencing legislators through gifts and favors, ALEC has provided a way for special interests to sidestep these laws.”
With ALEC now backing the rollout of 5G technology, it looks like there is little hope for those of us who want to protect our families and the environment from its dangers. The fact that these small cell antenna systems are going to be installed pretty much everywhere and put people across the nation at risk is simply unimportant to them as they strive to maximize profits for telecom interests.
Although Comcast recently dropped its ALEC membership in light of demands by the SEC for them to reveal their lobbying figures, there are still several powerful telecom trade associations in the body, including the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, CTIA, and Charter Communications.
ALEC has been pushing for states to allow 5G to be deployed unimpeded by local and public jurisdiction, create public right of ways for small cell antenna installation, reduce the time spent on thorough reviews of 5G risks, and prohibit regulations on RF strength, to name just a few – and the scary part is, history tells us they have a good chance of being successful.
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