News from Progress Michigan

January 30, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Voters Urge ALEC Legislators to Put Citizens Before CEOs

In wake of proposed federal balanced budget amendment, citizens want to know legislators are on their side

LANSING — Earlier today, a handful of citizens organized by the AFL-CIO and Clean Water Action presented pledges to Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville and Rep. Aric Nesbitt, the two state co-chairs of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), to sign “The Citizens Before CEOs Pledge.”

The pledge stated:

I swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Michigan; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of State Legislator to the best of my ability.

I affirm that I will put my constituents first — before corporate interests and their lobbies.

Given the recent revelations from The Guardian, reporting that ALEC, the organization, asked legislators to “put the interests of the organization first” & “be morally responsible for the health and well being” of ALEC.

I affirm that I will hold my legislative seat and conduct all legislative business in the public light, honoring transparency and a commitment to fully disclose if the legislation I introduce has been modeled after American Legislative Exchange Council model bills. 

ALEC is a corporate bill mill that pushes right-wing “model” bills around the country and has a membership made up of conservative lawmakers and corporations. The Guardian recently broke a story with leaked ALEC documents, which included a pledge for ALEC members to put the organization above all other interests, including their constituents.

Citizens want to know whose side Green and Nesbitt are on — CEOs or regular citizens. Recently, Sen. Green was asked by Governor Rick Snyder to push federal balanced budget amendment legislation that is derived from an ALEC model bill. The House Liability Reform Committee heard testimony on the bill today, but did not take a vote and will reconsider the bill, along with amendments, next week.

“Michiganders want legislation that is powered by the people, not corporations who are focused on increasing profits,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “We hope Sen. Green and Rep. Nesbitt sign the pledge and show Michiganders that they’re not bought and paid for by big money special interests.”

Sen. Green was presented with the pledge outside of the House Liability Reform Committee meeting in the House Office Building. When he was presented with the pledge, Sen. Green said, “I could spend an hour telling you how goofy this is.” The senator did not say whether he would sign it or not.

The same pledge was dropped off at Rep. Nesbitt’s office.


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