Atlanta, Ga. – An investigative team for an Atlanta television station WXIA, exposed massive government corruption when they found a secret meeting at a Georgia resort hotel held by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
The stunning investigative report included video footage of corporate lobbyists and legislators admitting that the legislators are paid by the lobbyists to attend the events.
Reporter Brendan Keefe attempted to gain entrance to the conference but was summarily denied access by ALEC staff and was subsequently escorted from the hotel, where Keefe was a paying guest.
In the video, Keefe approaches the conference room and is blocked by a woman who closes the door to the camera. The woman tells Keefe and the camera-person to follow her away from the room, as Keefe asks if there are legislators in the room.
As Keefe persists in questioning why he is not allowed access, he is confronted by Bill Meierling, an ALEC Director of Communications, accompanied by four sheriff’s deputies.
Keefe attempts to interview Meierling when he approaches, but the ALEC representative refuses and threatens to have the reporter “escorted from the building.” The fact that Keefe is a paying guest of the hotel is seemingly irrelevant when big business is attempting to conceal its incestuous relationship with government.
Why all the secrecy if there is nothing to hide?
Don’t Americans have a right to know that their elected representatives don’t actually represent them, but are simply the rubber stamp for corporate America to enact law?
The lack of transparency in the legislative process should raise serious red flags. The secretive process taking place in the video happens all across the country and in reality is how law is made in the U.S.
Prior to the hotel confrontation, Keefe interviewed Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock, a former ALEC member, who exposed the secretive activities taking place.
“(ALEC) is really a corporate ‘bill mill.’ I mean, they’re cranking out legislation and put it in the hands of legislators who go back and file it. … There are votes taken, that have the corporate votes, voting at the same table with the legislators on what bills to pick. That, at its core, just screams out, ‘inappropriate.’ … (Corporations) absolutely vote, and the truth be told, they write the bills,” said Orrock.
The hustle being pulled on the American public is laid bare, and the order followers enforcing it have been exposed.
ALEC is technically listed as a 501(c)(3) organization, for “charitable and educational purposes,” thus giving legislators a tax write-off for any funds received from the organization.
To provide a clearer example of this process, Keefe explains that ALEC will write a model bill, such as the Georgia Asbestos Claims Priorities Act, which effectively shields corporations from being sued by asbestos victims. The bill eventually presented was an almost exact duplicate of an ALEC bill first approved in a secretive closed-door meeting in a Las Vegas casino.
Unsurprisingly, the three Georgia Senators that sponsored the bill had received over $22,000 in ALEC “scholarships” to attend resort meetings around the same time the asbestos bill was initially being forwarded.
How can anyone continue to put faith in the state after realizing exactly how the corrupt legislative process truly works?
Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.