Prison-industry company helped shape Arizona immigration law

NPR reports on the activities of the little-known American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC):

Now, CCA representatives merely having been “present” at that meeting is a bit more alarming than it sounds, according to another NPR report this week:

Issues for debate:

  1. How does this reflect on the merits of the Arizona bill?

  2. Should the laws on lobbying be expanded to encompass corporations’ participation in organizations like ALEC?

The bill sucks on the merits regardless of whether it was the product of illegal lobbying or not. Possible shenanigans don’t really make it suck worse in my view.

I dunno. A law crafted to give the cops a license/duty to hassle guys who look Canadian or Swedish is one thing; a law crafted to lock up such guys for as long as possible is quite another. And if you let a private-prison corporation get its fingers into crafting it . . .

If you make it profitable for private companies to run prisons, and the profits are proportional to the number of prisoners, then the companies are going to do everything in their power to send more people to prison. Just wait until they secretly support the election campaigns of the law and order type.

Remember the case of the judge in Pennsylvania who send kids to a for-profit jail from which he benefited financially? That was a single instance of graft - this is basically the same, done with more class and more finesse.

And please don’t try to tell me these companies will give up profit to do what’s right. We’ve got the current financial crisis as a counterexample of that contention.

I would be curious how ALEC tries to justify its status as a non-profit. Do they do anything besides hosting these conferences?

Gotta hand it to 'em, though. Traditional lobbying is about trying to shovel as much money and gifts to the legistlators as you can get away with, but the quote says the legislators are paying money to ALEC! That is a respectable scam, right there.

So my next question is, how do the legislators justify paying that money? What are they getting from ALEC that’s worth $50? Have we really reached a state where lawmakers are willing to pay to have access to the heads of corporations, instead of the other way around?

According to the Wikipedia article, the conferences are the core of ALEC’s “policy-making process.”

SourceWatch says the organization’s main function is “mainstreaming right-wing causes.” Business-interest causes, that is – nothing about abortion, gay marriage, etc.

How about this:

You have been a participant in threads in which the law has been deconstucted and discussed in detail.

Yet you uncritically the quote which included this line.

And this line is false.

But, hey, the deception helps your point more, so why not keep repeating it?

If he promises to never uncritically the quote again, will you let him off the hook?

Easy, easy. He already sounds ready to tell the guy to go himself.

That would be a start.

If he promised also to never again uncritically offer up the quote, it’d be even better.