Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wyoming Inc.

"Some people call lobbyists the fourth branch of government (because) they have a heavy hand in legislation. If they're doing the public's work, the public should know about the lobbyists."

Do we really want a state that is run by out-of-state corporations? With interests only in getting money into their coffers.

2 Comments:

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Rural Rancher said...

In reality, the lobbying situation in Wyoming is worse than most of us would have imagined, especially since we have a part-time "citizen" legislature.

Wyoming's legislature actually has a group operating within it that consists of legislators and corporate lobbyists. The lobbyists provide free vacations for the legislators and their families and also funnel campaign contributions from corporations to the legislators. In return, the lobbyists take "model" legislation written for the benefit of the corporations and try to get it passed. They don't disclose the fact that they got the boilerplate legislation from the lobbyists, though it sometimes comes out later that they did. For example, the bill prohibiting lawsuits by obese people against fast food chains (passed in Wyoming a year or two ago) came from this group, which is called ALEC. ALEC works hard to recruit legislators who occupy powerful positions: Committee chairmen, speakers of one or the other house of the legislature, etc. ALEC members bully other legislators who don't toe the line, and try to deny them leadership positions, so as to advance the group' agenda.

Part of the motivation for Senate File 5 -- the law which lets legislators keep the origins of bills secret -- was to cover up the activities of this group.

ALEC was mentioned in the Casper Star-Tribune At http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2006/03/17/editorial/columns/cd3d7344686b707b8725713300821d9b.txt. It keeps its membership list secret -- an affront to open government -- and holds secret meetings at which it pushes legislators to vote in the way that its sponsors (which include Wal-Mart, large pharmaceutical firms, telephone monopolies, and even the cult known as the "Church" of Scientology) want. There is good information on ALEC at http://www.alecwatch.org/.

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger docangel said...

Hi! Just wanted to say hello to bluewyoming since I'm also hoping to see Wyoming turn a bluer shade of red this coming election. At times, it feels like I'm the only liberal in the state, so it was a bonus to find your blog! Keep it up.

 

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