Around 40 of North Carolina’s 170 lawmakers are members of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, an arm of corporate America which produces "model bills" touching on every aspect of American life in a way that usually directly benefits corporate ambitions (i.e., greed). The Center for Media and Democracy publishes "ALEC Exposed," a detailed listing of ALEC-written bills and the lengths to which it goes to influence state-level legislators. Among its goals are the elimination of regulations regarding corporate behavior, the cramping of voting rights (to keep "the right people" in power), and a new Constitutional Convention of the states to rewrite our basic governing document. ALEC claims to include “nearly one-quarter of the country’s state legislators and stakeholders.”
Pickett is an enthusiastic acolyte to the corporate vision for America and was forthcoming with helpful info:
There are two primary ALEC memberships: legislative and private sector. Legislative members like Pickett must be elected officials, and pay a $200 two-year membership fee. Costs incurred from attending conferences can eventually get reimbursed by ALEC, according to Pickett.
Members are divided into task forces that hold online meetings throughout the year to discuss model legislation proposals. According to Pickett — who is a member of the energy, environment and agriculture task force — 50 to 70 proposals are made each year. About four are chosen to be discussed further. The task forces then meet in-person at the annual conferences, where the chosen proposals are voted on. Within each task force, there is a fifty-fifty split between legislative members and private sector members, who all get a vote. If passed, the model legislation moves to the ALEC Board of Directors, which decides whether to give the model legislation official ALEC endorsement. The board consists of lawmakers and ex-lawmakers, but also has a corporate/industry presence. “It’s like any other conference. Doctors, they have conferences, and they talk about new technology,” Pickett said. “But we talk about new policy, and that’s what we discuss pretty much all day long.”
...Pickett said the contacts he has made with corporate representatives at ALEC meetings have helped him serve his constituents better, especially on more technical topics in which he lacks expertise, like telecommunications.“
Well golly gee! It's swell that ALEC has corporate geniuses ready and willing to help him program his smart TV! What Pickett doesn't realize, or realizes but doesn't care, is that the corporate dudes he's meeting with are also lobbyists sitting him down in private rooms at high-priced hotels and feeding him a steady diet of what he either wants to hear or thinks is brilliant because it comes with flattery and isn't actually intellectual pressure at all to do the bidding of very dark forces that distrust our democracy.