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SPN Ties to ALEC

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Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.

Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.

SPN Ties to ALEC is a breakout article from the main article on the State Policy Network (SPN).

SPN is a web of right-wing “think tanks” in every state across the country. It is an $83 million right-wing empire as of the 2011 funding documents from SPN itself and each of its state "think tank" members. Although SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, the Center for Media and Democracy's in-depth investigation, "EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government," reveals that SPN and its member think tanks are major drivers of the right-wing, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)-backed corporate agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders.[1]

In response to CMD's report, SPN Executive Director Tracie Sharp told national and statehouse reporters that SPN affiliates are "fiercely independent." Later the same week, however, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer caught Sharp in a contradiction. In her article, "Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?," the Pulitzer-nominated reporter revealed that, in a recent meeting behind closed doors with the heads of SPN affiliates around the country, Sharp "compared the organization’s model to that of the giant global chain IKEA." She reportedly said that SPN "would provide 'the raw materials,' along with the 'services' needed to assemble the products. Rather than acting like passive customers who buy finished products, she wanted each state group to show the enterprise and creativity needed to assemble the parts in their home states. 'Pick what you need,' she said, 'and customize it for what works best for you.'" Not only that, but Sharp "also acknowledged privately to the members that the organization's often anonymous donors frequently shape the agenda. 'The grants are driven by donor intent,' she told the gathered think-tank heads. She added that, often, 'the donors have a very specific idea of what they want to happen.'"[2]

A set of coordinated fundraising proposals obtained and released by The Guardian in early December 2013 confirm many of these SPN members' intent to change state laws and policies, referring to "advancing model legislation" and "candidate briefings." These activities "arguably cross the line into lobbying," The Guardian notes.[3]

Please see the State Policy Network and ALECexposed.org for more.

Below are details of SPN's ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC):

SPN's predecessor, the Madison Group, was "launched by the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC . . . and housed in the Chicago-based Heartland Institute," according to a 1991 report by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) found in the University of California-San Francisco's Legacy Tobacco Documents.[4][5]

The case is strengthened by an October 1987 ALEC directory also available via the Tobacco Documents that says, "The Madison Group is chaired by Mrs. Constance Heckman [now Constance Campanella, founder of the lobbying firm Stateside Associates], Executive Director of ALEC . . ."[6] A speakers list also available in the Tobacco Documents says in Constance Campanella's biography, "She was a co-founder and first President of The Madison Group, the first network of free-market state think tanks."[7]

SPN has been a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for many years. In the mid-2000s, SPN secured funding for more of its member think tanks to join ALEC in order to help develop model legislation. By 2009, 22 SPN member think tanks were active ALEC members and participants in ALEC task forces, according to an SPN newsletter, and SPN was being rewarded for its services by ALEC.[8] As of 2013, at least 36 SPN member think tanks have demonstrable ties to ALEC in addition to SPN's own ties, and all of SPN's member think tanks push ALEC's agenda in their respective states, according to a review by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) (see below for more).

Executive Director Tracie Sharp and staff member Stephen L. Bowen are members of ALEC's Education Task Force;[9] and Sharp and staff members Joe Coletti and Kathleen O'Hearn are members of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force.[10]

Tracie Sharp receives ALEC's 2009 Private Sector Member of the Year Award, along with lobbyists from UPS, Verizon, and Altria (Source: SPN)

Randolph J. May, President of Maryland's Free State Foundation, also represents SPN on the Communications and Technology Task Force.[11] At the beginning of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force meeting at the ALEC 2012 Spring Task Force Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, the meeting started out with "State Policy Network Updates,"[12] suggesting that SPN is also a member of that task force.

