Tale of Two Conferences

The corporately funded American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, met last week in Chicago.

Jeb Bush was a keynote speaker. "It is a joy to be here with ALEC, I am... this is a place that founded and had a lot of important ideas,” said Bush.

Those ideas include laws that restricted early voting and the spread of Stand Your Ground to 21 states.

The second national group is the state funded National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL. It is a place where both the NRA and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence come to make a pitch.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has always been considered politically neutral, but there are now fears that could be changing.

And it involves Florida Representative Matt Hudson of Naples. Hudson was running for Vice President of NCSL this week. He was the only Florida lawmaker to also present at ALEC this year, that's prompted fears the conservative group was staging a coup. Hudson says no.

"I've gone to other meetings before, but my goal is to hear both sides of the issue and make a decisions that is right for my district and for the people of Florida," said Rep. Matt Hudson.

Hudson lost his bid to the NCSL Vice President, but the fact one of Florida’s most conservative members was even running for leadership has made many uneasy.

"We need to keep a sense of fairness here and an open dialogue and hear all viewpoints," said Sen. Eleanor Sobel.

The ideological battle is likely to continue next year.

About 5,000 people attended the four day Summit in Atlanta. Of those, 1,000 are elected state legislators.


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