Government for the Corporation</li></li></ul><li>Who Started ALEC? (American Legislative Exchange Council)<br />The American Legislative Exchange Council was originally the brainchild of conservative activist and culture warrior Paul Weyrich, a onetime journalist who later coined the term �Moral Majority� for evangelist Jerry Falwell. Weyrich’s original vision was to bring together state legislators who were energized by such social issues as the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion rights and concerned about what they saw as an overbearing, over-regulating, and over-taxing government.<br />
What is ALEC?<br /><ul><li>ALEC is a membership only 501(c)3 non-profit organization
ALEC has over 300 corporate members who pay from $7,000-$25,000 and more to belong to ALEC
Members may attend two meetings per year, Annual task force meeting and the annual membership meeting</li></li></ul><li> What Is ALEC<br />ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that.<br />Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line.<br />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.<br />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.<br />
Who Funds ALEC?<br /><ul><li>More than 98% of ALEC's revenues come from sources other than legislative dues, such as corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations.</li></ul>Each corporate member pays an annual fee of between $7,000 and $25,000 a year, and if a corporation participates in any of the nine task forces, additional fees apply, from $2,500 to $10,000 each year. Corporations can purchase seats on more than one task force.<br />ALEC also receives direct grants from corporations, such as $1.4 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2009.<br />It has also received grants from some of the biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, such as: the Koch family Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Koch-managed Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the Scaife family Allegheny Foundation, the Coors family Castle Rock Foundation, to name a few.<br />
How Bills Become Law in the Age of ALEC<br />State legislators and ALEC corporate members meet at the annual task force meeting.<br />ALEC’s 9 task forces consider legislation to introduce to the general membership at the ALEC annual meeting<br />Model legislation is given to ALEC legislative member and posted to the ALEC web site for members to access.<br />ALEC model legislation is introduced in state legislatures<br />Over 800 pieces of model legislation are now available at www.alecexposed.org<br />About 15-20% of ALEC legislation has become law in various states.<br />
Why ALEC Is Bad For America<br /><ul><li> ALEC negates representative government envisioned by our founding fathers
Corporations gain undue influence over the legislative process
Corporate agenda does not match with citizen agenda</li></li></ul><li>ALECs’ Mission<br />“ALEC pursues its mission chiefly by generating and promoting hundreds of “model” bills, resolutions, and policy statements every year. The state lawmakers said to be “members” of ALEC seem to have little or no real control over the inner workings of the organization. ALEC’s “private-sector members” “three hundred corporate sponsors each paying tens of thousands of dollars a year” appear to run the show, from financing the organization and selecting the issues it pushes, to exercising veto power over its policy positions.” http://alecwatch.org/chapterone.html<br /> <br />“ALEC’s task forces craft the organization’s “public-policy agenda” its “model” legislation and issue positions. On each task force, the private-sector representatives have an equal vote with the state legislators’ and effective veto power over the task force’s activities and legislative recommendations. Nothing can move out of the task force without agreement from its private-sector representatives.” http://alecwatch.org/chaptertwo.html<br />
ALEC Legislative Initiatives<br /><ul><li> Worker Rights -ALEC works fervently to promote laws that would shield corporations from legal action and allow them to limit the rights of workers.
Tax Policy - ALEC wants to make it more difficult to generate revenue in order to close shortfalls. Bills include the “Super Majority Act.”
Voter ID and Election Laws - ALEC is directly tied to the emerging trend among state legislatures to consider voter ID laws.
Obstruction Environmental Protections - At the bidding of its major donors like Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries, ALEC is behind state-level legislation that would hinder the ability of government to regulate and curb polluters. ALEC has previously said that carbon dioxide “is beneficial to plant and human life alike,” and promotes climate change denialism. </li></li></ul><li>More ALEC Legislative Initiatives<br /><ul><li> Private School Vouchers - These bills make education a private commodity rather than a public good, and reverse America’s modern innovation of promoting learning and civic virtue through public schools staffed with professional teachers for children from all backgrounds. </li></ul>Summary<br />This legislation creates and provides for parental choice of schools within an educational enterprise zone (EEZ). All public and private schools within a designated zone. Any elementary or secondary student who is eligible for participation in a free lunch program may attend any school within the zone, provided the school has space and the<br />student meets admission requirements.<br /><ul><li>There’s more, but you get the idea.</li></li></ul><li>What Can You Do To Stop ALEC?<br /><ul><li>Eliminate this type of private influence on the legislative process by:</li></ul>Removing or not allowing non-profit status for organizations whose function is to grant direct access to the legislative process. [slides or further discussion can include concrete examples of how this is to be done, e.g. supporting CommonCause's IRS probe request<br />TELL CORPORATIONS TO DUMP ALEC!<br />We are sending letters to the corporate leadership of the American Legislative Exchange Council (Bayer, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Wal-Mart, Kraft, Coca-Cola, State Farm, Johnson and Johnson, AT&T, Koch, Altria/Phillip Morris USA, Reynolds Tobacco, Centerpoint 360, American Bail Coalition, Diageo, Energy Future Holdings, Exxon Mobile, Intuit, Peabody Energy, PhRMA, Reed Elsevier, Salt River Project, UPS) to demand that they withdraw their membership from ALEC and do what’s right for our democracy.<br />Go to www.ALECExposed.org<br />
More You Can Do to Stop ALEC<br />Join Common Cause in telling the IRS to launch an immediate investigation into whether ALEC should have its tax-exempt status revoked!<br />Dear Commissioner Shulman:<br />I write on behalf of my client Common Cause to request that the Internal Revenue Service investigate what appears to be massive under-reporting of lobbying by the American Legislative Exchange Council (“ALEC”). Further, the Service should review the organization’s operations<br />to determine whether its tax-exempt status should be revoked due to excess lobbying or, alternatively, because ALEC appears to operate primarily to further private business interests and not to advance a charitable purpose.<br />
Stopping ALEC<br /><ul><li>Withdrawing support from and pursuing transparency from politicians who participate as members of such organizations.
Supporting politicians and policies that actually solve problems which address the needs of the public. This rejects ALEC's assumption that their worldview is the only way.
Engage ordinary citizens in democratic processes that turn public needs into real legislation</li></li></ul><li>Come Protest In New Orleans 8/5<br />Fight corporate greed! March to the Marriott! August 5<br />Stand up, and fight back in New Orleans! ALEC will be hosting their annual summit at the Marriott in New Orleans from August 1-6th. We will meet them there to let them know they can’t pull the strings from the behind the curtain any more!<br />