Brendan Fischer's News Articles

Running Scared: ALEC Anticipating an IRS Audit?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) appears to be anticipating an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit, after multiple complaints challenging the "corporate bill mill's" charitable status, based on documents recently obtained by Bloomberg News.

From Capitol Hill, Rep. Hank Johnson Highlights ALEC Connection to MI Right to Work Law

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) took to the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday night to criticize the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for pushing "Right to Work" in Michigan, describing it as politically motivated "crush-the-union legislation" and noting the identical language between the ALEC model and Michigan's law.

Despite Super PACs Finding Limited Success in 2012, Money in Politics Will Escalate

With final receipts tallied, spending on the 2012 federal elections has topped $6 billion, making it the most expensive election in the history of the world -- and absent reform, election spending is certain to escalate in coming cycles, despite much of the money spent in 2012 failing to sway election outcomes.

Michigan Passes "Right to Work" Containing Verbatim Language from ALEC Model Bill

Amidst massive pro-labor protests, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed sweeping legislation attacking private and public sector unions, just hours after passing the lame-duck legislature. The operative language in the bills is nearly identical to the American Legislative Exchange Council's "model" Right to Work Act.

Will Wisconsin Follow Minnesota's Lead and Ban ALEC "Scholarships?"

Minnesota's ethics board has long banned the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) "scholarship" scheme that allows corporations to fund legislator travel, providing further evidence that the practice should be banned in Wisconsin and other states. Recently obtained documents also show that corporations pay upwards of $80,000 to sponsor issue-focused ALEC "academies," which legislators attend on the corporate dime.

With Courts Standing in Way of Voter Suppression, Wisconsin's ALEC Chair Seeks to Amend Constitution to Require ID at Polls

Despite two separate Wisconsin courts striking down the state's voter ID law as an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, the state legislature's incoming Assembly Leader, Rep. Robin Vos, has pledged support for amending the state constitution to require ID at the polls -- despite hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents not having ID and no significant evidence of voter fraud in the state. Vos is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) State Chair for Wisconsin; Wisconsin's voter ID law, like many of those introduced in recent years, echoes the ALEC "model" voter ID Act.

Why is State Farm Involved in Education Policy? Conservative Think Tank Exposes ALEC as Exchange of Dollars rather than Ideas

A press release from a conservative think tank criticizing the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) provides crucial insight into how the organization works -- and helps illustrate that while ALEC says its purpose is to facilitate an exchange of "practical, state-level public policy issues," it instead sells policy to the highest bidders. The release documents how the "exchange" that happens at ALEC is more like a stock exchange than a free marketplace of ideas.

After a Controversial Year, ALEC Convenes in Washington with Damage Control at Top of Agenda

At the end of a tumultuous year that has seen the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) come under unprecedented scrutiny for its role in advancing a slate of right-wing legislation, the corporate-friendly organization of state lawmakers and special interest lobbyists convenes this week in Washington, DC to try and salvage its viability.

Same Day Voter Registration -- a "Problem" Walker Intends to Fix

As the final votes are tallied, it is becoming clear that Barack Obama won reelection November 6, 2012, with a higher popular vote than Ronald Reagan enjoyed in 1980, thanks in part to near-record turnout from young people and people of color. High voter turnout is celebrated in some quarters as a sign of a vibrant democracy, but among Wisconsin's GOP leadership, the state's consistently high voter participation rate is apparently viewed as a "problem" that needs fixing.

Next Act for Super PACs and Dark Money Nonprofits: Lobbying to Block Compromise on the "Fiscal Cliff"

After some early success helping far-right candidates in the Republican primaries, Super PACs and dark money nonprofits failed to eke out many victories on election night 2012. But these groups are seeking to make up for lost ground by influencing policy through lobbying, issue advocacy, and the threat of attack ads against Republican legislators who compromise, particularly on negotiations over the "fiscal cliff."

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