Some of the nation's largest and richest companies, including Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, and AT&T, have joined forces to invest millions of dollars each year to promote the careers of thousands of state legislators and secure passage of legislation that puts corporate interests ahead of the interests of ordinary Americans.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC, counts among its members some 2,000 state legislators and corporate executives. They sit side-by-side and collaborate to draft "model" bills that reach into areas of American life ranging from voting rights to environmental protection. They work in concert to get those bills passed in statehouses across the country.
In April 2012, Common Cause launched a whistleblower complaint against ALEC, charging that it 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 was filed in July 2013, as a follow-up to the original complaint.