Bombshell report exposes Bill Reineke’s ties to ALEC, a controversial ‘corporate bill mill’
TIFFIN, OH (TiffinOhio.net News) — Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.
A report from the Center for Media and Democracy revealed that State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) has ties to ALEC, which has been described by watchdog groups as a “corporate bill mill.”
Reineke attended ALEC’s 44th annual meeting in Denver, Colorado in July 2017 and is a registered member of the organization, according to ALECExposed.org.
Reineke is one in a handful of Ohio legislators with ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that.
Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Almost 98% of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations like Exxon Mobil, corporate “foundations” like the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, or trade associations like the pharmaceutical industry’s PhRMA and sources other than “legislative dues.”
Those funds help subsidize legislators’ trips to ALEC meetings, where they are wined, dined, and handed “model” legislation to make law in their state. Through ALEC, corporations vote on “model” legislation with politicians behind closed doors.
Numerous fossil fuel companies and their trade associations are members of ALEC, including Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, Chevron, Duke Energy, the Edison Electric Institute, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, American Gas Association, the Nuclear Energy Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In ALEC’s own words, corporations have “a VOICE and a VOTE” on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (“CEI”), and the Heartland Institute, two groups known for promoting climate change denial, are also members.
This comes as Reineke is being accused by critics for taking part in “pay-to-play politics,” after it was revealed that he had accepted campaign contributions from FirstEnergy Corporation prior to cosponsoring a massive nuclear & coal bailout bill from which FirstEnergy will benefit.
The list of 2017 meeting attendees is available below, with Reineke included as well as many corporations and other legislators.