Sean Parnell Explains ALEC controversy in The Daily Caller

Media outlet The Huffington Post continues to sound the hysterical alarm, warning of “shadowy partnership[s]” forming between the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and corporations like the increasingly unfairly maligned Koch Industries. If the following passage doesn’t encourage one to retreat to the panic room, not much will:

“In the buildup to the bloodiest war of the 20th century, Benito Mussolini said, “Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” He is one of history’s most reviled characters for good reason.

Now, corporations like Koch Industries are funneling money into the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a shadowy partnership between Republican legislators and corporate lobbyists. Essentially, ALEC’s purpose is to pass laws that enrich corporate profits and investor returns by starving the government of revenue, rigging elections and busting unions.”

Wow. Thankfully, in an op-ed for The Daily Caller, CCP President Sean Parnell takes a more measured and less histrionic approach to the topic of the perfectly innocuous practice, occurring on both sides of the political spectrum, of building model legislation to influence policy.

“‘Model legislation’ put together by a nonprofit organization, even with input from state legislators, is not real legislation. It’s simply a policy idea in a format that allows people to see, discuss and debate the intricacies of turning ideas into law. This does not meet the legal test for lobbying, which is what counts here.

But more important is the selective outrage Common Cause is displaying in attacking ALEC. “Model legislation” is developed by many groups across the political spectrum, including the Progressive States Network (PSN).”

So, all this begs the question: does the appointment of people like General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness count as a collusionary relationship between government and business that might make Mussolini smile? Perhaps someone should see if they can calmly get this question through the barricade over at HuffPo.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.