Establishing an American Legislative Exchange Council Democracy and Governance Program Exposed

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The Resolution Establishing an American Legislative Exchange Counsil Democracy and Governance Program was adopted by ALEC's International Relations Task Force. According to, the Resolution was approved by the Board of Directors on January 9, 2015. (Accessed on 3/7/2016)

CMD's Bill Summary

According to a December 10, 2009 press release, Hawaii State Representative Gene Ward introduced this Resolution that creates a "Democracy and Governance Program" which, it states conclusively, "will be funded by US State Department and USAID programs..."[1] He calls himself "one of the founding members of the International Relations Task Force of ALEC..."[1] No mention of funds received from USAID was noted in ALEC's IRS Form 1099s in years 2007-2009, the years for which they are available from Guidestar in 2011. If ALEC did receive this funding, then an ALEC program is using taxpayer funds for its activities.

ALEC Bill Text

WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was established to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty; to conduct policy making programs that unite members of the public and private sectors in a dynamic partnership; to support research, policy development, and dissemination activities; and to prepare the next generation of political leadership through educational programs that promote the principles of Jeffersonian democracy, which are necessary for a free society; AND

WHEREAS, the promotion of democracy and governance is a core function of the United States government as evidenced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that has actively promoted democracy worldwide for more than 40 years; AND

WHEREAS, USAID sponsors numerous democracy and governance exchanges between emerging nations and the United States, including such organizations as the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), to strengthen rule of law and respect for human rights, to promote more genuine and competitive elections and political processes, to increase development of politically active societies, to facilitate more transparent and accountable governance, and to promote free and independent media; AND

WHEREAS, studies conducted in 2006 and 2007 found USAID to have a significant, positive impact on democratic development across 165 countries and concluded that in any given year an investment of $10 million of USAID Democracy and Governance funding produces a five-fold (500%) increase in the amount of democratic change over what the average country would otherwise be expected to achieve;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the ALEC International Relations Task Force that ALEC establish its own democracy and governance program for the purposes of creating legislative exchanges with state and provincial representatives from emerging democracies around the world and initiate an annual democracy and governance seminar for the promotion of the ideals of freedom, open markets and the creation of better legislation worldwide; AND

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the ALEC International Relations Task Force that the establishment of this program commence in 2010 or as soon as is practicable; AND

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the pursuit of grants, scholarships, corporate donations and international exchange program sponsorship and funding may be launched simultaneously as well.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gene Ward, "Press Release," State of Hawaii House of Representatives, press release, December 10, 2009, accessed March 7, 2016.