If you've been following the dust-up over ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), then it will come as no surprise that a good chunk of the Tennessee House are members. (If you haven't been following it, it is well worth your time to listen to this episode of Fresh Air from a couple of week back.)
Now the Tennessee Democratic Party has released a list of legislators in ALEC, along with the committees they serve on - a handy reference guide to hold on to for next year when legislation starts moving along, to find out who's submitting ALEC-written bills and what's really at stake.
So, who's on the list? It's no surprise to see Roane County's Rep. Julia Hurley, since she tweets about ALEC. It's also no surprise to see Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, since he introduced a number of posterchild ALEC bills last session. We aren't at all shocked that Knoxville area Reps. Ryan Haynes, Harry Brooks, and Frank Nicely are members, as are Anderson County Reps. John Ragan and Kelly Keisling, Blount County's Rep. Bob Ramsey, and Sevier County's Johnny Richard Montgomery, along with former Rep. Joe McCord of Maryville, now the chief clerk of the state House.
But Democrat Joe Armstrong is a member of ALEC? We really don't know what to say about that. Maybe this will restore his conservative cred after the mints thing?
As for as the state Senate goes, we were also a tiny bit surprised to see that Sen. Stacey Campfield is NOT on the list. (Maybe he's too much of a loose cannon for ALEC.) Sen. Steve Southerland, who respresents nearby Greene, Hamblem, and Cocke Counties, is a member, however, as is Sen. Ken Yeager, who serves Roane, Morgan, Scott, and Campbell Counties.