(HARRISBURG)—Rep. Matthew Baker (R, Bradford, Tioga) has threatened legal action against Keystone Progress for exposing his ties to corporate lobbyists. Baker told one of his constituents that he has discussed legal action with his “legal council [sic].”
Last week Keystone Progress released a report detailing the relationship between many PA legislators and a shadowy corporate lobbying organization known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In that report (available online here), Keystone Progress revealed how some legislators were using ALEC’s model Bills verbatim, not even bothering to disguise the fact that they were copying what the lobbyists wrote for them.
Baker was one of the legislators whose copying was highlighted in the report.
“This is a dangerous attempt to stifle the truth,” said Keystone Progress Executive Director Michael Morrill. “We expected that legislators would not like our report, but we never expected that they would use their power to try to silence the voices of citizens.”
The following is the entire email from Baker:
Thank you for your email [Name deleted for confidentiality]. I am fully aware of the left wing liberal agenda to both demean ALEC and those who consider model legislation or proposals by this reputable and more conservative thinking national organization. Notwithstanding this groups liberal bias against ALEC I will say I have never attended any of their national conferences but do value their expertise in researching what other states have done in terms of legislative proposals. By the way, I am well aware of the misrepresentations of the liberal Progressive group that has taken shots at me and others and hence have referred their self serving ploy and tactics to raise money to our legal council to ascertain if this is a potential ethics or libel issue and if so if it is actionable from a legal standpoint. [Entire email as sent to Keystone Progress member]