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The Other ALECs: A Look at the Lesser Known Stealth Lobbies That Write Bills for Your State

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 By Steve Horn and Sarah Blaskey, Truthout | News Analysis
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The Other ALECs exposed.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been the target of increasing public scrutiny and opprobrium - and while the recent defections of several major companies from ALEC suggest public outcry has the power to rein in even the most deep-pocketed players, it would be a mistake to target scrutiny solely at ALEC and its members.

Why? Because other stealth lobbyists have penetrated bipartisan trade associations for state government officials - groups subsidized by taxpayers. In particular, corporate lobbies advance their agendas through the Council of State Governments - whose multimillion-dollar budget is mostly taxpayer funded - and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Through these innocuously named organizations, lobbyists exploit a well-tethered network of nonprofits representing state-level officials to advance the agendas of their corporate clientele.

Truthout contributors Steve Horn and Sarah Blaskey set out to uncover the details of how ALEC's less notorious counterparts influence lawmaking in your state. What they found suggests the coverage of ALEC - critical though it is - is only one part of the story.

Part 1: Uncovering the Other ALECs

Part 2: Exposed: The Other ALECs' Corporate Playbook

Part 3: How Big Business Has Triumphed in State Legislatures on Civil Liberties, Higher Education and Energy

Part 4: The Other ALECs' K-12 Education Agenda Exposed

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Sarah Blaskey

Sarah Blaskey is a freelance journalist from Madison, Wisconsin.

Steve Horn

Steve Horn is a freelance investigative journalist, and a researcher and writer at DeSmogBlog.

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The Other ALECs: A Look at the Lesser Known Stealth Lobbies That Write Bills for Your State

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 By Steve Horn and Sarah Blaskey, Truthout | News Analysis
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

The Other ALECs exposed.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been the target of increasing public scrutiny and opprobrium - and while the recent defections of several major companies from ALEC suggest public outcry has the power to rein in even the most deep-pocketed players, it would be a mistake to target scrutiny solely at ALEC and its members.

Why? Because other stealth lobbyists have penetrated bipartisan trade associations for state government officials - groups subsidized by taxpayers. In particular, corporate lobbies advance their agendas through the Council of State Governments - whose multimillion-dollar budget is mostly taxpayer funded - and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Through these innocuously named organizations, lobbyists exploit a well-tethered network of nonprofits representing state-level officials to advance the agendas of their corporate clientele.

Truthout contributors Steve Horn and Sarah Blaskey set out to uncover the details of how ALEC's less notorious counterparts influence lawmaking in your state. What they found suggests the coverage of ALEC - critical though it is - is only one part of the story.

Part 1: Uncovering the Other ALECs

Part 2: Exposed: The Other ALECs' Corporate Playbook

Part 3: How Big Business Has Triumphed in State Legislatures on Civil Liberties, Higher Education and Energy

Part 4: The Other ALECs' K-12 Education Agenda Exposed

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Sarah Blaskey

Sarah Blaskey is a freelance journalist from Madison, Wisconsin.

Steve Horn

Steve Horn is a freelance investigative journalist, and a researcher and writer at DeSmogBlog.