image: money investigation

Campaign Finance Board to Investigate ALEC

Minnesota is first to launch public investigation into ALEC’s activities from complaints filed across the country

The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board today became the first in the nation to launch an investigation of the American Legislative Exchange Council for lobbying violations. To date, 37 other states have received requests to investigate, and the national organization of Common Cause has filed a formal complaint with the IRS alleging tax fraud. Common Cause Minnesota filed a complaint several weeks ago alleging that the group failed to register as lobbyist despite evidence that the group does lobby Minnesota legislators to support ALEC modeled legislation.

Read the letter confirming the investigation.

Corporations can no longer hide behind ALEC, as they try to influence state law behind closed doors. This investigation should expose how ALEC has attempted to avoid laws that regulate lobbyists in Minnesota.

The investigation could also explore whether ALEC gave Minnesota legislators illegal gifts in subsidizing junkets and conferences at luxury resorts. The complaint found three Minnesota legislators attended such junkets that bring corporations and lawmakers together in closed-door sessions to draft and propose ALEC legislation. Past events have included an annual clay pigeon shoot and barbeque sponsored by the NRA, and a “cigar reception” sponsored by Reynolds Tobacco. Minnesota law prohibits legislators from accepting gifts of travel from any registered lobbyist in the state of Minnesota.

Despite being registered as a 501(c)3, it is clear that ALEC does in fact engage in lobbying activity in Minnesota and across the country. The Common Cause complaint uncovered evidence that ALEC was writing emails to Minnesota legislators urging them to support specific legislation in Minnesota.

The Minnesota complaint states, “it seems incontrovertible that ALEC is substantially and indeed primarily engaged in attempting to influence legislation. All of its efforts are geared toward developing and promoting favored state legislation. These proposals are generated in a private process where the business interests of its corporate members are highlighted, then shared only with the organization’s legislator members so they can take the proposals back to their states and introduce them as their own ideas.[1] Its governing documents state that promotion of introduction of bills at the Federal and state levels and formulation of legislative action programs are two of the seven means by which ALEC pursues its purposes.”

Read the complaint to the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board

This investigation comes on the heels of two Minnesota based corporations, Scantron and Medtronic, that have ended their relationship with ALEC because of its extremist agenda to limit voting rights, privatize schools and prisons, weaken environmental protections, and promote ‘Stand Your Ground’ gun laws based on the controversial Florida law at issue in the Trayvon Martin shooting.

ALEC has faced intense public scrutiny in recent months losing a total of sixteen corporate members as a result of direct action:

Amazon, Scantron Corporation, Kaplan Higher Education, Procter & Gamble, YUM! Brands, Blue Cross Blue Shield, American Traffic Solutions, Reed Elsevier, Arizona Public Service, Mars, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Intuit, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola. The addition of Amazon.com brings the total to 16. Four non-profits — Lumina Foundation for Education, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and the Gates Foundation — and 54 state legislators have also cut ties with ALEC.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

4 Responses to “Campaign Finance Board to Investigate ALEC”

  1. I dugg some of you post as I thought they were very helpful very useful

  2. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Many thanks!

  3. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any points for inexperienced blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  4. Hey! I realize this is kind of off-topic but I had to ask. Does managing a well-established website like yours take a massive amount work? I’m completely new to writing a blog however I do write in my journal every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!