What Is ALEC?
ALEC is a corporate lobbying group that brings together corporate lobbyists and politicians to vote on “model bills” behind closed doors as equals, without any public input, that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line. These model bills are then introduced in state legislatures across the country. ALEC and ALEC corporations often pay for legislators’ travel expenses to go to ALEC conferences, but when ALEC or the corporations are not paying for these so-called “scholarships,” the expense is often passed on to the taxpayers. ALEC currently lobbies on a number of different issues, including tax and budget, climate change and the environment, workers’ rights and collective bargaining, healthcare, telecommunications policy, and education.
Is ALEC Violating IRS Tax Law?
Common Cause has filed a “whistleblower” complaint against ALEC with the Internal Revenue Service, accusing the group of violating its tax-exempt status by operating as a lobby while claiming to be a charity. The group’s tax exemption allows its corporate supporters to take tax deductions on millions spent each year to support ALEC’s activities, in effect providing a taxpayer subsidy for its lobbying.
Who Funds ALEC?
Corporations and special interest groups fund nearly all of ALEC's operations. Some of ALEC’s largest corporate members and sponsors include AT&T, Altria, ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, Reynolds American, UPS, Pfizer, Duke Energy, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Verizon.
Which Corporations Have Left ALEC?
Due to controversies surrounding ALEC’s secretive operations, controversial agenda, and public pressure from Common Cause and our allies, over 100 major companies have left ALEC since 2011, including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, Walmart, Bank of America, Visa, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, eBay, BP, and T-Mobile.