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.