It took a lawsuit and financial settlement to force the release of records from State Sen. Leah Vukmir, (R-Wauwatosa), that show how outside lobbyists and the Koch brothers- connected ALEC get legislation introduced in Wisconsin and elsewhere. This is a big find:
The more than 100 pages of records show Vukmir sponsored a model bill under the direction of a Florida lobbying group, after voting last spring on an ALEC policy allowing only lawmakers, and not lobbyists, to introduce model bills...
In one email, Christie Herrera, vice president of policy for the Florida-based Foundation for Government Accountability, a conservative think tank with a registered lobbyist, wrote to Vukmir and three other legislators from other states. Herrera thanked them for sponsoring a resolution opposing the expansion of state Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act and coaching them on what to say.
"Each of you will need to introduce the bill," Herrera wrote. "As such I have written opening remarks that are also attached to this email. ALEC had a (ridiculous) concern that the task force debate would be 'one-sided,' so I have focused each of your remarks on addressing at least one pro-expansion talking point."This is probably the sort of thing that veteran State Sen. Dale Schultz, (R-Richland Center), was talking about when explaining why he didn't want to be a legislator any more:
“When some think-tank comes up with the legislation and tells you not to fool with it, why are you even a legislator anymore?" he wondered at the time. “You just sit there and take votes and you're kind of a feudal serf for folks with a lot of money.”