Recently there has been a mass exodus in the House of Representatives from the once secretive but now very well known organization called American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Included in that departure is our own Representative, Sandra Major.
Why now? As it turns out, the majority of those renouncing their membership are being challenged in November for their seats. It appears that leadership in both parties may want their candidates to distance themselves from the very 'bi-partisan' organization which brought us such great legislation as Stand Your Ground and Voter ID laws.
This all makes very good political sense. The 'man behind the curtain' has been exposed and a Representative is elected for their own integrity and to craft their own legislation to meet the needs of their districts and the Commonwealth. Knowing that they were, at one point, corn fed cattle using ALEC produced templates for legislation is not a 'popular' position to be in as we decide who speaks for the people and those who simply regurgitate the works of corporate interests.
Of course, based on the secrecy of the organization, we will have to take our legislators' word that they are no longer affiliated. One thing is true, in a letter dated August 16, 2011, Sandra Major, celebrated her membership with ALEC. The letter, sent to an inquisitive constituent, stated, "I would suggest that ALEC's advocacy is not only consistent with the activities of many other interest groups, but that advocacy itself is protected by our U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment reads, 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.'"
Ms. Major goes on to say, "I am a member of ALEC...the costs of my membership have been reimbursed by the Chief Clerk's office of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.".
My question to Sandra Major is this: Less than a year ago ALEC was the cat's meow. Why now the change of heart?
Press Requests for copies of Ms. Major's letter referenced in this release should be directed to email@example.com