The American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, the right-wing group that, with corporate backing, literally writes Republican legislation to further it’s corporate agenda is on the defensive. As you may have heard, individuals have been using social media to pressure corporations to cut ties with ALEC, and its working.
A little background on ALEC from the watchdog site ALEC Exposed:
ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law.
ALEC claims to be non-partisan and non-profit, but their agenda is clearly a far-right agenda. ALEC has 2000 legislative members and over 300 corporations that create and vote on “model” bills that advance their right-wing agenda. It won’t shock you to learn that Koch Industries is on the governing board of ALEC. Legislation from the group has benefited tobacco companies, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies. They’ve passed legislation to privatize public schools. The Arizona “papers please” anti-immigrant legislation was written at an ALEC conference. The group was also responsible for “Castle Doctrine” bills being adopted in more than two dozen states, including Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law that gave George Zimmerman the perceived right to hunt and kill Trayvon Martin.
Thanks to many on the left putting pressure on corporations, there has been a steady flow of corporations cutting ties with ALEC. ALEC is feeling the pressure, as expressed by their representative in this clip (which includes the alarming statement that ALEC has existed for 35 years):
We’re getting absolutely killed in social media venues …
How You Can Help
ALEC Exposed has compiled this list of corporations connected to ALEC, and we encourage you to put your own pressure on the companies with which you do business with their handy email form.
And if you follow their Twitter feed, ALEC Exposed lists the latest news on their efforts to have corporations cut ties with ALEC.
ALECexposed Twitter feed: