Monday, July 25, 2011

The Minnesota Independent: Rep. Paulsen tied to controversial corporate group ALEC

On a related note...

Source: The Minnesota Independent
By: Jon Collins
U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota is listed as a member of a controversial corporate and state legislative collaboration called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to recently leaked documents.

The group includes thousands of members of state legislatures and representatives of corporations who draft legislation that is then introduced at the state level without acknowledgement that it was written with the help of corporations it might benefit.

ALEC documents were released by the Center for Media and Democracy last week, after they were leaked by a whistle-blower. The leak includes more than 800 ALEC draft bills on corporate-friendly issues. Although most bills appear in slightly different form at each legislature, they often originate in ALEC. This year, the Minnesota legislature had anti-labors bills like prevailing wage-restrictions that were similar to ones posted on the leak site.

Paulsen, whose communications staff did not respond to the Minnesota Independent’s request for comment, is a member of the federal affairs arm of the group, which includes 71 U.S. House members and six U.S. Senators. The group’s purpose is to build collaboration between federal and state members, and provide “members with information and testimonial support from the states on pressing policy matters,” according to a leaked membership document.