As Jefferson City Politicians Embark on ALEC Junket in San Diego, Progress Missouri Demands Disclosure of Who Is Paying Their Way

Members of the Missouri legislature are traveling to San Diego, California this week to attend the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a national corporate lobbying group which pushes policies such as so-called Right-to-Work and Stand Your Ground. The conference will take place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, which describes itself as “the largest urban waterfront resort on the West Coast.”

At ALEC’s meeting, elected politicians and corporate members will meet behind closed doors to craft model bills, which often benefit the funding corporations’ bottom lines. ALEC’s corporate members have invested millions in “scholarships” to cover air fares, hotel rooms and other travel expenses for ALEC legislators to attend conferences like this week’s gathering in San Diego.

Progress Missouri is urging state Sen. Ed Emery and Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, ALEC’s state chairs in Missouri, to disclose:

  • which state legislators will be attending the ALEC junket
  • which corporations and private interests are paying for legislators’ travel, food and drinks
  • who is financing special events for the Missouri delegation, including the ‘Missouri night’ meeting at Edgewater Grill, organized in part by Rex Sinquefield lobbyist Deanna Hemphill

ALEC corporate members who will likely be attending the event include Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, AT&T, Pfizer, Comcast, Verizon, Altria, Duke Energy, Anheuser-Busch, UPS, and State Farm Insurance. Speakers at this week’s conference include Rex Sinquefield’s top lobbyist, Travis Brown. Sinquefield has been a “six figure” sponsor of ALEC junkets in the past.

Progress Missouri is among a number of organizations that have been involved for several years in calling attention to ALEC’s work and its habit of putting the profits of its corporate members ahead of the public interest. Our research on ALEC’s outsized influence in Jefferson City may be found at ProgressMissouri.org/ALEC.

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