An unknown number of Vermont Republican state lawmakers are affiliated with the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative organization that promotes model legislation for statehouses across the country. The most recent estimate came from State Rep. Bob Helm (R-Fair Haven), ALEC’s state chair, who figured there were about 20 Vermont lawmakers on the ALEC rolls.
Which is about one-third of all Republicans in the Statehouse.
But of all those 20-odd people, there’s one who has benefited from ALEC’s largesse more than any other Vermonter. And you probably wouldn’t be able to guess who it is.
Kevin Mullin, Republican from Rutland, not especially known for being a hardliner. Indeed, like a beige house with beige trim, his blandness is his most distinguishing characteristic. Well, that and being Norm McAllister’s clueless roomie.
(The Rutland area seems to be a hive of ALEC activity. In addition to Mullin and Helm, Sen. Peg Flory is also on the ALEC list, as are a couple of former Rutland-area lawmakers. Is it something in the water?)
We can’t tell exactly how much Mullin has dipped his snout into the ALEC trough because for the past several years, the group has refused to release information about its members, its “scholarships” and free travel to ALEC meetings and conferences, usually held at top-flight hotels and resorts.
See, it became too embarrassing to its beneficiaries.
But the figures are still out there for 2009 and before. And boy howdy, has Sen. Mullin cashed in.