A weapons manufacturer (Raytheon), a tobacco and e-cigarette maker (ITG Brands), a soft drinks bottling company (CocaCola Consolidated), and the new arm of the Koch political network (Stand Together), are among a set of newly revealed members of the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The names are included in a list distributed to attendees of ALEC's States and Nation Policy Summit (SNPS), taking place virtually this week from December 2-4 , and obtained by Documented.
The list included conference registration types, which noted whether each attendee is a member of ALEC. A searchable list is below.
ALEC claims to have "more than 2,000" legislative members. Out of a total of 7,383 in the entire country that is a sizable number. But it refuses to reveal their names - *spoiler alert* they are overwhelmingly Republican.
ALEC also boasts of having "nearly 300 corporate and private foundation members." There is no way of accurately verifying this number, because again ALEC refuses to name names. The group has faced waves of criticism over the past decade, including for the role it played in promoting harsh sentencing laws, Stand Your Ground legislation, Voter ID laws, and climate change denial. Progressive groups, including Color of Change, Common Cause, People for the American Way and others, have targeted ALEC donors and challenged them to end their funding. As a result, major corporations like McDonalds, Google, Walmart, Facebook, even ExxonMobil, have quit the group.
Because ALEC doesn't reveal these names, it's left up to others (like Documented) to dig and report on who our elected officials are meeting with. This isn't the first list that Documented has revealed ALEC attendee and membership lists. Here are some previous lists:
Dozens Of ALEC Members Revealed in Emails Obtained by Documented Using the Florida Sunshine Law
Posted on December 19, 2019
Revealed: ALEC Meeting Registration List, State Legislators in the Minority, Many States Unrepresented
Posted on December 6, 2019
ALEC Energy Task Force Members Uncovered
Posted on September 27, 2019
New ALEC Membership List Names More Legislators Tied to the Group
Posted on June 6, 2019
Revealed: Names of ALEC Lobbyist and Legislator Members
Posted on March 8, 2018
The names of the 2020 SNPS ALEC meeting corporate sponsors were also obtained by Documented. They are:
- Raytheon Technologies
- Coca-Cola Consolidated
- The International Franchise Association
The membership and sponsorship of Coca-Cola Consolidated is significant because Coca-Cola Company had quit ALEC in 2012, shortly after a boycott campaign was announced by Color of Change against the soft drink company. CocaCola Consolidated is a legally separate company from Coca-Cola Company, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and is the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S.. Coca-Cola Company owns about 35% of the shares in Coca-Cola Consolidated.
Similarly, weapons manufacturer Raytheon had previously distanced itself from ALEC, telling Walden Asset Management in 2014 that it had ended its support.
ITG Brands is a subsidiary of UK tobacco company Imperial Brands, and owns a number of US cigarette brands including Winston Cigarettes, Dutch Masters cigars, and the e-cigarette brand Blu.
The Koch network organization Stand Together has attended ALEC meetings in the past, but this is the first confirmation that the group has formally joined as an ALEC member. Stand Together is the re-branded group that now coordinates the various entities of the Koch network, including Americans for Prosperity, and both the Charles Koch Institute and Foundation. This network is one of the largest financial backers of ALEC, and staff from its various groups often outnumber other organizations at ALEC meetings. In 2019, Documented revealed 69 staff from Koch organizations at one ALEC meeting.
Here is the full list for the ALEC 2020 SNPS meeting:
Photo of Winston Cigarettes in Istanbul Duty Free by edkohler. Used under Creative Commons license.
Updated on December 2, 2020 to reflect the additional sponsorship of the International Franchise Association.