The American Legislative Exchange Council, or “ALEC” is a Washington, DC, based group
funded almost entirely by corporations, corporate linked foundations, big business associations,insurance companies, and the super-rich. ALEC was formed in 1973 by a group of conservativeactivists who came together to advance a national right-wing agenda in state legislatures acrossthe country.ALEC is nominally a 501(c)3 educational organization which serves to coordinate and connectcorporate special interests, lobbyists, right wing think tanks, and conservative state legislators.Corporate members pay $7,000 to $25,000 to join, and have opportunities for greater sponso
rship, and even ‘scholarship’ donations directly to legislators.
ALEC provides researchand legislative assistance, while maintaining it does not lobby.
ALEC is organized into ninetask forces, each deal with a broad issue seeking new ways to promote right-wing corporateinterests. The task forces are co-
chaired by both a ‘public sector’ legislator and a ‘private sector’
corporation or think tank. Both public sector legislators, and private sector entities must approvea model bill before ALEC has officially adopted it.
ALEC’s dual nature is both the reason for its success,
and its greatest flaw. Giving corporateinterests voting power on model bills and influence over hundreds of state legislators is afinancial boon. Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, AT&T, State Farm, and Altriaare given extraordinary influence in exchange for their financial contributions to ALEC.Because
ALEC’s task forces are under such influence from corporate interests, ALEC’s model
legislation is predictable in its effect to benefit corporate bottom lines. Because
task force dealing with energy and environmental issues includes oil giants Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell,and Chevron, ALEC unsurprisingly promulgates legislation to allow for fracking, and opposes
environmental regulations on greenhouse gasses. ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task
Force can count on pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline, Celgene, Pfizer, and Eli Lilly tosupport legislation to prevent pharmaceutical cost controls.
ALEC’s Education Task Force combined companies profiting, or
seeking profits from publiceducation, and radical think tanks seeking to slash funding for public education, or privatize italtogether. There will always be a market for goods and services related to education, and therewill always be a need to enact policy changes to improve education. The policies of ALE
Education Task Force prioritize profit over results, secrecy over accountability, and cuts over kids.
The model legislation and policies promulgated by ALEC’s Education Task Force are often
advanced and enacted in states across the nation with little or no alteration. With theadvancement of
ALEC’s cookie cutter bills, often come cookie cutter results. This report seeks
to analyze of the effect of
ALEC’s Education polic
y effects in selected states and to shed light onthe conflicts of interest, coordinated efforts, and simply bad education policy ALECdisseminates.