American Legislative Exchange Council


“ALEC was founded in 1973 in Chicago as the Conservative Caucus of State Legislators a project initiated by Mark Rhoads, an Illinois state house staffer, to counter the Environmental Protection Agency, wage, and price controls, and to respond to the defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election.[15][16]

Conservative legislators felt the word “conservative” was unpopular with the public at the time, however, so the organization was renamed as, the American Legislative Exchange Council.[15] In 1975, with the support of the American Conservative Union, ALEC registered as a federal nonprofit agency.[17][18] Bill Moyers and Greenpeace have attributed the establishment of ALEC to the influential Powell Memorandum, which led to the rise of a new business activist movement in the 1970s.[19][20]

ALEC was co-founded by conservative activist Paul Weyrich, who also co-founded The Heritage Foundation.[14][15] Henry Hyde, who later became a U.S. congressman, and Lou Barnett, who later became national political director of Ronald Reagan‘s Political Action Committee, also helped to found ALEC. Early members included a number of state and local politicians who went on to statewide office, including Bob Kasten, Tommy Thompson, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Engler of Michigan, Terry Branstad of Iowa, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and John Boehner and John Kasich of Ohio.[21] Several members of Congress also were involved in the organization during its early years, including Rep. Jack Kemp of New York, Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Sen. James L. Buckley of New York, Rep. Phil Crane of Illinois, and Rep Eric Cantor of Virginia.[21][22]

In the 1980s, ALEC opposed U.S. disinvestment from South Africa, a movement to put pressure on the South African government to embark on negotiations with a goal of dismantling apartheid.[23] In 1985, ALEC also published a memo that opposed “the current homosexual movement”, portrayed homosexuality as a result of a conscious choice, and said that pedophilia was “one of the more dominant practices within the homosexual world”.[24] ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling discussed the document in 2013 and said that ALEC does not draft model bills on social issues, and added, “I’m also sad that the critics would not acknowledge that organizations change over time.”[24]WIkipedia 

ALEC, a corporate think tank of legislators and their donors, has committees pairing business leaders and legislators. Together, they write the laws presented and passed by the Republican Party. Because the GOP’s Donors are working side-by-side with legislators, the policies are pre-approved and written by committee, which saves each legislator the work of research and writing independently. Congress may not even really know what they are backing as they have been relieved of much independent thought and consideration.


Exclusive: How ALEC serves the right

All In with Chris Hays investigative report goes inside the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council January 22, 2014 MSNBC

Koch-Backed Business Group Splinters in Climate-Change Dispute Bloomberg By 

Exxon Quits Koch-Backed Business Group After Climate Change Row BloombergBy and 

August 27,2018 A Letter to Verizon about their funding of ALEC, which invited anti-Muslim extremist David Horowitz to speak, signed by 79 organizations, resulted in Verizon pulling sponsorship.

Rep. Chris Taylor: ALEC gathering gives platform to hatemonger Horowitz Madison

“ALEC provided a platform for a Trump hatemonger to spread his racist and sexist propaganda this year. At a workshop of the Convention of States (COS), a project to call an Article V constitutional convention for the purposes of amending the federal Constitution to limit the power of the federal government, right-wing provocateur David Horowitz was a featured panelist. Horowitz, who runs his own think tank, has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “one of America’s most dangerous hatemongers.” According to the Center for Media and Democracy, Horowitz is bankrolled to the tune of $3.4 million by the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation. He recently gained fame as a key mentor to Trump adviser Stephen Miller, the “architect” of Trump’s family separation policy, according to the Atlantic.”

Color Of Change launched a letter campaign to ALEC’s corporate donors that resulted in at least 14 major withdrawals of support. “I want to alert you to the fact that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — which your company funds — is pushing gun access laws across the country. As a major ALEC bankroller and co-chair of its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, the NRA has directly authored dozens of “model” gun access bills and resolutions that fly in the face of commonsense efforts to reduce gun violence.”

April 17, 2012, PROGRESSIVE VICTORY: ALEC Ends Its Guns And Voter Suppression Task Force Think ProgressThis is a monumental move. The now defunct ALEC task force helped usher countless reactionary laws through state legislatures. Most prominent among these are “stand your ground” gun laws that came to the forefront in Florida after Trayvon Martin’s tragic death, and new voter ID laws that could suppress millions across the country, predominantly poor people and minorities.”

Spring 2012: Corporations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, dropped support of ALEC upon discovery they were behind Voter Suppression and “Stand Your Groundgun laws.Others included Yum! Brands, the owner of fast food brands KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars Inc., Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Reed Elsevier (owner of LexisNexis and publisher of science and health information), American Traffic Solutions and Arizona Public Service.

Procter & Gamble Becomes 13th Company To Drop ALEC ThinkProgress