ALEC turns 40 and continues to subvert the legal system

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the best known of several highly ideological bill mills that are designated as charities for tax purposes despite being dominated by some of the wealthiest corporations in the world. ALEC recently celebrated its 40th anniversary in its birthplace: Chicago. Although largely ignored by the commercial media, significant protests continued throughout ALEC’s conference to draw attention to the impact of ALEC on workplace fairness, civil rights, consumer protection, and environmental safety, among other matters.

The main reason for the opposition to ALEC and similar “charities,” such as the Council of State Governments, is the role they apparently play in shaping the law that governs economic, social, and political life generally. In particular, ALEC and similar “charities” hold private meetings at luxury resorts for corporate agents and allied State legislators to draft pro-corporate “model” legislation that those State legislators then seek to pass in their respective States. Given this tactic, it should not be surprising that virtually identical legislation has been proposed and then enacted in States across the nation.

It is difficult to understand how such copy-cat laws drafted behind closed doors by corporate interests somehow represent the public interest in a given State where the legislation is ultimately imposed. Indeed, ALEC and allied organizations are evidently seeking to enact laws, State by State, that essentially undermine public safety, employment opportunity, and even democracy itself.