Tue July 17, 2012
Democratic Representative Withdraws Membership from ALEC
A state Representative from Price has withdrawn her membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council – known as ALEC - just before the group convenes in Salt Lake City next week. Democrat Christine Watkins says the goals of the conservative Council no longer align with the values of her district.
Watkins says she originally joined ALEC almost 2 years ago because the group’s work on public lands aligns with the interests of her district – an area home to numerous mines. But Watkins says she’s gradually discovered that she disagrees with much of ALEC’s priorities, from education to voting laws.
“There are so many things that they do that I voted against on the floor not realizing that they came from ALEC, said Watkins, “It was like, you know what, I need to not be part of this organization.”
Watkins says she also objects to the Council’s secretive mode of operation and closed-door meetings.
“I’m a very open legislator,” said Watkins, “and this just isn’t my style of working in government, so I need to separate myself from that.”
Watkins says she originally planned to just let her membership lapse, but felt she should make her views clear before next week’s ALEC conference in Salt Lake City. 1500 members are expected to attend, and protests are planned up to and during the conference. ALEC’s press office did not return a request for comment.