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Georgia Legislatures and Lobbyist Caught Making Back Room Deals


Viral video showing a TV news investigation team catching legislators and lobbyists meeting behind closed doors at resorts. Determination: Real

ALEC: The American Legislative Exchange Council

The video was real and released in May, 2015 by NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta, GA.  This according to the WXIA report.

The report said the "11Alive Investigators tracked lawmakers to a resort hotel in Savannah last week, where we observed state legislators and lobbyists mingling in the hotel bar the night before they gathered in private rooms to decide what new laws would best serve the corporations."

When the news team arrived on the scene to cover the event they were turned away and eventually escorted out of the venue by local law enforcement.

The video was found posted on YouTube:

In a WXIA follow up report, ALEC responded with a policy statement regarding media attendance:

ALEC statement on NBC Atlanta (WXIA-TV) For several years, ALEC has welcomed journalists from prominent outlets to ALEC workshops and plenary sessions. In December 2014, 34 journalists were credentialed to attend the Washington, D.C. meeting. The ALEC media policy clearly states which meetings are open. Unfortunately, the recent piece on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) broadcast by NBC Atlanta (WXIA-TV) sensationalizes and misrepresents ALEC member engagement and policy discussions. ALEC is a forum for the exchange of ideas and free-market policies by a diverse array of members including legislators, business and thought leaders, think tank scholars and individuals. 11 Alive Atlanta takes issue with the format of policy discussions as well as ALEC travel reimbursement and media policies, all of which are clearly posted at The report exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of ALEC. All ALEC policy discussions are abstract, educational in nature and use examples from existing state policy as the basis for academic discussion and professional development. All drafts are posted at, as are those models approved by the Board of Directors, comprised solely of state legislators. This was not made clear in the 11 Alive piece. Unlike other state legislative organizations, ALEC is not taxpayer funded. Travel reimbursement for continuing education is a universally accepted practice and conforms to regulations set forth by the IRS and state ethics commissions. ALEC reimbursement guidelines are posted at ALEC members look forward to future meetings where they will exchange ideas as they have for 42 years. Policy formulation is a collaborative process whereby all stakeholders impacted by a given issue should be engaged. There is no greater demonstration of American democracy than the gathering of people to discuss and exchange ideas.


Posted 05/18/16

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