In addition, SPN has been a "Chairman" or higher level sponsor of ALEC's annual conferences -- which are listed in one of ALEC's funding brochures as costing at least $50,000 per meeting[13] -- in 2013,[14] 2012,[15] and 2010.[16] It also sponsored ALEC's 2012 States & Nation Policy Meeting in Washington, DC.[17] ALEC is also an Associate Member of SPN.[18]

Sharp was the recipient of ALEC's 2009 Private Sector Member of the Year Award.[19] ALEC gave her the award because, according to ALEC "scholar" and founder of SPN member think tank the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, "Not only have SPN members assisted legislators in drafting model legislation, they’ve been key in killing some proposals by ‘rent-seeking’ special interests.”[8]

However, SPN’s tax forms indicate that it does no lobbying.[20]

According to the National Education Association (NEA), "ALEC utilizes the services of the State Policy Network as a clearinghouse to craft model legislation on conservative issues and to provide expert testimony in state capitols once bills are introduced." In addition, it notes, "ALEC and Heritage also serve as a media platform for these state-based think tanks to gain national press attention for research and the legislation and initiatives they introduce."[21]

Of SPN's 64 member state think tanks in 2013, at least 36 have demonstrable ties to ALEC in addition to SPN's own ties, and all of SPN's member think tanks push ALEC's agenda in their respective states. Please see SPN Members for more.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

Follow the Money: SPN Funding to ALEC

SPN’s membership in the controversial organization is not free. Through the years, SPN and its member think tanks have provided ALEC with hundreds of thousands of dollars in membership fees and contributions.

Between 2008 and 2011, SPN and its member think tanks also served as a middleman for effectively funneling money from the secretive Koch-funded Donors Capital Fund to ALEC. In just those four years, the Donors groups itemized $688,800 to SPN and 12 member think tanks for participation in ALEC, task force membership fees, and travel expenses to attend ALEC meetings,[22] where special interest legislation is peddled and lawmakers and their spouses are wined and dined.[23]

From 2007 to 2011, Donors Capital Fund and the related DonorsTrust have funded at least 51 SPN member groups in almost every state for purposes including, but not limited to, participating in ALEC, including giving start-up funds for new franchise-like operations in Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Florida, according to the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news group.[24]

SPN Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Known ties of SPN affiliates to ALEC, current or former, are listed in the chart below:

State SPN member think tank ALEC ties* Personnel representing think tank at ALEC Task force Model legislation Presentations Other involvement Notes
AL Alabama Policy Institute Task force membership Michael Ciamarra, Vice President Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Ciamarra recommended bill, 2009 SB204, based on ALEC's "Transparency and Government Accountability Act," to the Alabama state legislature
AZ Goldwater Institute Task force membership Jonathan Butcher, Education Director; Matthew Ladner Education Task Force * Butcher sponsored the "District and School Freedom Act," which he presented at 2012 Spring Task Force Summit, as well as the "Resolution Opposing the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative," which he presented to the K–12 Education Reform Subcommittee Meeting during the 2011 annual meeting.
* Ladner sponsored the "A-Plus Literacy Act" at the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
Nick Dranias, Director of Policy Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Presented "Decentralized Land Use Regulation for Rural Counties" and the "State Sovereignty through Local Coordination Act" at the 2010 annual meeting
Nick Dranias; Byron Schlomach Health and Human Services Task Force * Dranias sponsored the "Health Freedom Compact Act" at 2011 Spring Task Force Summit
* Schlomach sponsored the "Insurance Compact Enabling Act" at the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit and gave a presentation on "The Evolution of Third-Party Payment in Health Care" at the annual meeting that year.
Steve Silvinski, Senior Economist International Relations Task Force Presented "Constitutional Defense Council Legislation," "Model State Sovereignty Civil Rights Law," and the "Sovereign State Interstate Compact" at ALEC's 2011 annual meeting
Nick Dranias; Byron Schlomach Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force * Dranias introduced the "Subsidy Truce Compact" at ALEC's 2011 annual meeting
* Schlomach sponsored the "Balanced Budget Certification Act" and the "Spending Evaluation Act" at the 2010 annual meeting and "A Constitutional Amendment Requiring State Approval for Increases in Federal Debt" at the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
Byron Schlomach Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Introduced “Prohibition on Paid Union Activity (Release Time) by Public Employees Act” and "Public Employee Paycheck Protection Act" at ALEC's 2012 Spring Task Force Summit. Schlomach also introduced the "Insurance Compact Enabling Act” along with Nick Dranias at the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
AR Advance Arkansas Institute Task force membership Dan Greenberg, Executive Director Civil Justice Task Force Presentation at 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit: "Preventing Settlement Abuse: The Work of CCAF and the Advance Arkansas Institute"
CA Pacific Research Institute Task force membership Lawrence McQuillan, Director of Business and Economic Studies Civil Justice Task Force Participated in presentation on ranking state tort systems (“2010 Tort Liability Index”) during 2010 annual meeting
Vicki Murrary, Education Studies Senior Policy Fellow Education Task Force Presented “10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask About Higher Education” at 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
John Graham, Director of Health Care Studies (former) Health and Human Services Task Force
Jason Clemens, Director of Research (former) and John Graham Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Graham gave a report (“What ObamaCare Means for State Budgets”) at 2010 Spring Task Force Summit
CO Independence Institute Task force membership Ben DeGrow, Policy Analyst Education Task Force Sponsored amendments to ALEC's "Open Enrollment Act"" Gave a presentation entitled “Collective Bargaining Transparency” at the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
Rob Natelson, Senior Fellow International Relations Task Force Spoke about convening an Article 5 convention at 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit and gave a presentation on "How States Protect the Constitution" at the 2011 Annual Meeting Authored an ALEC handbook for state lawmakers entitled "Proposing Constitutional Amendments by a Convention of the States”
Barry Poulson, Senior Fellow Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Participates in the Public Pension Reform Working Group (gave a report on their behalf to the task force at the 2011 annual meeting)
FL Foundation for Government Accountability Task force membership Tarren Bragdon, President and CEO Health and Human Services Task Force Gave a talk titled “Florida’s Health Care Reforms: Health and Welfare Successes in the Sunshine State” at the 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit Christie Herrera, Vice President of Policy for FGA, is the former director of the HHS task force
Joyce Errecart, Tax Policy Senior Fellow Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Gave a presentation on “Tangible Personal Property Business Taxes” at the 2012 States and Nation Policy Summit
FL James Madison Institute Task force membership JMI is a new member as of 2012 Education Task Force
Through staff James M. Taylor, a member of its Research Advisory Council, is involved with the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force as a frequent guest speaker
Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
ID Idaho Freedom Foundation Sponsorship (of ALEC) Health and Human Services Task Force IFF sponsored a 2012 trip for ALEC officials from the HHS task force to meet with Idaho lawmakers to discuss health care policy
Public support for ALEC Executive Director Wayne Hoffman published an article on the foundation's website entitled, "ALEC Helps Promote Good Public Policy"
IL Illinois Policy Institute Task force membership Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy Education Task Force Sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit
Amanda Griffin-Johnson Health and Human Services Task Force Presented the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act” at the 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit
Brian Costin, Director of Government Reform, and Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of Policy Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Introduced the "Local Government Transparency Act" and the "Pension Funding and Fairness Act," respectively, at the 2011 annual meeting
IA Public Interest Institute Board of Scholars Richard Vedder, a PII advisory board member, is on ALEC's Board of Scholars
KS Kansas Policy Institute Task force membership Dave Trabert, President Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Jonathan Williams and Barry Poulson, both adjunct fiscal policy fellows at KPI, are involved in the same task force. Williams is the task force director Poulson is an advisor through other positions in CO (Independence Institute and the University of Colorado)
KY Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Task force membership Jim Waters, President Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Introduced the "Intrastate Coal and Use Act" at the 2012 States and Nation Policy Summit
LA Pelican Institute for Public Policy Sponsorship (from ALEC) ALEC sponsored the group's "Policy Orientation for the Louisiana Legislature" event in 2011
ME Maine Heritage Policy Center Task force membership Stephen Bowen Education Task Force Stephen Bowen is now the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education
Sponsorship (of ALEC) Health and Human Services Task Force Hosted a talk by HHS task force director, Christie Herrera (former) in 2010
MD Maryland Public Policy Institute Through staff Adjunct staff member, Wendell Cox, is former ALEC public policy director
MA Pioneer Institute Task force membership Education
Health and Human Services Task Force
MI Mackinac Center for Public Policy Task force membership Paul Kersey, Director of Labor Policy (former) Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Presented the “Financial Accountability for Public Employee Unions Act,” the “Election Accountability for Municipal Employees Act,” and the “Decertification Elections Act” at the 2012 Spring Task Force Summit Paul Kersey now works for the Illinois Policy Institute
Task force subcommittee chairmanship F. Vincent Vernuccio, Director of Labor Policy Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Labor and Business Regulation Subcommittee Private Sector Chair
Michael Van Beek, Director of Education Policy Education Task Force
Russ Harding, Senior Fellow Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force
Jack McHugh, Senior Legislative Analyst Health and Human Services Task Force
James Hohman, Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
MN Center of the American Experiment Through board member Communications and Technology Task Force CAE board member, John Gibbs, is a private sector member of the task force for Comcast Cable
MO Show-Me Institute Through staff Former policy analyst, Christine Harbin, was a research manager at ALEC
MT Montana Policy Institute Through staff International Relations Task Force MPI senior fellow, Rob Natelson, is task force member representing another SPN member think tank, the Independence Institute (see CO)
NJ Common Sense Institute Sponsorship (of ALEC) Health and Human Services Task Force Hosted a talk by HHS task force director, Christie Herrera (former), in 2011
NM Rio Grande Foundation Through staff RGF founder, Hal Stratton, received the ALEC Legislator of the Year Award in 1981
Sponsorship (of ALEC) Health and Human Services Task Force Hosted a talk by former HHS task force director, Christie Herrera, in 2009
NC John Locke Foundation Task force membership Terry Stoops, Director of Education Studies Education Task Force
Daren Bakst, Director of Legal and Regulatory Studies Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Presentation at 2010 annual meeting: “The Limits of EPA Regulatory Power”
Joe Coletti, Director of Health and Fiscal Policy Studies Health and Human Services Task Force Sponsored "Patients First Medicaid Reform Act" at 2010 annual meeting Discussed health care providers and health care reform at 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
Jon Sanders, Director of Regulatory Studies Public Safety and Elections Task Force (disbanded)
Fergus Hodgson, Director of Fiscal Policy Studies Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
John William Pope Civitas Institute Task force membership Public Safety and Elections Task Force
NY Empire Center for New York State Policy Through parent organization Paul Howard, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Senior Fellow spoke at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting in a Workshop titled, "Rationing By Any Other Name: Medicare's Independent Payment Advisory Board"
OH Opportunity Ohio Task force membership Michael C. Carnuccio, Treasurer Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force
OK Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Task force membership Brandon Dutcher, Vice President for Policy Education Task Force
Michael Carnuccio, President Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force
Jason Sutton, Policy Impact Director (former) Health and Human Services Task Force
Jonathan Small Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Participated in a panel discussion, "Debunking Tax Myths" at 2012 Spring Task Force Summit
OR Cascade Policy Institute Through staff Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Former CPI vice president, Todd Wynn, is now task force director
PA Commonwealth Foundation Task force membership Elizabeth Stelle, Policy Analyst Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force
Rick Dreyfuss, Senior Fellow Health and Human Services Task Force
Nathan Benefield, Director of Policy Analysis Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
RI Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity Through staff Bob Williams and Jonathan Williams Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Jonathan Williams is director of the task force and Bob Williams is private sector chair. Both are adjunct scholars at RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity
TX Texas Public Policy Foundation Task force membership Marc Levin, Director, Center for Effective Justice Civil Justice Task Force Sponsored “Resolution on Transparency and Accountability in Criminal Law” in 2011 subcommittee conference Levin is private sector chair of the Overcriminalization Subcommittee
Dr. Thomas Lindsay, Director, Center for Higher Education Education Task Force Vice chairman of the Higher Education Subcommittee of of the task force as of November 2013
Mario Loyola, Director, Center for Tenth Amendment Studies Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Introduced “Regional Air Quality Interstate Compact” at 2011 Spring Task Force Summit
Arlene Wohlgemuth, Executive Director and Director, Center for Health Care Policy Health and Human Services Task Force Presented the "Health Professional Modernization Act" at 2010 annual meeting and sponsored "Health Care Compact Act" at 2011 annual meeting
Marc Levin Public Safety and Elections Task Force (disbanded) * Sponsored the “Resolution on the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act” and the “Provisional Licenses for Ex-Offenders Act” at the 2012 Spring Task Force Summit
* “Civil Liability Relief for Employers Hiring Ex-Offenders Act,” the “Treating Accused Persons Fairly Act,” and the “Criminal Intent Protection Act” at the 2011 Spring Task Force Summit
* “Juvenile Offender Performance Incentive Funding Act” and “Resolution on Transparency and Accountability in Criminal Law” at 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit
* “Resolution in Support of Victim Offender Mediation” at the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
Talmadge Heflin, Director, Center for Fiscal Policy Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Public support for ALEC Wendy Lee Gramm, chairman of the board, and Brooke Rollins, president and CEO, wrote an op-ed in defense of ALEC in the Wall Street Journal in May 2012
UT Sutherland Institute Sponsorship (of ALEC) Co-sponsored ALEC 2012 annual meeting
WA Freedom Foundation Task force membership Trent England, Vice President of Policy Public Safety and Elections Task Force (disbanded) Participated in a debate, "Electoral College v. National Popular Vote,” at the 2011 annual meeting and gave presentation on the Electoral College at 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit
Bob Williams, Founder and Senior Fellow; Amber Gunn Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force * Williams sponsored the "Defined Contribution Pension Reform Act" at the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit and the "Unfunded Pension Liabilities Accounting Act" at the 2011 Spring Task Force Summit
* Gunn sponsored the "State Agency Lobbying Reform Act" at the 2011 Spring Task Force Summit
Williams gave two presentations at 2011 meetings: "Broken Budgets in the States" and "State Budget Solutions" Williams is private sector chair of the Tax task force
Harry Stille Education Task Force Sponsored the "Performance Audit Act" at the Higher Education Subcommittee Meeting of the 2011 Spring Task Force Summit
Board of Scholars Bob Williams Williams is on the Board of Scholars and received the 2011 Private Sector Member of the Year Award
WA Washington Policy Center ALEC State Chair of WA Daniel Mead Smith, President
Task force membership Todd Myers, Director, Center for the Environment Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Sponsored the "Resolution in Opposition to the EPA’s 'Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule' and the Treatment of Biomass Energy" at the 2010 States and Nation Policy Summit Presentation at 2011 and 2010 States and Nation Policy Summits: “Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism is Harming the Environment” and "A Fresh Start on the Environment: Good Science and Good Policy for New Majorities," respectively
Carl Gipson, Director, Center for Small Business (former) Communications and Technology Task Force
Jason Mercier, Director, Center for Government Reform Public Safety and Elections Task Force (disbanded) Presentation at 2011 Annual Meeting: “Principles of Legislative Transparency”
Jason Mercier Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Sponsored the "Legislative Transparency Act" at the 2011 Spring Task Force Summit
WI MacIver Institute Through staff Brian Fraley, former Director of Communications Health and Human Services Task Force Fraley was the former private sector co-chair of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force
WI Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Through staff Health and Human Services Task Force Leah Vukmir, public chair of the Health and Human Services Task Force in 2011-2012, was a research fellow and contributing author at WPRI
Through staff Leah Vukmir is also on the ALEC Board of Directors
* Individual sources for each think tank's ALEC ties are cited in the article on that specific think tank linked in the table.
Please follow the internal links or see the full list of SPN member think tanks for more.

