Our research was organized by the following hypothesis, with the goal of highlighting four aspects of ALEC’s influence in the Oregon legislature.
Some members of the Oregon legislature have accepted ALEC model bills, introduced those bills and made them Oregon law. They’ve done this while receiving direct or indirect financial compensation either in the form of campaign contributions or lavish vacations for them and/or their families. Businesses have benefited while dis-empowered groups have suffered.
Here is that hypothesis again, piece by piece.
Some members of the Oregon Legislature have accepted Model Bills, introduced those bills and made them Oregon law …
That’s the first piece. We think our lawmakers are accepting model legislation from ALEC to the benefit of ALEC.
They’ve done this while receiving direct or indirect financial compensation either in the form of campaign contributions or lavish vacations for them and/or their families …
That’s the second piece. Oregon legislators receive something that ultimately translates into something of monetary value. In essence, revealing a quid pro quo.
Business interests have benefited …
That’s the third piece. In exchange for those legislators making ALEC legislation state law, ALEC corporate sponsors and businesses benefit financially by helping those business stifle competition, declaw consumer protections and ultimately maximize profit
While dis-empowered groups have suffered …
– that’s the last piece. All of this produces winners and losers. ALEC corporations are the obvious winners. This piece of the hypothesis assumes there are losers.
We sought to investigate this hypothesis in three ways:
1) By combing the available data on ALEC model legislation, and using data processing techniques (including publiclly available anti-plagiarism software) to expose similarities between bills introduced in the Oregon State House and Senate and model legislation published on the ALEC website.
2) By interviewing Oregon legislators, corporate contributors, business owners, and citizens implicated with or affected by ALEC legislation in Oregon
3) By aggregating research done by other investigative reporters and analysts, and providing accessibility and visual transparency 0f ALEC’s influence to the public.