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NH Politicians: Pawns in a Corporate Game?

April 2, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. - Voter identification, "Right to Work" and repealing the RGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative). If you look at legislation making its way through the New Hampshire legislature these days and compare it with that in some other states, you will see many of the same bills, almost word for word. Is it a coincidence?

No, says Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. Her group researched the website www.ALECexposed.com. There it uncovered a slew of bills written by corporations and special-interest groups for politicians to present in their state capitals - including Concord, she says.

"We have seen an unfortunate amount of legislation, particularly in the New Hampshire House. This is not legislation to address any real needs in the community, any problems. It is legislation specifically designed to benefit corporations."

Information on the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) website calls it the nation's largest non-partisan, individual, public-private membership association of state legislators. According to www.ALECexposed.com, ALEC receives the bulk of its funding from major corporations producing pharmaceuticals, energy, food and soft drinks.

While there is nothing new about big corporations funneling money into politics, ALEC brings corporations and politicians together and the corporations craft legislation designed with their interests in mind, such as rolling back environmental and consumer protections, Rice Hawkins explains.

"They are sitting next to legislators and drafting legislation by and for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. This must be exposed and it must be stopped."

Granite State Progress filed "Right to Know Requests" this past summer and fall, and Rice Hawkins says the group found that several New Hampshire legislators have ties to ALEC.

More information is available at www.ALECexposed.com.



Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH