ALEC: Rigging democracy

Some of the most important upcoming fights for our democracy will happen in the states — not in Washington, D.C. And one major threat is a group you might not have heard of: ALEC.

ALEC is the acronym for the benign-sounding American Legislative Exchange Council. Except… it’s anything but benign. This is a group of lobbyists funded by big corporations, working to ram far-right legislation through state legislatures.

ALEC is responsible for some of the most extreme, ultra-conservative laws passed in the last decade: “Stand Your Ground” gun legislation, racially discriminatory and overly strict voter photo ID laws, rollbacks of environmental protections, and blocking the Affordable Care Act at the state level, among others.

As I write, ALEC is getting ready for the 2020 legislative sessions in the states — and eyeing even more extreme legislation in states across the country. Stifling the right to peaceful protest. Advancing a dangerous Article V Constitutional Convention. Making it easier than ever to pollute our environment.

We must mobilize to stop them — and defend our civil rights, voting rights, and every other right you and I hold dear. ALEC’s member corporations pay top dollar for direct access to state lawmakers — who allow lobbyists to write corporate dream legislation into ALEC “model bills.” Then, ALEC-backed legislators rush those bills through their state houses, churning out laws that enrich corporations and hurt the rest of us.

But we have a plan to stop ALEC… and it’s working. You see, major companies don’t want to be publicly associated with ALEC’s overwhelmingly unpopular and extreme agenda. And up until very recently, ALEC has been able to operate from the shadows — quietly pulling the strings to advance their right-wing policies. But in the past few years, peoples’ groups like Common Cause have exposed ALEC for what it is — and put MAJOR pressure on companies to cut ties with them. Just this year, three of ALEC’s biggest funders — AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon — responded to our demands by canceling their ALEC membership. They joined Google, Coca-Cola, and other major companies in a sweeping exodus from ALEC’s toxic brand.

We’re ready to pressure each corporate ALEC member, one-by-one, until they cut ties with this extreme right-wing lobby group. Will you chip in and support this crucial effort?

FIGHT BACK AGAINST ALEC

I’ve seen it firsthand… our strategy hits ALEC where it hurts. They don’t have grassroots members and don’t represent anyone besides major corporations — so if we keep making clear to corporations and their customers what sort of extreme agenda they’re backing (and the public disgust that goes along with it), ALEC loses its power. AND… it’s clear they’re running scared. ALEC has threatened Common Cause and our coalition partners with legal action multiple times. But all we’re doing is putting ALEC’s extreme agenda out in the open and letting it speak for itself — which is a truth they can’t keep hiding from. Despite all this, major companies like Anheuser-Busch, UPS, and Pfizer continue to support ALEC.

We need your help to expose their involvement and hold them accountable. You can make a major difference right now! Chip in to help us expose and defeat ALEC at every turn >> Thank you for your support, Jay Riestenberg, Deputy Communications Director
and the team at Common Cause

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