The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate clearinghouse for the promotion of “model bills” that pad bottom lines of corporations at the public's expense. Over the last few months, Progress Texas has looked at ALEC and their influence on the Texas Legislature. Last week, our ongoing research culminated in the first of a series of reports detailing the influence of ALEC on Texas laws and lawmakers.
The report explains ALEC’s corporate agenda, outlines the money trail from ALEC corporate members to Texas lawmakers, and highlights how legislators take ALEC’s corporate-approved “model” bills and implements them in Texas. From 2001 to 2011, Texas lawmakers have received over $16.2 million from ALEC corporations, which is the second highest total among states. Rick Perry is the largest single recipient of ALEC-related funds nationwide, having received more than $2 million from ALEC corporate members from 2004-2011. The report also describes the cozy relationship between ALEC and the extreme right-wing group the Texas Public Policy Foundation, who regularly partners with ALEC to promote its corporate “model” bills here in Texas.
The Texas Legislature should be a laboratory for democracy, not a corporate clearinghouse for padding bottom lines at the public’s expense. ALEC Exposed in Texas shines light on the corporate lobbyists that craft cookie-cutter laws behind closed doors to put the profits of global corporations over creating better lives for Texans.