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Mark Behrens

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Mark Behrens is a partner at Shook, Hardy and Bacon LLP (SHB), where he serves a dual role as attorney and lobbyist.[1][2]

According to his Shook, Hardy and Bacon biography, he "is also a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council, Inc., co-counsel to the American Tort Reform Association, co-counsel to the Coalition for Litigation Justice, Inc., co-chair of the Federalist Society’s Tort and Product Liability Subcommittee, advisor to the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Civil Justice Task Force, and a member of the Washington Legal Foundation's Legal Policy Advisory Board.[3]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Shook, Hardy and Bacon/American Legislative Exchange Council North Dakota Scandal

In 2009, Shook, Hardy and Bacon attorneys Mark Behrens and Corey Schaecher traveled to North Dakota to speak with legislators and their staff about ALEC’s asbestos bill, the Innocent Successor Liability Act, without registering as lobbyists. On January 23, 2009, after days of ALEC interactions with elected officials, the “North Decoder” blog revealed their lobbying activities; within hours, ALEC submitted letters of authorization permitting Behrens and Schaecher to lobby on their behalf, the same day the corporation most likely to benefit the legislation, Crown, Cork, and Seal, also registered the two as lobbyists. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, this is the only instance in which ALEC has ever registered to lobby in any state. [4]

Behrens, an adviser to the ALEC Civil Justice Task Force, is listed as a lobbyist for ALEC on the North Dakota Secretary of State's lobbyist registry for 2009, as a result of his January trip there.[5] He was there, according to the American Association for Justice report,[6] to lobby on behalf of limiting the liability of corporations for asbestos-related claims (see pp. 10-11 of the report). The best article on the episode, other than the Justice Association's report, can be found in a blog post written by the North Decoder, and is titled, "Living Next Door to ALEC." It can be seen here: http://www.northdecoder.com/Latest/living-next-door-to-alec.html.

Although in a 2002 article written by Nick Penniman of The American Prospect, ALEC's spokesman at the time stated that ALEC "does not lobby," and that they "...don't introduce legislation at the state level. We just don't do that. We educate people and inform ideas...we are not a tool for state legislators," the North Dakota episode proves otherwise.[7]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

External articles

References

  1. "Mark A. Behrens.", Shook, Hardy and Bacon. SHB.com. Accessed July 9, 2011.
  2. "Behrens, Mark A.: Lobbyist Profile -- Summary, 2008.", Center for Responsive Politics. OpenSecrets.org. Accessed July 9, 2011.
  3. "Mark A. Behrens.", Shook, Hardy and Bacon. SHB.com. Accessed July 9, 2011.
  4. National Institute on Money in State Politics, ALEC Lobbyist Client Results, accessed July 4, 2011.
  5. "Registered Lobbyists.", North Dakota Secretary of State Lobbying and Legislative Database. ND.gov. Accessed June 30, 2011.
  6. "ALEC: Ghost Writing the Law for Corporate America.", American Association for Justice. Justice.org. Written May 2010.
  7. Penniman, Nick."Outing ALEC: The Most Powerful Lobby You've Never Heard Of.", The American Prospect. Prospect.org. June 30, 2002. Accessed June 30, 2011.
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