This edition: United States of ALEC, A Special report on the American Legislative Exchange CouncilTweet
First aired: December 10, 2012.
In an encore broadcast this weekend (check local listings), Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.
In state houses around the country, hundreds of pieces of boilerplate ALEC legislation are proposed or enacted that would, among other things, dilute collective bargaining rights, make it harder for some Americans to vote, and limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers — each accomplished without the public ever knowing who’s behind it. One Wisconsin politician describes ALEC as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.”
“United States of ALEC” is a collaboration between Okapi Productions, LLC and the Schumann Media Center, headed by Bill Moyers, which supports independent journalism and public watchdogs including the Center for Media and Democracy, whose investigators are featured in the report.
Also re-airing is Bill’s conversation with Philip Appleman, whose creativity spans a long life filled with poetry, fiction, philosophy, and religion. A scholar of Charles Darwin, Appleman edited the critical anthology Darwin, and wrote the poetry books Darwin’s Ark and Darwin’s Bestiary. Appleman’s latest poetry collection is Perfidious Proverbs.
Bill Moyers Broadcast Journalist, Host of Moyers & Company