December 5, 2013
The Guardian reports, "An influential US lobbying network of Republican politicians and big businesses is seeking to avert a looming funding crisis by appealing to major donors that have abandoned it over the past two years following criticism of its policy on gun laws. The Guardian has learned that the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US, has identified more than 40 lapsed corporate members it wants to attract back into the fold... The documents obtained by the Guardian include a variety of papers prepared for Alec's board of directors... Among them is a draft agreement that was prepared for Alec's board of directors that set out the proposed responsibilities of the group's state chairs from prominent, largely Republican, legislators. The draft agreement contains the proposed commitment from state chairs that: 'I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first.'"
Progressive Point: Our elected leaders should be protecting Virginia against special interests, not doing their bidding in Richmond. Not only is the corporate front group ALEC ghostwriting Virginia's laws and influencing our legislators, but representatives under ALEC's influence are now blatantly pledging to put special interests first above voters. ALEC already works with state legislators to introduce bills written and endorsed by corporate lobbyists, with zero disclosure. Now they are asking legislators pledge allegiance to ALEC above their constituents, as well.
ALEC's primary purpose is to influence legislation at the state level, yet for years it has claimed on its tax returns it isn't spending a penny on lobbying. If you want to influence policy in Virginia or anywhere else, you need to play by the same rules as everyone else: register as a lobbyist and do your work out in the open. Now, new evidence makes it clear that ALEC has misled reporters, the public, its members, and even the IRS. Policies designed to block accountability aren't good for our Commonwealth or our country. We need leaders who work for us, not corporate front groups like the ALEC.
Get the Facts:
Tweet it: Asking VA legislators to pledge allegiance to ALEC? http://bit.ly/1hAuXVY via @ProgressVA