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Is ALEC regrouping?

The shadowy organization known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been quiet in recent weeks and we now know why.

Roll Call reports that ALEC has been quietly laying the groundwork for establishing a new partnership with the Republican Study Committee (RSC). The newspaper reports that a meeting will be held next week in Washington, DC at the Heritage Foundation.

The meeting promises to develop an ongoing relationship between ALEC and the RSC that would allow federal lawmakers to exchange ideas with state legislators.

This comes at a time when several major corporations have dumped ALEC since its operating structure has been publicly scrutinized after the controversial Stand Your Ground Laws put a spotlight on the group.

Roll Call reports at least 18 state representatives and six U.S. House representatives are planning to attend. The meeting is for lawmakers only and it has been reported that ALEC’s corporate sponsors won’t attend.

ALEC has pushed legislation across statehouses that have been harmful to fire fighter rights to collectively bargain and proposed other anti-union policies.

ALEC is registered as a public charity, but other organizations assert that it is too entrenched in lobbying efforts and that it shouldn’t be considered as a 501 (c)(3) classification which allows it to keep its tax-exempt status while accepting grants from foundations, corporations and other donors.

In August, General Electric, Western Union, Sprint Nextel, Symantec and Reckitt Benckiser announced they would no longer keep their membership in ALEC.

They join a long list of corporate sponsors who have broken ties with the organization:

Amgen, General Motors, Walgreens, Hewlett-Packard, CVS Caremark, Deere & Co., Miller, Coors, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Kaplan, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mars, Inc., Intuit, Proctor & Gamble, Reed Elsevier, America Traffic Solutions, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Amgen Inc. , Entergy Corporation, Arizona Public Services and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Comments (1) -

  • Dear Mr. Timmsen,

    Thank you for your email. I appreciate your concern and also had the same reaction when I saw the listings of those who have been associated with ALEC in the past. This organization has, over the past few years, become a tool used by those who would harm our interests. Prior to that, this group was relatively innocuous. This has changed. When this list was brought to my attention, I immediately read the footnotes and discovered that those companies in bold at the site link below are known to be recently associated with ALEC, you will notice that both Liberty Mutual and Nationwide are not in bold. www.sourcewatch.org/index.php

    I notified both companies that their names are on the list and that they should disassociate themselves with this problem by contacting sourcewatch and requesting that a note be added by their name to make it clear that they are not currently connected. I sent the note below (under my signature) to Liberty Mutual and a similar one to Nationwide making this request. Both companies confirm that their relationship to ALEC ended prior to 2005. I know that their PR departments are aware of the importance of distancing their organizations from this group. To date, I do not know where they are with respect to contacting sourcewatch to have the notation made on the website.

    Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.

    Carrie Tucker, Chief Operating Officer
    IAFF Financial Corporation

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