As companies continue to flee the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the shadowy organization is searching for new sources of revenue.
According to this Guardian report, ALEC plans to target city and local governments for potential new revenue streams in efforts to replicate its influence within state legislatures.
The American City County Exchange (ACCE) will target policy makers from villages, towns, cities and counties.
The new off-shoot will offer corporate America a direct conduit into the policy making process of city councils and municipalities. Lobbyists acting on behalf of major businesses will be able to propose resolutions and argue for new profit- enhancing legislation in front of elected officials, who will then return to council chambers to implement the proposals.
Founded in 1973, ALEC supports free market principles and courts financial support from various foundations, including those controlled by the billionaire Koch Brothers. ALEC sponsors private meetings allowing state lawmakers and corporate executives to frame legislation that is later introduced in state legislatures. The laws tilt in the favor of big business. ALEC has pushed legislation that has been harmful to our members’ right to bargain collectively and has proposed other anti-union policies. One of ALEC’s top legislative priorities for the year is to advocate policies that would change public pensions. The group is encouraging states including Missouri and Illinois to consider shifting to defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s and away from traditional defined benefit plans.
ALEC’s success has been its ability to operate in secret and to gain access to legislators while providing an anonymous cover for its corporate sponsors to press their agenda. The organization continues to remain a threat because it pushes model legislation in all 50 states.