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Report Details: “ALEC” Corporate Influence in Writing NH Laws

PHOTO:The joint report, "Who is Writing New Hampshire's Laws? A Summary of ALEC Corporate Influence in New Hampshire, 2011-2012," is available on the Granite State Progress website, granitestateprogress.org.
PHOTO:The joint report, "Who is Writing New Hampshire's Laws? A Summary of ALEC Corporate Influence in New Hampshire, 2011-2012," is available on the Granite State Progress website, granitestateprogress.org.
November 15, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. - Concerned citizens, lawmakers and New Hampshire advocacy groups have released a new report that focuses on big-business efforts to influence new laws in the state.

The corporate lobbying group ALEC – the American Legislative Exchange Council – has been throwing its weight behind a variety of issues ranging from “right-to-work” to school vouchers and controversial voter-ID laws, says Diana Lacey, president of Local 1984 of the State Employees Association.

"The right-to-work legislation was a pretty serious example of it. It was very obvious because when we had votes on legislative debate over it, the only people in the room that were advocating for it were paid out-of-state lobbyists."

ALEC says it stands for limited government and free markets, but the new report says ALEC's work amounts to corporations writing legislation. The report is a joint effort by Granite State Progress, the Center for Media and Democracy, People for the American Way Foundation, and Common Cause.

Zandra Rice-Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, says her group has been active in exposing the influence exerted by ALEC, and some big-name corporations have taken notice.

"We've started to see several corporate entities drop their membership: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft. We're encouraging more corporations to do that."

Lacey believes voters showed their outrage over corporate influence at the ballot box last week.

"The corporate interests that are sponsors through ALEC legislation, we've rejected at the voting booth; and it's pretty clear that we want to return to a government where we're focused on the best possible outcomes for families."

The joint report, "Who is Writing New Hampshire's Laws? A Summary of ALEC Corporate Influence in New Hampshire, 2011-2012," is available on the Granite State Progress website, granitestateprogress.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH