In the summer of 2011, The Nation highlighted a series of articles exposing the connection between corporate-funded ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and the model legislation they push in states like New Hampshire. According to The Nation, ALEC is "a critical arm of the right wing network of policy shops that, with infusions of corporate cash, has evolved to shape American politics ... ALEC's model legislation reflects long term goals ... priorities for the 2011 session included bills to privatize education, break unions, deregulate major industries, pass voter id laws and more."
The series connected to a new website, ALEC Exposed.com, which provided a wiki for exposing ALEC's model legislation. Using the tool, Granite State Progress quickly identified several pieces of New Hampshire legislation as possible ALEC model legislation.
More alarmingly, using the tools we also identified that several members of the NH House of Representative are formal members of ALEC and, over the past several years, have filed legislative financial reimbursement requests from the State of New Hampshire for attending ALEC conferences. In short, legislators have been reimbursed by NH taxpayers for attending right-wing ALEC conferences.Granite State Progress has issued periodic reports and exposes about ALEC to educate the public and the media about the extent of corporate influence in the halls of our State House. ALEC is a right-wing tool of big business, and it has no place in shaping public policy that affects families and small businesses in our state.
Granite State Progress reports on ALEC:
- ALEC Exposed: Outside Corporate Special Interest ALEC Wrote NH's Right to Work for Less Legislation (July 2011)
- GSP Research Brief: 30 years of ALEC Model Right to Work for Less Legislation in New Hampshire (March 2012)
Granite State Progress work to Expose ALEC:
- Read our blog post on ALEC
- Read how we pressured NH Legislative Leadership to publicly release the names of NH legislators attending ALEC conferences on the states' dime.
- Read our periodic updates on ALEC Model legislation sponsored in the House and Senate (here and here)
- Read our press release calling out NH ALEC-affiliated state representatives
ALEC Exposed Wiki Tool:
Thank you to the Center for Media and Democracy and the other terrific organizations helping to support this important research.
"Big corporations have influenced our elections for decades, but just as dangerous is the way they have quietly drafted legislation introduced in State Houses across the country. ALEC is a corporate-funded entity that allows corporate special interests to sit next to legislators and draft legislation by and for the wealthiest one percent of Americans. This must be exposed, and it must be stopped."
Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress