Hundreds of state legislators from all 50 states have gathered in New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC. Critics say the Washington-based organization plays a key role in helping corporations secretly draft model pro-business legislation that has been used by state lawmakers across the country. Unlike many other organizations, ALEC's membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on model legislation. In recent months, ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in drafting bills to attack workers' rights, roll back environmental regulations, privatize education, deregulate major industries and passing voter ID laws. Nonetheless, this year's annual ALEC meeting boasts the largest attendance in five years with nearly 2,000 guests in attendance. Democracy Now! interviews Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. Last month, her organization released 800 model bills approved by companies and lawmakers at recent ALEC meetings.
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