The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has written 60 bills that have been introduced into the Minnesota legislature according to a Common Cause report. That’s more bills than any other state.
Dean says beyond comparing the language with ALEC’s model bills and what is introduced, the other evidence that these proposed laws are written by corporate lobbyists is the supposed legislative authors of the bills don’t really understand them.
For example, Dean points to the recently passed voter photo ID amendment. The bill’s legislative authors couldn’t explain or refused to explain what the proposed laws really meant. In one hearing Representative Mary Kiffmeyer defined a key phrase in her bill “substantially equivalent” as “equivalent, substantially.”
Dean isn’t alone in his criticism. During debate on the bill Democrats repeatedly complained about Representative Kiffmeyer’s refusal to directly answer questions about what the bill would do. Kiffmeyer has defended her authorship of the bill saying that she did write it. She is a member of ALEC, but downplays her membership.