The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been the target of increasing public scrutiny and opprobrium – and while the recent defections of several major companies from ALEC suggest public outcry has the power to rein in even the most deep-pocketed players, it would be a mistake to target scrutiny solely at ALEC and its members.
Why? Because other stealth lobbyists have penetrated bipartisan trade associations for state government officials – groups subsidized by taxpayers. In particular, corporate lobbies advance their agendas through the Council of State Governments – whose multimillion-dollar budget is mostly taxpayer funded – and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Through these innocuously named organizations, lobbyists exploit a well-tethered network of nonprofits representing state-level officials to advance the agendas of their corporate clientele.
Truthout contributors Steve Horn and Sarah Blaskey set out to uncover the details of how ALEC’s less notorious counterparts influence lawmaking in your state. What they found suggests the coverage of ALEC – critical though it is – is only one part of the story.
Part 1: Uncovering the Other ALECs