The Guardian, now famous for its abilities to get a hold of damning secret documents, has released a pile of of files today that outline major funding issues at the right-wing lobby group, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Most interesting, is ALEC’s operation called the “Prodigal Son Project” outlining the organization’s financial troubles and the plan to woo back more than 40 corporate members.
According to the Guardian, the ALEC leaked documents show that:
• ALEC has set up a separate sister group called the “Jeffersonian Project” amid concerns over possible government inquiries into whether its activities constitute lobbying – which would threaten its tax-exempt status;
• the network has suffered a decline in its membership among state-based Republicans and among big corporations following the Trayvon Martin controversy;
• its income raised from conferences, membership fees and donations has fallen short, leaving the group with a potential funding crisis;
• a draft agreement prepared for the board meeting proposed that Alec’s chairs in each of the 50 states, who are drawn from senior legislators, should be required to put the interests of the organisation first, thus setting up a possible conflict of interest with the voters who elected them;
• Alec also considered extending its remit to include the gambling industry, particularly online gambling, as a possible source of new members and revenue.
All this is happening while ALEC is holding their 2013 “States and Nation Policy Summit.” I am sure the Guardian article is causing quite the buzz in the halls there.
ALEC is using the twitter hashtag #alecsnps if you want to jump in the conversation there.
Photo by Mikasi under a Creative Commons license.