Lisa Graves Discusses ALEC

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Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the publisher of PR Watch, SourceWatch, and BanksterUSA.

Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the publisher of PR Watch, SourceWatch, and BanksterUSA. She previously served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government, as a leading strategist on civil liberties advocacy, and as an adjunct law professor at one of the top law schools in the country. Her former leadership posts include:

  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy/Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice (serving under both Attorneys General Janet Reno and John Ashcroft)
  • Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Senior Legislative Strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union (on national security and surveillance policies)
  • Deputy Director of the Center for National Security Studies
  • Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division of the U.S. Courts(including oversight of the Financial Disclosure Office for judicial ethics)

Graves has testified as an expert witness before both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. She has also appeared as an expert on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, C-SPAN, and other news programs and on numerous radio shows, including National Public Radio, Democracy Now!, Air America, and Pacifica Radio. Her analysis has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, The Nation, Vanity Fair, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, National Journal, Legal Times, Newsday, Wired, and Mother Jones, among others, as well as online in The Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, and other blogs.

Lisa Graves' TV Interviews

  • On July 11, 2012, Lisa Graves spoke with Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh about the five most recent corporations to have cut ties with ALEC -- HP, John Deere, CVS Caremark, Best Buy, and MillerCoors -- bringing the total to 25 corporations and 4 nonprofits, or 29 public sector ALEC members:

  • On December 2, 2011, Graves spoke on Arizona's PBS station about ALEC's undue influence on state politics:

  • On May 17, 2012, Graves and CMD unveiled the new in-depth report, "ALEC Exposed in Wisconsin: The Hijacking of a State," at the Wisconsin capitol building in Madison:

  • Graves spoke with Chris Matthews on MSNBC's "Hardball" on April 18, 2012 about ALEC's move to disband its Public Safety and Elections Task Force -- the task force that adopted Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law as a "model" bill -- and whether states will rethink "Stand Your Ground" laws in light of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin:

  • Graves spoke with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman on April 12, 2012 about ALEC and "Stand Your Ground" laws in the wake of the tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the news that Wendy's, McDonald's, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Intuit had announced they were leaving or had left ALEC:

  • Graves spoke with Shihab Rattansi, host of Al Jazeera's "Inside Story: US 2012" on April 9, 2012 about ALEC and its role in pushing "model" bills like the "Stand Your Ground" law through state legislatures across the country:

  • Graves spoke at a rally in Washington, DC, on March 29, 2012, protesting the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) role in pushing "Stand Your Ground" or "Shoot First" laws in state legislatures across the country:

  • Graves discussed "Stand Your Ground" and the nationwide gun lobby on MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" on March 24, 2012:

  • Graves talked about the reality behind some corporations paying to write America's laws via ALEC with Al Sharpton on MSNBC on August 11, 2011:

  • Graves spoke with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman on August 5, 2011 about ALEC's annual meeting in New Orleans and exposing more than 800 ALEC "model" bills here on

  • On Jul 21, 2011, Graves spoke with RT America's Thom Hartmann on "The Big Picture" about ALEC's agenda:

  • Graves spoke with Democracy Now's Juan Gonzalez on July 15, 2011 about ALEC and the model legislation exposed here on

Lisa Graves' Audio Interviews

  • Graves was interviewed on "The People's Mic" in Madison, Wisconsin on July 27, 2012:
  • Graves was interviewed on NPR on March 29, 2012:

A transcript of this interview is available here.

  • Graves spoke on ALEC's ties with the Koch brothers in July 2011:

Graves has been interviewed on numerous radio shows. Please contact the Center for Media and Democracy for more clips: editor at prwatch dot org.

Lisa Graves on ALEC in The Nation

Read the whole article here.

Excerpt: "No one knows how much the Kochs have given ALEC in total, but the amount likely exceeds $1 million—not including a half-million loaned to ALEC when the group was floundering. ALEC gave the Kochs its Adam Smith Free Enterprise Award, and Koch Industries has been one of the select members of ALEC’s corporate board for almost twenty years. The company’s top lobbyist was once ALEC’s chairman. As a result, the Kochs have shaped legislation touching every state in the country. Like ideological venture capitalists, the Kochs have used ALEC as a way to invest in radical ideas and fertilize them with tons of cash.

Take environmental protections. The Kochs have a penchant for paying their way out of serious violations and coming out ahead. Helped by Koch Industries’ lobbying efforts, one of the first measures George W. Bush signed into law as governor of Texas was an ALEC model bill giving corporations immunity from penalties if they tell regulators about their own violation of environmental rules. Dozens of other ALEC bills would limit environmental regulations or litigation in ways that would benefit Koch.

ALEC’s model legislation reflects parts of the Kochs’ agenda that have little to do with oil profits. Long before ALEC started pushing taxpayer-subsidized school vouchers, for example, the Koch fortune was already underwriting attacks on public education. David Koch helped inject the idea of privatizing public schools into the national debate as a candidate for vice president in 1980. A cornerstone of the Libertarian Party platform, which he bankrolled, was the call for “educational tax credits to encourage alternatives to public education,” a plan to the right of Ronald Reagan. Several pieces of ALEC’s model legislation echo this plan."

Lisa Graves on ALEC in PRWatch

Graves has written numerous articles on ALEC's agenda, and the agenda of ALEC's corporate members, for the Center for Media and Democracy's investigative news publication, You can find a list of these here.

Some of her articles include:

To see a full listing of ALEC Exposed Audio & Video, click here.