Friday, September 16, 2011

Nice. ME taxpayers pay for lawmaker's junket to Koch-funded confab

Can't pay for his own breakfast at Denny's.
Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Andre Cushing III charged Maine's taxpayers $2,100 to attend a conference sponsored by the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, aka ALEC. Maine's Majority, a nonpartisan advocacy group, found that out by filing a "Freedom of Access" requuest.

Here's the press statement from Maine's Majority:
Rep. Andre Cushing (R-Hampden) sought and received $2,102.08 in taxpayer-funded reimbursements for travel and registration fees related to his attendance at the annual American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting in New Orleans last month....
A number of bills sponsored by Maine Republicans this year had ALEC's fingerprints on them, including LD1333, which eliminated consumer health care protections, anti-union legislation, and laws requiring voters to show IDs at the polls.
"ALEC's sole purpose is to advance corporate interests at the expense of working families," said Chris Korzen, executive director of Maine's Majority. "It's bad enough that Andre Cushing and other Republican legislators have allowed this agenda to invade our legislative process, but it's an absolute outrage that they would make taxpayers foot the bill...
Cushing's tab includes airfare, taxi, hotel and two $12 breakfasts at Denny's.

For more information about ALEC, go to And for some intel about what went on at the highly secretive conference that Cushing attended, check out ThinkProgress's post here.