December 11, 2017

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Illinois, Latest News

Rauner Decries Corruption While Holding Campaign Event at Home of Crony He Appointed to Powerful State Board

Rauner Host Also a Chair for the National Free-Market Lobbying Group ALEC

Bruce Rauner, while decrying corruption in government, held a campaign event at the house of a state board member he appointed. Rauner held a press conference this afternoon at the home of Marianne Eterno Murphy, appointed to the state’s powerful Health Facilities and Services Review Board in December of 2016. As the Chicago Sun-Times writes, his choice of locations was “unusual” for his message.

That’s not all. Murphy is longtime member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing organization that acts as a “stealth business” lobbying group across state legislatures. Murphy serves as the National Chair of the “Private Enterprise Advisory Council”, which serves like ALEC’s corporate board. ALEC, a Koch Brother backed group, has cheered on Rauner’s policies in Illinois.

Just days ago, Capitol Fax released a long-sought memo from Rauner’s former General Counsel advising the Governor to draw clear lines between his political and public activities. Days after issuing the memo, General Counsel Dennis Murashko was fired. Today’s event shows Rauner has not read the memo or is ignoring it.

“Bruce Rauner has no shame,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner has consistently blurred the line between political and public events, and is actively trying to hide a memo from his own lawyer advising to be careful about mixing events. Now he’s using state board members he appointed to delivery his campaign message. Rauner’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.”

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BACKGROUND ON ALEC:

New York Times Headline: Conservative Nonprofit Acts as a Stealth Business Lobbyist. [New York Times, 4/21/12]

NPR Headline: How ALEC Serves As A ‘Dating Service’ For Politicians And Corporations. [NPR, 12/10/13]

“ALEC Has Worked to Privatize Public Education, Cut Taxes, Reduce Public Employee Compensation, Oppose Obamacare and Resist State Regulations to Reduce Global Warming Gas Emissions.” According to Fresh Air on NPR, “A batch of internal documents recently leaked to The Guardian has revealed new insights into the goals and finances of the secretive group called ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council is a group that brings together state legislators and representatives of corporations. Together, they develop model bills that lawmakers introduce and try to pass in their state legislatures. Through these model bills, ALEC has worked to privatize public education, cut taxes, reduce public employee compensation, oppose Obamacare and resist state regulations to reduce global warming gas emissions.” [NPR, 12/10/13]

Review of Internal ALEC Documents Show “How Special Interests Effectively Turn ALEC’s Lawmaker Members Into Stealth Lobbyists, Providing Them with Talking Points, Signaling How they Should Vote and Collaborating on Bills Affecting Hundreds of Issues.” According to New York Times, “Most of the attention has focused on ALEC’s role in creating model bills, drafted by lobbyists and lawmakers, that broadly advance a pro-business, socially conservative agenda. But a review of internal ALEC documents shows that this is only one facet of a sophisticated operation for shaping public policy at a state-by-state level. The records offer a glimpse of how special interests effectively turn ALEC’s lawmaker members into stealth lobbyists, providing them with talking points, signaling how they should vote and collaborating on bills affecting hundreds of issues like school vouchers and tobacco taxes.” [New York Times, 4/21/12]

By ALEC’s Estimates, “About One in Four State Lawmakers Nationwide is a Member of ALEC, which Prepares Drafts of Pro-Business, Anti-Regulation Bills and Tries to Get Them Introduced in State Legislatures.” According to Politico, “By the group’s own estimate, about one in four state lawmakers nationwide is a member of ALEC, which prepares drafts of pro-business, anti-regulation bills and tries to get them introduced in state legislatures. The group also claims that 1,000 bills are introduced in the states each year based on its model legislation, and, of those, an average of 20 percent become law.” [Politico, 7/30/15]