Texas legislature ceiling Alex Thomson
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) keeps any lists of its members and donors secret from the public. Very rarely have reporters seen the details of who state legislators are meeting with at ALEC meetings.
Which is what makes this significant.
A list of 1,413 attendees for the ALEC 2019 Annual Meeting, which took place in Austin, TX between August 14-16, 2019, was provided to Documented by an attendee at the meeting. The list reveals the names of elected state legislators, corporate lobbyists, and others at the event, including some notable people.
Here are some key findings from the list, published in full below.
- Groups in the Koch network were out in force. We count 69 in total. There were 55 staff from Americans for Prosperity and its state affiliates, the largest number from any group at the meeting. Also 1 person from the Seminar Network, 4 from Stand Together, 4 from the Charles Koch Institute, 2 from Koch Industries, and 3 from Koch Companies Public Sector.
- The Trump campaign was represented, as was the Trump White House. Marc Lotter, Director of Strategic Communications for the Trump 2020 campaign attended. As did William Crozer, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and James Redstone, Special Assistant to the President.
- AARP, which - after member pressure - publicly distanced itself from ALEC in 2016 (see LA Times: A shamed AARP withdraws from right-wing lobbying organization ALEC) was back at ALEC with 20 members of staff. This included numerous AARP state directors and members of its national staff.
Above is the full list. We are also publishing this divided into smaller lists of state legislators, private sector members, other public officials, and a list of "others" who didn't seem to fit in to any of these three categories. Where job titles or institutions are marked with an asterisk, this is information that was not provided on the list we received, and we have done our best to discern the correct information, but we still urge caution.
Since 2011, at least 116 companies have dropped their funding for ALEC after they became publicly associated, according to a tally by the Center for Media and Democracy.
ALEC has faced criticism from activists and consumer for its role in promoting controversial corporate-backed model legislation. In recent years this has included weakening efforts to tackle climate change, lower corporate taxes, and dismantle collective bargaining rights. Many groups produce model legislation. But ALEC allows corporations to propose language for its model bills, and then (in return for financial contributions) allows lobbyists to vote on whether the organization should adopt it as policy.
Documented previously published a list of ALEC meeting attendees from the group's 2017 Annual Meeting, which you can see here.
Photo of Texas legislature ceiling by Alex Thomson. Used under creative commons license.