Home > Environment, Ethics, Politics > ALEC and “Model Legislation” for Republican State Legislators

ALEC and “Model Legislation” for Republican State Legislators

March 28, 2011


Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

– Sir Walter Scott

I have supported Defenders of Wildlife for a few years on a very low donation level. I like what they do to protect endangered species, especially gray wolves. While researching a followup to the previous post on ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, I went over to SourceWatch to find out more about this powerful conservative group. Within the footnotes was this reference, an exclusive report from 2002 by Defenders of Wildlife on ALEC, a report I am making available here for download. My conclusion after reading the report is this: ALEC is deceptive, devious, and dangerous.

Download here: ALEC_TrojanHorse


ALEC would have the public believe that it’s an association of elected members of the 50 state legislatures with varying political and public policy philosophies. However, ALEC is nothing less than a tax-exempt facade for the country’s largest corporations and kindred entities. Companies likes Enron, Amoco, Chevron, Shell, Texaco, Coors Brewing, Koch Industries, Nationwide Insurance, Pfizer, National Energy Group, Philip Morris, and R. J. Reynolds pay for essentially all of ALEC’s expenses.

…ALEC’s approach of brazenly promoting a corporate agenda as the product of a supposedly objective, nonprofit organization is especially effective in state legislatures, and especially attractive to the corporations that set its advocacy agenda.

…Polluters, developers, and their big business allies will use their extensive resources to finance a corporate takeover of state government if we continue to turn a blind eye to the
deceptive and insidious work of the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is
time to hold this group, and its members, accountable for the greater public interest.

…These corporate underwriters father legislation that is drafted with help from ALEC’s staff, approved as “model” bills by the organization’s board, and then introduced by ALEC’s legislator “members” in state capitals from coast to coast.

What is Model Legislation?
Model legislation are templates offered to state lawmakers to promote a specific agenda.

SourceWatch reports: By 2010, ALEC was offering legislative templates to state lawmakers to oppose regional efforts toward climate change mitigation. Raegan Weber, ALEC’s senior director of public affairs, said the group has produced 800 to 1,000 pieces of “model legislation.” The ALEC’s template for “State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives,” has cropped up in nearly identical form in resolutions or bills in at least six states:

WHEREAS, there has been no credible economic analysis of the costs associated with carbon reduction mandates and the consequential effect of the increasing costs of doing business in the State of ______;
WHEREAS, forcing business, industry, and food producers to reduce carbon emissions through government mandates and cap-and-trade policies under consideration for the regional climate initiative will increase the cost of doing business, push companies to do business with other states or nations, and increase consumer costs for electricity, fuel, and food;
WHEREAS, the Congressional Budget Office warns that the cost of cap-and-trade policies will be borne by consumers and will place a disproportionately high burden on poorer families;
WHEREAS, simply reducing carbon emissions in the State of ______ will not have a significant impact on international carbon reduction, especially while countries like China, Russia, Mexico, and India emit an ever-increasing amount of carbon into the atmosphere;
WHEREAS, a tremendous amount of economic growth would be sacrificed for a reduction in carbon emissions that would have no appreciable impact on global concentrations of CO2;
WHEREAS, no state or nation has enhanced economic opportunities for its citizens or increased Gross Domestic Product through cap and trade or other carbon reduction policies; and
WHEREAS, Europe’s cap and trade system has been undermined by political favoritism, accounting tricks and has failed to achieve the carbon reduction targets,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the legislature of the State of ______ urges the Governor to withdraw [state] from the regional climate initiative.

SourceWatch: ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council

Defenders of Wildlife and Natural Resources Defense Council, “Corporate America’s Trojan Horse in the States: The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council”, March 2002.

  1. Dale Lanan
    June 28, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Raising the alarm about ALEC and the concerted effort going on by forces that would strip our country of its ‘peaceful ways and democratic processes’ to become a totalitarian, corporate plutocracy seems a logical thing to do – particularly given the takeover of cities and the like going on in Michigan. Cities once made to fail and being called unfit by ALEC shills once governor are then placed under an appointed dictator.. Who sees a way back to democracy once it is lost and where is the great outcry by those who declare they like Liberty and to be Free yet vote as they are directed by tricks of political maneuvering utilizing largely laundered corporate money filtered though purchase of TV and radio ads on a good-old-boy network of consolidated corporate media control. Blessed by the high court of corporate power.

  2. Dale Lanan
    February 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    It’s now middle of February, 2012 and US is streaming toward an election at the Fall where unlimited monies from corporations are set to stream into and choke TV air time and discussion through big media distribution, consolidate big media controlled by 5or6 owner monopoly to influence elections’ outcomes with the Supreme Court’s overt blessing by right of decree giving corporate the right to free speech through the use of money, foreign funds not specifically excluded as long as laundered properly..
    I wish the people of the United States were paying attention and not so wrapped up selfishly.

    This is because the fate really of the Earth itself lays in the balance along with hopes of God

    Corporations are not people and money is not speech, but this is the justice of USA today.
    An opportunity to change the course of history remains – if the forces behind ALEC are with heart challenged by a concerted force dedicated to bringing to light and to justice the AXIS behind the conspiracy engaged in enhancing corporate power by the right of corporations hiding behind 501 protections of non profit, falsely and with contempt for the people of the nation of the United States of America and the world.. – In contempt of the common good of the world.. An AXIS that needs confronting which currently is giving corporations right of designing and voting on draft of Law and distribution and promotion of said Law for swift adoption among States that make real essence of the Nation of the United States. Coup.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: