The American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-backed special-interest group, is not the bogeyman that some people make it out to be. But it also isn’t merely one of “hundreds of groups that do model legislation and hold meetings,” as Gov. Sam Brownback said this week in trying to downplay ALEC’s influence. As the Lawrence Journal-World noted, both Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, have held high-ranking positions with ALEC, and about 50 GOP Kansas legislators are members of the group. Brownback wrote the foreword for ALEC’s annual report in 2011, and he and the Legislature have approved several of ALEC’s model bills – some virtually word for word.
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