Kaplan: ALEC Flunks Our Test
14 Companies, 28 Legislators Have Left Secretive Corporate Lobby
Kaplan Inc., an online education, tutoring and testing firm that says it serves more than 1 million Americans each year, has decided that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) no longer meets its standards.
Media outlets are reporting today that Kaplan's college division quit ALEC last August after one year as a member.
Common Cause filed an IRS whistleblower complaint against ALEC last week, alleging that it is masquerading as a charity and exploiting its federal tax-exempt status. The Common Cause submission is supported by more than 4,000 pages of ALEC records, and was prepared by Phillips & Cohen attorneys Eric R. Havian and Erika A. Kelton.
The IRS classifies ALEC as a 501 (C)(3) organization, which means that it is tax exempt and that donations to it are tax deductible. The law limits lobbying by groups with that designation, specifying that “no substantial part” of their activity can be devoted to influencing legislation.
Kaplan, part of the Washington Post Co., joins 13 other corporations which have fled ALEC in recent weeks, including 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.
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