ALEC’s Being Bad Again

Something has to be done about ALEC. You know, the American Legislative Exchange Council. It’s an acronym of course, and it’s no accident ALEC’s not called LINDA, KATY or SUZANNE.


ALEC is a “non-profit” matchmaking service that arranges happy marriages between major corporations and conservative state lawmakers across the U.S. The “Legislative Exchange” part of ALEC happens when real people’s rights, through ALEC’s new legislation, are exchanged for corporate rights (or the right to maximize corporate profits). Ultra wealthy billionaire elites like Charles and David Koch, two unelected American lawmakers are deeply connected longtime influential members of this exclusive corporate club.


There’s just no getting around it; ALEC’s a bad boy. He’s mean, self-centered, he won’t share, and he’s super secretive. Everything he does is behind closed doors. The “model bills” ALEC conjures up in the dark are aimed at dismantling democracy for American citizens while building a new highly profitable democracy for the corporate wealthy elite.


I was surprised to recently learn that ALEC isn’t a boy at all, but a 40 year old man. He had a weeklong gathering of cronies in Chicago to celebrate his Big Day. I’ve read a bit of ALEC’s biography and even as an infant he was a shameless bully. Go to to get a shocking earful of ALEC’s loathsome past.


Turns out ALEC fervently opposed disinvestment from apartheid South Africa because corporations profit greatly from employing workers that have no rights. ALEC did not want to support disinvestment also because he was afraid socially conscious investing (or disinvesting) would appeal to Americans, and that kind of investment is always bad for corporate profits.


Today ALEC is corporate profit versus the world. Workers’ rights, voters’ rights, consumer rights, women’s rights, earth rights, animal rights…. all rights but corporate rights are abhorrent to today’s middle aged ALEC. Age hasn’t sweetened him a bit.


The good news is ALEC’s own meanness has come back on him. As ALEC’s secret acts are exposed and the American public becomes aware of the controversial democracy-busting legislation ALEC has been responsible for passing, this pro-corporate, anti-people organization has lost a significant amount of support from major corporations as well as from legislators, (who should never have been there in the first place). It shows the power of people to affect corporate behavior when they can see what is happening behind closed doors. Does this mean real people can make corporate entities have a social conscience? That the 1% could become the 100? It’s something that bad boy ALEC is terrified of… real people coming together.


Unfortunately a corporation is endowed with eternal life, so ALEC’s on the comeback. I hear he’s gathering up muscle in six states to devastate people’s rights concerning income taxes, (ALEC doesn’t pay them), education, workers’ comp and healthcare. And then ALEC’s got all those useful model bills in line for attacking clean energy and penalizing people for going solar. ALEC wants to milk those oil profits down to the very last drop. For ALEC it’s a whole wide world of profit out there, just ripe for the taking.