When they turn on the spotlights -- shouldn't the jig be up?
... Shouldn't the corporate-caper be over? It should.
by Brendan Greeley, staff writer, Bloomberg-Businessweek -- May 03, 2012
The bills then get passed around among the 1,800 mostly Republican legislators who are ALEC members. They introduce the model bills about 1,000 times a year in state capitols around the country, the group says. About 200 become law. ALEC pays for the meetings through membership fees (called donations) that corporations pay. The legislators receive travel stipends (called scholarships) to attend the meetings. ALEC is registered with the IRS as a nonprofit that provides a public service, not as a lobbyist that seeks to influence.
This offers two benefits: Corporate members can deduct yearly dues, which run up to $25,000 -- more if they want to sponsor meetings; and ALEC doesn’t have to disclose the names of legislators and executives who attend. That’s important, because if ALEC operated with complete openness it would have difficulty operating at all. ALEC has attracted a wide and wealthy range of supporters in part because it’s done its work behind closed doors. Membership lists were secret. The origins of the model bills were secret. Part of ALEC’s mission is to present industry-backed legislation as grass-roots work.
Unfortunately for ALEC, that’s exactly what’s happening. Last year, government accountability group Common Cause successfully filed Freedom of Information Act requests with state legislators to learn more about their dealings with ALEC. At the same time, someone leaked ALEC’s internal bill library.
In April, Common Cause sent a tax whistleblower complaint to the IRS, claiming ALEC is a lobbying group and seeking to strip its nonprofit status. [...]
The bottom line: A trove of private ALEC documents was posted online, leading prominent companies, including Coca-Cola, to leave the group.
WTG! ... to go for the jugular, Common Cause -- get the IRS to look at their BS tax status.
Common Cause has turned the transparency spotlight on the remaining ALEC Corporations -- taking their hefty Tax Credits, for their "secret public service" work with ALEC, on behalf of Republican copy-and-paste legislators.
-- all thanks to the sunlight of the FOI Act.
Revealed: Full List of ALEC's Corporate Members
by Alex Seitz-Wald, alternet.org, sourced Think Progress -- May 5, 2012
Now, the watchdog advocacy group group Common Cause has released a complete list of corporations on ALEC’s task forces.
Not surprisingly, four of the five major oil companies are members, as are many other energy companies. Some household names on the list include Johnson & Johnson, State Farm insurance, and AT&T. There are lots of major online businesses, including AOL (the parent company of the Huffington Post), eBay, Amazon.com, Yahoo, and Time Warner.
See the FULL LIST here.
Updated ALEC Corporation List: brought to you by:
This list is current as of July 2011, except for the Tax and Fiscal Policy task force, correct as of March 2011.
Say thanks to your real public servants over at Common Cause, when you get the chance.
They are turning up the 'heat on the corporate elite', so that democracy may one day return back to 'the will of the people.'
... has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Kind of sounds like a worthy cause ...