It’s a shame — every election year the uninformed and outright deceptive opinion writers come out to display their tribalism and ignorance, such as the case with the article penned by John Trainor, previously published in this newspaper regarding the American Legislative Exchange Council. Let’s set the record straight, ALEC promotes federalism (states and local self-governance), private property rights, free markets and entrepreneurialism.
The assertion that LD11 Sen. Leach, and Reps. Finchem and Roberts work for ALEC: The statement is false, none of us “work for ALEC,” which is a nonpartisan organization similar to National Council of State Legislators. NCSL is also a nonpartisan organization promoting intergovernmental best practices sharing and improvements in state and local public policy. Both organizations seek to facilitate conversations between legislators from different states to examine solutions for problems in every state. Trainor makes other wildly inaccurate claims about choice-related programs that the Democratic Party hates because they empower people, not bigger, more expansive government.
A second, and more insidious, claim is that ALEC is a radical right wing (which to my knowledge doesn’t exist, but is the topic of many left-leaning fringe groups’ conspiracy theories) organization aimed at destroying our American republic that is elected by way of a democratic vote. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike organizations that the Democratic Party has embraced like Antifa, BLM, CHAZ and other left-wing fringe organizations that riot, burn, destroy, deface and obstruct, ALEC seeks to promote such policy as tax reform, criminal justice reform, clean energy promotion, congressional accountability and environmental protection. Our constituents want solutions to challenges and public policy that creates a sustainable job creation environment, such as that which Arizona has enjoyed for the last eight years. That is what organizations like ALEC and NCSL are all about.
It is interesting that John Trainor attempted to justify his remarks with citations taken out of context from dated material. The only people threatened by ALEC are the same ones who are funded by George Soros and such subversive organizations as the Tides Foundation and the ubiquitous Clinton Foundation. Entrenched Democrats and Republicans alike are threatened by a change of the status quo, but that is what most people want. Status quo in Congress and the “regulatory state” has not served Americans well, and that is what organizations like ALEC and NCSL are all about, fostering conversations about the role of federalism in the interests of supporting laws that meet our constitutional standard.
Important issues such as what to do with the solar panel waste stream and mandatory mail-in voting are debated. Imagine that you win the Powerball. Would you mail your ticket to collect your prize or take it in person to claim your prize? Now, ask yourself the same question about mail-in ballots, millions of which the U.S. Postal Service admits were never counted because they were not delivered. The proposal seems appealing enough, but only through robust debate can we identify the flaws contained in bad policy and avoid the disasters that they carry with them.
Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, is a Republican representing Legislative District 11.