Facing South

INSTITUTE INDEX: Exposing ALEC's corporate agenda

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alec_logo_front.jpgNumber of model bills and resolutions crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council -- a nonprofit that promotes state policies advancing conservative causes -- that were released last month by the watchdog Center for Media and Democracy: over 800

Year in which ALEC was founded by a small group of conservative state lawmakers and free-market advocates: 1973

Number of state legislators that currently belong to the group: about 2,000

Number of corporations that are members: about 300

Number of bills based in whole or in part on ALEC model legislation introduced each year in the states: over 1,000

Approximate percentage of these introduced bills that become law: 20

Percent of ALEC's revenues that come from sources other than legislative dues: more than 98

Range of annual membership fees for corporations: $7,000-$25,000

Amount ALEC received in direct grants from ExxonMobil from 1998 to 2009: $1.4 million

Amount ALEC received from foundations connected to the billionaire Koch brothers, financial backers of the Tea Party movement, in 2009 alone: over $200,000

Amount that ALEC corporate members have contributed to state candidates who were ALEC members since 1990: $12.2 million

Of that $12.2 million, amount that went to Republicans: $11.9 million

Total amount that ALEC corporate members have contributed to state-level politics, including candidates, ballot measures and party committees, over the past seven election cycles: $516.2 million

Rank of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), a possible 2012 presidential contender, among ALEC alumni in terms of donations from ALEC corporate members: 1

Amount Perry received from them: more than $2 million

Of the 24 corporate representatives on ALEC's "Private Enterprise Board," number who are lobbyists representing major corporations including Wal-Mart: 20

Of the 104 legislators in leadership positions at ALEC, which describes itself as "nonpartisan," number who are Democrats: 1

Date on which Common Cause filed a complaint with the IRS that accuses ALEC of engaging in lobbying, despite its claims that it does no lobbying: 7/14/2011

Date on which Louisiana State Rep. Noble Ellington (R), ALEC's chairman, dismissed criticism about the organization's lack of transparency in an interview with NPR's Terry Gross, saying he didn't see how the group "can get more transparent": 7/21/2011

Minimum number of reporters who were kicked out of ALEC's conference in New Orleans last week: 3

(Click on figure to go to source.)

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