Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Maine's new ALEC co-chair: the gov's favorite lobbyist

The American Legislative Exchange Council is one of the most powerful -- and secretive -- lobbying entities in the country, a channel for corporations to literally write state laws for willing or naive legislators without anyone being any the wiser.

Or at least that was the case until last month, when many of their confidential members-only documents were leaked to the world wide wonderland. Journalists are just starting to dig into the model bills, donor lists, and rolls of participating legislators posted at by the Center for Media and Democracy.

But, as I report in tomorrow's Portland Phoenix, a fresh leak has added a new twist for Mainers. It shows that the new state co-chair for Maine is none other than Ann Robinson, the Preti Flaherty superlobbyist and gubernatorial advisor who has been at the center of several stories I've covered this year, including "LePage's Secret Puppeteers" and "The LePage Files."

And for you political insiders out there, here, as a blog-only DVD extra, are the relevant pages from the leaked source document (the agenda of ALEC's August meeting in New Orleans.) [PDF]

[Update, 9/8/11, 14:00 EST: Maine Democrats put out this press release, pressuring the governor's office to disclose ALEC ties.]

[Update, 9/10/11: For those curious who else has participated in ALEC, Dirigo Blue recently reminded its readers that House Majority Leader Andre Cushing (R-Hampden) was at their annual meeting in New Orleans.]

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