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Gary Cross's ALEC Junket

ALEC politicians are wined and dined at ALEC events, then asked to take bills back to capitols to present as their own

Arizona's Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, which hosted the 2011 ALEC junket

ALEC politicians are wined and dined at ALEC events, then asked to take bills back to capitols to present as their own

In late 2011, as most reps were home preparing bills for the coming legislative session, Gary Cross was instead attending an ALEC junket in Scottsdale, Arizona. While there, Cross was wined and dined by lobbyists who gave him their bills to bring back to Missouri and present as his own. In just two days, they spent more than $250 on food and drink for Cross, including a $156 dinner at the swanky Mastro’s Ocean Club Steakhouse.

The ALEC States & Nation Policy Summit was held at the luxurious Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. Rooms at the resort average more than $300 a night.  But Cross didn’t personally pay for the conference. Instead, he used the funds given to him by corporate donors and special interests for his campaign.

Cross has supported ALEC model legislation on multiple occasions, notably cosponsoring the “Parent Trigger Act” which would have allowed a single vote to create a charter school or send public tax dollars to private institutions through vouchers.  He’s also used his campaign funds to pay his ALEC dues and even received a likely illegal $1,000 campaign contribution from ALEC, who claim to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

As voters go to the polls in the 35th district this November, they should ask themselves whether they want someone who will represent them in Jefferson City, or someone who works for ALEC and their corporate backers like Gary Cross.