SPN Think Tanks and ALEC's Corporate-Sponsored Legislation

SPN’s role in ALEC is multi-faceted. It is a member and funder, and its member think tanks sit on many ALEC task forces and plan ALEC workshops and trainings. Most importantly, SPN members regularly write bills and bring them to ALEC for consideration as ”model” bills with great success. Click here for a list of recent known “model” bills introduced by SPN think tanks.

Back in the states, when ALEC bills are introduced in state legislatures, the SPN think tanks are standing by to write the studies, spin the most favorable data, provide the expert talking points, put out the media releases, and do the press interviews that give an aura of academia to the efforts.

SPN think tanks have introduced, echoed, presaged, pushed, and reinforced ALEC policies to:

1) Attack Unions: ALEC's "Right to Work Act" seeks to limit union rights. SPN member state think tanks have published articles and reports supporting "right to work" legislation in at least Alabama,[25] Kentucky,[26] Ohio,[27] Delaware,[28] Oregon,[29] Minnesota,[30] Indiana,[31][32] Michigan,[33] Maine,[34] New Mexico,[35] and Pennsylvania.[36]

SPN think tanks join ALEC in pushing a broad agenda to undermine other worker protection including tearing down collective bargaining, prohibiting paid union activity in the form of “release time,” and ending the ability to deduct union dues from paychecks for private and public employees (so-called “paycheck protection”). (See, for example, Michigan’s Mackinac Center[37] and Arizona’s Goldwater Institute.)[38]

2) Privatize Education: SPN think tanks join ALEC in pushing a broad education agenda to privatize public schools, including pushing for-profit online schools, for-profit charter schools, using taxpayer dollars for vouchers to for-profit schools, and even so-called “parent triggers” to allow a small group of parents to close a public school for current and future students, and turn the school into a charter school or require a voucher system. (See, for example, Texas,[39] Arizona,[40] California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.)

3) Privatize Public Pension Systems: SPN think tanks join ALEC in pushing to privatize public employee pension systems, making them 401(k)-style defined contribution type accounts rather than defined benefit plans. (See, for example, Connecticut,[41] Wyoming,[42] Washington, and Illinois.)

4) Rollback Environmental Initiatives: ALEC's "State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives" would allow states to pull out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatative or the Western Climate Initiative, cap-and-trade programs to cut greenhouse gases and carbon-dioxide emissions, and uses language that denies climate change. SPN state think tanks have published articles and reports supporting states' withdrawals from these regional initiatives in at least Alabama,[43] Arkansas,[44] Tennessee,[45] Delaware,[46] Oregon,[47] New Jersey,[48] Montana,[49] Virginia,[50] and Connecticut.[51]

5) Disenfranchise People of Color, the Elderly, and Students: ALEC’s “Voter ID Act” makes it more difficult for American citizens to vote. It would change identification rules so that citizens who have been registered to vote for decades must show certain kinds of ID in order to vote. This bill disenfranchises college students and many low-income, minority, and elderly Americans who do not have driver’s licenses but have typically used other forms of ID.[52] SPN state think tanks have published articles and reports supporting voter ID bills in at least Arkansas,[53] Washington state,[54] North Carolina,[55] and Wisconsin.[56]

