Through ALEC, Global Corporations Are Scheming to Rewrite YOUR Rights and Boost THEIR Revenue
Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations. In ALEC's own words, corporations have "a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU? Numerous resources to help us expose ALEC are provided below. We have also created links to detailed discussions of key issues, which are available on the left.
After the town of Denton, Texas passed a ballot initiative banning fracking in November 2014, the oil and gas industry reacted with outrage and swiftly filed suit. Politicians in the state capitol responded with a fusillade of bills to preempt local authority over public health and safety and to subject local ballot initiatives to pre-approval by the state attorney general. There was even a bill to end local home rule altogether.
The tiny town of Denton was not alone. From New Jersey to Oregon, on topics as diverse as minimum wage, paid sick leave, community broadband, e-cigarettes, and GMOs, state politicians are stepping up their efforts to destroy a bedrock principle of U.S. governance--the right of municipal and county authorities to legally and appropriately enact and strengthen laws that reflect local needs and priorities.
As unions and working people battle "right-to-work" legislation in several states, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and allies have opened another flank in their war on good jobs. Targeted this time are state prevailing wage laws, which require public construction projects to support local wage standards instead of undercutting them. Studies have repeatedly found that prevailing wage laws do not harm taxpayers but are effective in providing something increasingly rare in regional labor markets, upward pressure on wages.
BP announced Monday that it was cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, the controversial corporate bill mill. It is the third major fossil fuel company to sever ties with ALEC, after Occidental Petroleum in 2014. ExxonMobil remains on the ALEC private sector board.
As of March 2015, at least 102 corporations and 19 non-profits--for a total of 121 private sector members--have publicly announced that they cut ties with ALEC. You can see a full list of companies that have cut ties here.
Wisconsin Republicans have called a special session to take up a "right to work" measure attacking private sector unions--and the text of the bill, the Center for Media and Democracy has discovered, is taken word-for-word from American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation.
See the side-by-side of the Wisconsin legislation and the ALEC bill here.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) made headlines after Wisconsin Republicans introduced a virtually word-for-word copy of the ALEC “model” Right to Work Act, following on the heels of Michigan and other states that have taken up the ALEC-inspired anti-union measures in recent years.
But ALEC and its allies have also been pushing a new and unprecedented approach to defunding unions on a city-by-city basis through an ALEC offshoot, the American City County Exchange (ACCE).
As the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has reported previously, the American City County Exchange (ACCE) was formed in 2014 as a local government version of the state legislature-focused American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The new group's structure mimics its parent organization, with corporate lobbyists paying between $10,000 and $25,000 to sit side-by-side with city and county elected officials and vote on legislation that all too frequently benefits ALEC's corporate members.
Brandie Davis, lobbyist and Director of Corporate Affairs at Philip Morris International, urged lawmakers to adopt a measure in opposition to "plain packaging" laws that ban trademark labels on cigarette packages, branding them as illegal advertising and replacing them with images like the diseased lung featured on Oliver's show that alert smokers to the danger of smoking cigarettes. ALEC's International Relations Task Force took up the issue at the 2010 annual meeting (p. 14), and with corporate lobbyists like Davis voting as equals with state lawmakers to make it part of ALEC’s legislative agenda, "The resolution passed unanimously and was subsequently approved by ALEC's Board of Directors."
"On this 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March On Washington, let's remember what we have in common."
Greenpeace presents a powerful new look at ALEC policies and how they harm the public interest.
Bill Moyers Follows Up on ALEC Exposé
United States of ALEC: A Follow-Up
PBS's respected "Moyers & Company" show follows up on a breakthrough 2012 report about ALEC.
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