The Sunday Magazine

Money and politics part 2 - The United States of ALEC

The American Legislative Exchange Council - ALEC - is almost entirely funded by giant corporations, like Koch Industries. And it doesn't just sway public policy, it seats politicians and big business at the same table, to draft laws. Michael talks with Lisa Graves, Executive Director for the Center for Media and Democracy in Madison, Wisconsin.
Courtesy of the Center for Media and Democracy/

One of the most influential political organizations in the United States, is the American Legislative Exchange Council - known as ALEC. It is an alliance of elected politicians and corporate bigwigs. It has been exerting its influence on the political landscape since its beginnings more than four decades ago. 

Few voters had even heard of ALEC until 2011. That is when the Center for Media and Democracy first launched a campaign and a website called ALEC Exposed. Despite this, ALEC has chalked up political success stories. And it has done it not by focusing on the U.S. Congress, but by successfully lobbying state legislatures.

ALEC's efforts have resulted in new statutes revising everything from gun laws to environmental protection, healthcare, education and minimum wage. 

Lisa Graves is one of ALEC's fiercest critics. She is the Executive Director for the Centre for Media and Democracy.


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