You, your family and your fellow workers are under attack from a secretive organization that wants to make you poorer. In every state, the corporate-sponsored American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, works behind the scenes to pass laws that empower billionaires and corporations. ALEC pushes laws to strip workers of their rights, eradicate public education, outsource everything that can’t be nailed down, weaken environmental and consumer protections, suppress voting and increase taxes on the poor and working class while slashing them for the wealthy and for large corporations.
Here’s how it works: ALEC pays for state lawmakers to attend “conferences” at lavish resorts. There they meet with corporate political donors, who also want to discuss some bills they’d like passed.
Right now, ALEC boasts almost 2,000 state legislators from every state and both political parties participate in their program. Almost 100 in the U.S. House of Representatives are listed as ALEC alumni members.
The current co-chair of the ALEC subcommittee on transportation is a lobbyist for the American Trucking Association. This trucking industry front has been fighting against truckers for years. In the past year alone, they have lobbied for a loophole preventing port drivers from becoming actual employees of the companies they work for and worked to eliminate lunch breaks for short-haul drivers.
Of the 826 ALEC model bills brought to state legislatures in 2009, 115 were made law. Multiple ALEC-sponsored bills intended to defund unions were pushed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in 2011.
[subhed]A Great Investment
Although ALEC claims to be focused on the needs of lawmakers, fewer than 3 percent of ALEC’s revenue is from legislators.
The rest comes from corporate accounts, associations and other interest groups willing to pay for access. A top-tier corporate ALEC membership costs $25,000 this year according to their website -- but does not even guarantee access to the legislators lobbyists are trying to persuade.
One of the major funding sources of ALEC is Koch Industries, a corporation owned by radical right-wing brothers determined to eliminate worker rights in America.
Stand Up, Fight Back
Although ALEC’s reach is widespread, people across the country have been successful in limiting the organization’s reach.
Fifty-six corporations and nonprofits, from Bank of America to General Motors, have left ALEC due to public pressure campaigns, according to ALEC Exposed, a website devoted to exposing ALEC’s harmful agenda
Seventy-five state legislators have renounced their membership in ALEC publicly in response to public pressure.