Democratic Party Backs ALEC-Tied Rep Against Progressive Challenger - 2020-01-07
Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran of Arizona's First Congressional District is affiliated with an organization that promotes conservative legislation across the country, yet top House Democrats and Democratic Party groups are backing him against a primary challenge from his left.
O'Halleran is listed as an alumnus of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that brings corporations, lobbyists and lawmakers together to co-write bills, on the group's website. "ALEC alumni advance limited government, free market and federalism priorities at every level of elected office," the website states. O'Halleran was a Republican state legislator in Arizona from 2001 to 2009.
ALEC has had a profound impact on Republican policies since its founding in 1973. The group, which has deep ties to the Koch network, has been behind dozens of rightwing proposals that have passed at the state and federal levels, including "stand your ground" gun laws, restrictive voter ID requirements, and limits on the federal government's ability to regulate greenhouse gases. The group has also worked directly with congressional Republicans through a partnership it formed in 2012 with the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservative House members.