July 23, 2015 (San Diego ) – While thousands of people protested yesterday outside the American Legislative Exchange Council’s national convention in San Diego, State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), California chair of ALEC, told Times of San Diego that is “proud” to have San Diego post ALEC’s national convention where legislators exchange ideas, adding, “ALEC takes on difficult, complicated issues and takes on free market solutions.” (View video, top of story)
As for the thousands of protesters, he said derisively, “There’s a naysayer in every crowd,” adding that the protesters “don’t like the free market.” As for criticisms of secret dealings behind closed doors, Anderson retorted, “We can’t respond to every wack-job” and insisted the process is not secretive, as critics claim. Reporter Ken Stone with Times of San Diego pressed Anderson, pointing out that he had been denied access to cover some key sessions.
The protesters included a prominent local business organization as well as labor, environmental, human rights and political reform organizations. They contend that secretive actions conducted behind closed doors by ALEC result in laws that hurt small businesses in America and weaken protections for workers, the environment, and civil rights.
July 19, 2015 (San Diego) – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will host its annual convention on Wednesday, July 22 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. The organization is funded by corporations and pushes state legislators to introduce “model” legislation that it calls “pro-business.” Speakers include Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee. The conference also will include other state and national legislators from across the nation.
But progressive organizations are mobilizing thousands of people for a march, rallies and protests against ALEC, which critics say pushes forward anti-worker, anti-environmental measures drafted behind closed doors. Local State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) chairs ALEC’s California chapter.