Bloomberg: Don’t buy ALEC’s non-partisan claims

This post originally appeared on Bloomberg

“If we turn left, they’re going to start hating left, if we turn right, they’re going to start hating right. If we climb a mountain, they’re going to start hating mountains.”

This is the petulant quote given by a spokesman for the American Legislative Exchange Council to the Washington Post yesterday to explain why tech companies are leaving the organization almost in droves after having had enough of its increasingly one-way view of legislative policies.

As Bloomberg’s Jim Snyder reported along with Bloomberg BNA’s Ari Natter, Yahoo (we refuse to use the exclamation point) is the latest to quit the club, joining Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Yelp, where we’re hoping against hope that a bad review of ALEC eventually arrives, because that would be so meta.

But back to the comment from ALEC’s Bill Meierling. If the organization were truly playing it down the center, he might have something. But here’s an incomplete list of its legislative aims, according to our story and the Post’s:

– Support for stand-your-ground laws that justified the killing of an unarmed (unless you count the Skittles) teenager but made no provision for a threatened wife’s warning shots, until Florida finally changed the law (presumably without ALEC’s help);

– targeting supposed regulatory overreaching by the EPA;

– targeting state mandates on renewable energy and carbon limits;

– trying to make electric-company customers pay a fee for selling unused energy back to the power grid;

– and a lot more.

It’s a closed-door group the sells private access to legislators for tens of thousands of dollars, and that’s not good no matter whether the policies are rightist or leftist.

And the tech companies are seeing through it, Meierling’s temper tantrum or not.