Bills Introduced and Sponsored by SPN Think Tanks, 2010-2012

  • Arizona’s Goldwater Institute:
    • "School Choice Directory Act" (2012)
    • "District and School Freedom Act" (2012)
    • "Health Freedom Compact Act" (2011)
    • "Constitutional Defense Council Legislation" (2011)
    • "Model State Sovereignty Civil Rights Law" (2011)
    • "Sovereign State Interstate Compact" (2011)
    • "Subsidy Truce Compact" (2011)
    • "Model Legislation for Universal Regulatory Tax Credits" (2011)
    • "Prohibition on Paid Union Activity (Release Time) by Public Employees Act" (2011)
    • "Public Employee Paycheck Protection Act" (2011)
    • "Comprehensive Legislative Package Opposing the Common Core State Standards Initiative" (2011)
    • "Resolution Opposing the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative" (2011)
    • "Insurance Compact Enabling Act" (2010) - withdrawn by sponsors
    • "The A-Plus Literacy Act" (2010)
    • "State Sovereignty through Local Coordination Act" (2010)
    • "The Balanced Budget Certification Act" (2010)
    • "A Constitutional Amendment Requiring State Approval for Increases in Federal Debt" (2010)
    • "The Spending Evaluation Act" (2010)
  • Colorado’s Independence Institute:
    • Amendments to "Open Enrollment Act" (2010)
  • Illinois Policy Institute:
    • "Local Government Transparency Act" (2011)
    • "State Employee Health Savings Account Act" (2011)
    • "Pension Funding and Fairness Act" (2011)
  • Kentucky’s Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions:
    • "Intrastate Coal and Use Act" (2012)
  • Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy:
    • "Financial Accountability for Public Employee Unions Act" (2012)
    • "Election Accountability for Municipal Employees Act" (2012)
    • "Decertification Elections Act" (2012)
  • North Carolina’s John Locke Foundation:
    • "Patients First Medicaid Reform Act" (2010)
  • Texas Public Policy Foundation:
    • "Resolution on the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act" (2012)
    • "Provisional Licenses for Ex-Offenders Act" (2012)
    • "Civil Liability Relief for Employers Hiring Ex-Offenders Act" (2011)
    • "Treating Accused Persons Fairly Act" (2011)
    • "Criminal Intent Protection Act" (2011)
    • "Juvenile Offender Performance Incentive Funding Act" (2011)
    • "Resolution on Transparency and Accountability in Criminal Law" (2011)
    • "Regional Air Quality Interstate Compact" (2011)
    • "Health Care Compact Act" (2011)
    • "Health Professional Modernization Act" (2010)
    • "Resolution in Support of Victim Offender Mediation" (2010)
  • Washington State’s Freedom Foundation:
    • "Performance Audit Act" (2011)
    • "State Agency Lobbying Reform Act" (2011)
    • "Unfunded Pension Liabilities Accounting Act" (2011)
    • "Defined Contribution Pension Reform Act" (2010)
  • Washington Policy Center:
    • "Resolution in Opposition to the EPA’s ‘Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule’ and the Treatment of Biomass Energy" (2010)
    • "Legislative Transparency Act" (2011)

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources

References

  1. Rebekah Wilce, Center for Media and Democracy, EXPOSED: The State Policy Network -- The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government, organizational report, November 13, 2013.
  2. Jane Mayer, Is IKEA the New Model for the Conservative Movement?, The New Yorker, November 15, 2013.
  3. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax, The Guardian, December 5, 2013.
  4. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Special Report: Burgeoning Conservative Think Tanks, organizational report, Spring 1991, p. 2.
  5. Rebekah Wilce, Did ALEC Found SPN? 1991 Report Suggests So, Exposes SPN Agenda, PRWatch, December 12, 2013.
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Personnel Directory, The State Factor, October 1987, p. 3.
  7. Speakers List, document available in the University of California-San Francisco's Legacy Tobacco Documents, accessed December 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 State Policy Network, SPN & Alec: A Model Relationship, SPN News, organizational newsletter, July/August 2009, p. 4.
  9. American Legislative Exchange Council, Education Task Force Director, organizational document, July 1, 2011, document obtained and released by Common Cause.
  10. American Legislative Exchange Council, HHS Task Force Directory, organizational document, June 29, 2011, document obtained and released by Common Cause.
  11. American Legislative Exchange Council, Telecommunications & Information Technology, organizational task force membership directory, July 18, 2011, document obtained and released by Common Cause.
  12. American Legislative Exchange Council, Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force 2012 Spring Task Force Summit Tentative Agenda, organizational document, May 11, 2012, document obtained via open records request and released by CMD and Common Cause.
  13. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011
  14. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011.
  15. Lisa Graves, A Lot of White Space: Firms Drop Off ALEC's Meeting Brochure, PRWatch, July 30, 2012.
  16. Lisa Graves, ALECexposed: List of Corporations and Special Interests that Underwrote ALEC's 40th Anniversary Meeting, PRWatch, August 15, 2013.
  17. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Sponsors", 2012 SNPS Agenda, organizational document, on file with CMD.
  18. State Policy Network, Directory, organizational site, accessed August 11, 2011
  19. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Announces 2009 Award Recipients (sub. req'd.), organizational press release, July 24, 2009.
  20. State Policy Network, IRS Forms 990, 2008-2012.
  21. National Education Association, The Real Story Behind 'Paycheck Protection': The Hidden Link Between Anti-Worker and Anti-Public Education Initiatives: An Anatomy of the Far Right, Chapter 4: "The State-Based Assault: The State Policy Network," organizational report, 1998.
  22. Donors Capital Fund, IRS 990s, 2008-2011.
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