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Republican Presidential Candidates To Visit San Diego

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Photo credit: Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, July 18, 2015.

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Three Republican presidential hopefuls are due in San Diego this week to speak at the 42nd annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled to appear Wednesday at the conference at the Manchester Grant Hyatt. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will speak Thursday and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Friday.

ALEC is an organization of state legislators who are advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members.

Francine Busby, chairwoman of the San Diego County Democratic Party, called ALEC a group of extremists that organizes "secret meetings" between lawmakers and corporate lobbyists.

"This is legalized corruption," Busby said in a statement released to the media. "There is no accountability and no transparency. The public isn't at the table at all."

She urged San Diego's Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, not to speak at the ALEC meeting.

A coalition of organizations on Busby's side of the political fence — including the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, Sierra Club and American Federation of Teachers — plan to protest ALEC Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Embarcadero Park North.

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