ALEC Singled Out for Exemption from Lobbying Law in South Carolina
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), composed of conservative politicians and corporations that promote pro-business legislative agendas, has been allowed to lobby in South Carolina and other states without being required to register like other lobbying organizations.
The revelation was discovered by Democratic state Representative Boyd Brown, a critic of ALEC, who found that South Carolina lawmakers adopted legislation in 2003 that specifically exempted the conservative group—and no one else—from registering or disclosing its lobbying expenditures.
“I can’t get in a car with a lobbyist and drive up the street,” Brown told iWatch News. “But ALEC can give me a scholarship to fly across the country.”
Brown has introduced a bill that would remove ALEC’s exemption from lobbying laws.
ALEC also enjoys exempt status when it comes to lobbying regulations in Indiana and Colorado.
Common Cause last month filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service asking it to review ALEC’s status, saying it is “a corporate lobbying group masquerading as a charity” that promises its donors a tax deduction.
ALEC has been responsible for creating templates for more than 1,000 state bills, at least 200 of which have become law, including the controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws.
In the wake of recent controversies, some corporate members of ALEC, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald's, Kraft, Mars, Wendy’s and Procter & Gamble, have reportedly dropped out of the organization. So too have 34 lawmakers.
To Learn More:
ALEC Exempted from Lobbyist Status in Three Separate States (by Paul Abowd, iWatch News)
South Carolina ALEC Member Literally Exempted ALEC from State Lobbying and Ethics Laws (by Lee Fang, Republic Report)
Smart ALEC Models This Year’s Fashionable Conservatism for Lawmakers (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Ken Broder, AllGov)
ALEC Exposed (Center for Media and Democracy)
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