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Why the American Legislative Exchange Council?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is composed of the biggest corporations in America, like ExxonMobil, Bank of America, BP, Monsanto, Pfizer, and Wal-Mart. They use ALEC to buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves only the interests of corporations and not people.

ALEC is one of the most successful mechanisms used by the 1% to control state and federal laws. It is much more than a lobby group. ALEC creates model legislation written to increase the profits of large corporations, and hands it off in secret to lawmakers who then introduce it as their own. ALEC has been responsible for some of the most anti-democratic and repressive legislation to grab headlines in recent history. The anti-union bills which caused massive protests in Wisconsin were written by ALEC, as was the anti-immigrant SB1070 passed in Arizona.

The motivation for ALEC members is clear. Under Arizona SB1070, there would be more deportations. This would lead to increased business for the Corrections Corporation of America(CCA), an ALEC member with government contracts to handle deportations. ALEC has also successfully pushed mandatory minimum sentences, limitations on parole and increased sentences for repeat offenders. Since CCA gets paid more when more people are in jail, this is a prime example of ALEC changing the American experience through laws created in secret who’s only goal is to boost profits for very large corporations.

ALEC corporations do business in every state and nearly every city in the United States. To see what bills, corporations and politicians are engaged in this type of anti-democratic work, go to ALECexposed.org.

As a first step in reclaiming our voices and challenging our society’s obsession with profit and greed we will shut down the corporations that are part of ALEC. We call for creative direct action. Use your imagination to shut down corporate headquarters and stop business as usual.

However, this is just a first step. The future of our species and the planet requires our cooperation. As long as individual gain and corporate greed constitute the foundation of our economic, social and political systems, they will inevitably lead to injustice, destruction and consolidation of power. In our society, profit is primary over relationships with one another. Profit is primary over our relationship with the environment and other species. Profit is primary over community. In this justice, liberty and a livable future are casualties. Shutting down the corporations and ALEC is a part of this longer term social change effort.

What is ALEC – handout from Occupy Wall Street:

ALEC Fact Sheet PDF

Short Video on ALEC by the B-Media Collective:

Video from Occupy Richmond:

Feb 29th: Shut Down ALEC from Kontra on Vimeo.

Presentation by the Civil Liberties Defense Center‘s Lauren Regan about ALEC:

Additional information about ALEC:

Common Cause report on Money, Power and ALEC

Common Cause filing challenging the non-profit status of ALEC

 

Just a couple reasons why ALEC needs to go (see issue pages for more):

– In early December 2009 — a full month and a half before the racist SB 1070 was introduced to the Arizona Senate and nearly two months before its counterpart was first read in the House — Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce formally submitted a version of his proposed legislation to ALEC an organization to which he and 35 other Arizona legislators are members. Read more

– Governor Scott Walker was an active member of ALEC when he was a state legislator in the years from 1993-2002, even listing his ALEC membership in his Wisconsin Blue Book profile. Governor Walker took a cue from the ALEC corporate wish list and introduced a radical bill in February 2011 to cripple public employee unions. Wisconsin Act 10 inspired months of protests and has been subjected to a series of legal challenges. Read more