The plot against America: Inside the Christian right plan to "remodel" the nation - 2019-04-13
On April 3, USA Today published an array of stories under the banner, "Copy, Paste, Legislate," exploring the political impact of model bills on state-level legislation — more than 10,000 bills from 2010 to 2018 — based on a two-year joint investigation with the Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity. The lead story headline said it all: "You elected them to write new laws. They're letting corporations do it instead."
OK, it wasn't quite all. While corporate influence was the strongest, figures revealed that conservative groups weren't far behind: There were 4,301 bills from industry and 4,012 from conservative groups, far more than the 1,602 from liberal groups or the 248 classified as "other." The hidden origins of these bills often hides their true intent. The most notorious such group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, for instance combines business interests with movement conservatives.
But within the fold of "conservative groups" there's a whole other story to be told about the organizing of extremist religious conservatives, whose political mobilization, as I've noted in the past, played a crucial role in electing Donald Trump. Indeed, just the day before "Copy, Past, Legislate" was published, the Texas Senate passed SB-17, a bill that would protect anti-LGBTQ discrimination by all licensed professionals who claim to act on a "sincerely held religious belief."