The national board chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), South Carolina state Representative Alan Clemmons, announced via tweet a new “partnership” between ALEC and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
Both groups are controversial. Many corporations that had funded ALEC, including Facebook, Google, Exxon, and CocaCola, have ended their support following consumer activism. More than 100 corporations have quit ALEC since the Center for Media and Democracy launched the ALEC Exposed project in 2011. ALEC has played a significant role in promoting controversial legislation including Stand Your Ground, Voter ID, and working to block action to limit climate change.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. According to SPLC, ADF “has supported the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad; has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society.“
The new partnership, according to the Clemmons tweet, will focus on “free speech” issues. ALEC’s work on this subject includes efforts to weaken disclosure requirements for 501C3 and 501C4 organizations, which play an increasingly significant role in politics and elections. ALEC is a 501C3. ALEC has model legislation on this topic (Resolution in Support of Nonprofit Donor Privacy) and a tool kit for legislators. ALEC has also worked on model legislation (Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act) that would make it difficult to block hate speech on a university campus.