John Stripp saw a lot during his 18 years as Weston, Redding and Easton's representative on the Connecticut Legislature. Outside influence on bills seemed to come from everywhere ... even Singapore.
Stripp and a fellow state representative drafted a bill on mutual funds a few years ago. He said it was "in the hopper" and ready to be voted on when he heard it sparked a big story in Singapore, which was concerned how it may affect the stock market.
"There's a lot of money in government and a lot of people want that money on both sides," Stripp said, "both Democrats and Republicans."
Among the major complaints in the documentary are allegations that ALEC is actually a lobbyist and should not have non-profit status, and that bills are being passed almost exactly how this organization drafts it behind closed doors.
"A lot of what it's saying is true," Stripp said of Moyers' documentary. "But if you think there isn't another group on the other side, you were born yesterday. Is it right on either side? No."
"I like Bill Moyers," Stripp added. "Whether you agree with him, he's always thought provoking."
He said, "Lobbyists are not Democrat or Republican. They're issue oriented. The only good thing I can say about the lobbyists is they give information to make decisions. 'This is a good bill because bing, bing, bing, bing, bing.'"
But Stripp said if lobbyists lie to a legislator even once, they lose their credibility.
"Local and state legislators are more honest," Stripp said.