Critics of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are increasing in number as more information becomes known about this secretive, corporate-controlled lobby that writes legislation for conservative causes. The veil of secrecy surrounding this dark group of power mongers is slowly beginning to lift.

Recently ALEC held its national convention in Salt Lake City. Supporters of this secret society claim they simply exchange conservative ideas and information between the public sector and the private sector. But in reality they work for the rich and corporations and do their bidding.

They claim they are an organization that promotes the principles on which this country was founded — free enterprise and free markets. The organization is funded by powerful rich corporations and the wealthy that do not have the best interest of the country or the American people at heart. Many feel that supporters of ALEC are simply paid for by special interest and corporate lobbyists.

Members of ALEC hold secret meetings around the country where they develop model legislation on various issues beholden to their corporate sponsors. This extreme radical legislation has been adapted in many states that fell to republican takeover in the 2010 elections. Tennessee is one of several states to adapt the extreme agenda of ALEC.

ALEC simply drafts a model bill on a given topic before the bill is adapted and introduced in a Republican state legislature. They mold their legislation based on politics and contributions rather than on best practices or best solutions to problems. Their agenda has always been very partisan and radical in nature.

The agenda of ALEC includes legislation designed to encourage states to reject the Affordable Care Act and backing of legislation requiring a government-issued photo identification for voting “voter suppression” rights which target African Americans, college students, the elderly and minority voting rights.

In Tennessee, ALEC membership includes 32 current state legislators and two former legislators, all Republicans except for two Democrats who recently withdrew from the organization.

Some supporters and many opposing ALEC feel they have been lobbying social agendas by supporting extreme social issues of the right. Supporters feel ALEC had gotten off track by getting into social issues but this appears to be the main reason the organization was exposed as a rigid secret society designed to craft legislation that favored the whims of the rich and powerful.

Supporters of ALEC claim they are refocusing on its founding principles of free enterprise and less government. Those opposing ALEC point to the legislation on extreme social issues as evidence of a darker agenda of the organization and their supporters. It is becoming more obvious that ALEC’s mission is not in the best interest of a state, the American people or our nation.

The ALEC Exposed website states it best, “Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations. In ALEC’s own words, corporations have “a VOICE and a VOTE” on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU?”

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