Right now State Rep. Marilinda Garcia is attempting to move up the political ranks from State Rep. to US Congresswoman. She has been out on the campaign trail talking about how she wants to fight for the middle class and that she speaks for the “millennial” generation.
Other than the fact that Marilinda is still living with her parents at age 32, she is just another politician who has been bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists and big money donors like the Koch Brothers.
Hopefully by now you have heard about ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, but just to make sure we are all on the same page, I will go over a few highlights.
ALEC brings in state legislators from across the country to luxurious five-star hotels, where corporate lobbyists wine-and-dine legislators.
While enjoying their all expense paid vacation junkets, legislators are courted by corporations into submitting model legislation back in their home states. This model legislation usually benefits the corporation like reducing pollution standards (RGGI), increasing profit margins by pushing Right To Work laws, and hundreds of other pieces of legislation.
Even though Rep. Garcia told the Union Leader [1/27/12] that, “there was nothing wrong with lobbyist taking legislators out for dinner,” these legislators are meeting with corporate lobbyists in secret. Legislators are skirting ethics laws by submitting legislation — on behalf of the corporate special interests — as if they wrote it, even thought they received the model legislation on a junket paid for by ALEC’s corporate backers.
Some legislators are proud of their connection to ALEC, like New Hampshire’s State Rep. Jordan Ullery, (State Senate candidate and) State Rep. Gary Daniels, and former Speaker of the House William O’Brien.
Others are not as forthcoming about their connection to the controversial lobbying group. “Members of ALEC from New Hampshire include 2nd Congressional District candidate Marilinda Garcia,” the Telegraph reported. [Nashua Telegraph, 12/08/13]
As a member of ALEC, legislators are expected to submit the ALEC model legislation, created for and by corporate special interests, or face the wrath of the Americans For Prosperity political action fund. Americans for Prosperity was created and is heavily funded by ultra-conservative millionaires and billionaires like the Koch Brothers, to push candidates to do their bidding or face an AFP primary challenger for their seat.
After these junkets, politicians vow to support their new corporate sponsors over the people who elected them. Some would even say this is legalized corporate bribery.
State Rep. Marilinda Garcia has been called out for this type of activity before, when she was flown down to Philadelphia for an all expense paid trip to view a for-profit cancer treatment center. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America spent hundreds of dollars per person to fly out Garcia and four other legislators, in hopes they would support legislation, submitted by Rep. Garcia, which provided monetary incentives to CTCA to build a new center in New Hampshire.
In response to criticism that she is taking campaign contributions from CTCA in trade for submitting this legislation Rep. Garcia told the Union Leader [1/27/12], “There have been no campaign contributions or junkets offered by the Illinois-based company. But Garcia said she doesn’t see anything wrong with lobbyists taking legislators out for dinner.”
I don’t know about you, but I do see something wrong with corporate lobbyists bribing our state legislators with expensive trips and fancy dinners.
This makes me wonder, what would Congresswoman Marilinda Garcia be like? Would she be a true representative of New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District or will she continue to do the bidding of her corporate sponsors?
I want someone in Washington who is there to represent me, not a bought and paid for puppet for the millionaire and billionaires who fund her campaign and the corporate special interests who shower her with lavish vacations and all expense paid junkets.