Sacramento CA. California Common Cause, along with our allies and members, will hold a press conference on Wednesday, February 12th 10:30 am on the West Steps of the state capitol to send off a citizen's caravan to deliver Just Say NO to ALEC letters to every legislator. The letters ask state legislators not to join ALEC, not to knowingly support any ALEC model legislation and to withdraw from ALEC if they are members.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate-funded nonprofit that brings together its member corporations and state member legislators to create "model bills" that often directly benefit its corporate members.
According to ALEC's website, members share a common belief that "government closest to the people" is "fundamentally more effective, more just, and a better guarantor of freedom than the distant, bloated federal government in Washington, D.C."
"But rather than acting as a tax-exempt charity, it has proven to be the lobbying arm of corporate America, as shown through the countless number of ALEC bills that have been brought to light on theALEC Exposedwebsite and introduced in state houses across the country," said Helen Grieco of Common Cause.
Common Cause and the Center for Media and Democracy have linked ALEC to the creation of the Florida Stand Your Ground law that was used in the Trayvon Martin case, voter suppression legislation, legislative efforts to increase jail time that would benefit private prisons, and anti-immigration bills that boost revenues for detaining immigrants like Arizona's infamous SB 1070 law.
Common Cause filed a whistleblower complaint with the IRS showing that ALEC misuses charity laws, massively underreports lobbying, and obtains improper tax breaks for corporate funders at the taxpayers' expense. Over 4,000 pages of ALEC documents were submitted as evidence. A supplemental submission, as a follow-up to the original complaint, was filed in July 2013, documenting ALEC's improper use of a corporate slush fund to finance lavish junkets for legislators and their families.
If you would like to view the original whistleblower complaint to the IRS click here or to view the supplemental submission click here. Please contact Helen Grieco at hgrieco AT commoncause DOT org or 415-531-1774 if you have any questions.
California Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.