Cline’s membership in ALEC questioned

The Rockbridge Weekly on April 25 published the following letter from Lexington Democratic Committee member Stephanie Wilkinson:

I was disturbed to discover that our local state delegate, Ben Cline, is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the same group behind the “Stand Your Ground” law involved in the Trayvon Martin shooting. ALEC is a corporate-sponsored lobbying group that creates bills advantageous to businesses and organizations (like Exxon Mobil and the NRA) who pay large amounts of money to belong. ALEC then gets legislators to introduce those bills in their own states.

Two years ago Cline co-sponsored a bill, HB 854, which would have legalized the kind of deadly force that killed Trayvon Martin. Fortunately, that bill did not pass. But Cline has been the sponsor of no fewer than nine pieces of ALEC-drafted legislation.

What does this say about Ben Cline? Is this a man who thinks for himself? Or is he just doing the work of some kind of corporate-funded shadow government?

And what exactly does Cline get from ALEC? Corporations such as Koch Industries, Wal-Mart Stores, AT&T Services, and the American Bail Coalition pay up to $25,000 each per year to have access to him.

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