The state does not have a budget yet, but at least nine North Carolina lawmakers
are headed to gorgeous San Diego (today's forecast: 77 and sunny) for the annual convention of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
This is the Koch-funded, über-powerful conservative group behind much of the nation's (and North Carolina's) regressive bills.
House Speaker Tim Moore
and Sen. Bob Rucho,
reports WRAL, are headed to the convention. Once in the comfort of their hotel—the Manchester Grand Hyatt—without any pesky constituents around, corporate lobbyists and lawmakers hang out,
conspire and then vote on boilerplate "model" legislation. You've seen ALEC's handiwork in the ag-gag bill, anti-Obama care legislation, the expansion of charter schools, rollback of renewable energy policy, limiting local government control over fracking—in fact, limiting local government control, period.
Basically, if it's a horrific bill, pull back the curtain and you'll find ALEC.
With their corporate marching orders in hand, lawmakers return to their states to pass legislation that favors their corporate benefactors and does not favor you—unless you're rich, white and male. (All three conditions must apply.)
North Carolina lawmakers have an esteemed history with ALEC.
Gov. Pat McCrory spoke at ALEC last year. (This year it's presidential candidate Scott Walker of Wisconsin.)
In 2014, Rep. Jason Saine, a Republican from Lincoln County,
was honored with a Legislator of the Year award "for organizing a successful ALEC tax academy in North Carolina and for being a leader in advancing free market principles."
And in 2011, then-House Speaker Thom Tillis won State Legislator of the Year; three years later he was elected a U.S. Senator.