John Nichols, Washington, D.C., correspondent of The Nation, and Brendan Fischer, general counsel and chief correspondent of PR Watch, will be among those discussing the American Legislative Exchange Council at the 2013 Left Forum on Sun., June 9 at Pace University in Manhattan (near City Hall).

Left Forum
Nichols, Fischer
PRW charges that ALEC is a nearly 100% Republican group (one Democrat among 104 legislators in leadership positions) that prepares "model" bills for state legislatures.

Membership is 2,000 state legislators and 300 corporate reps. Revenues grew 28% in 2011 to $9.2 million. Net assets rose 141% to $3.6M. Its IRS 990 was filed Sept. 24, 2012 and is the latest financial information available (EIN: 52-0140979).

ALEC has fought coverage by PRW reporters, denying them credentials and evicting them from ALEC hotels. PRW staffers say they are "swarmed" by hotel guards and local "rent-a-cops" in full uniform and threatened with arrest if they don't leave the hotel premises.

PRW charges that ALEC is a lobbying organization in violation of its 501/c/3 tax status.

When legislators return to their home states they become "super lobbyists" for ALEC's corporate agenda, says PRW.

Among supporters of ALEC are Charles and David Koch, each worth $31 billion, according to Forbes, Johnson & Johnson, ExxonMobil, Scaife Family Allegheny Foundation and Coors family Castle Rock Foundation.

ALEC 'Raider' to be Featured

Sabrina Stevens
Stevens at the ALEC event
Sabrina Stevens, a Denver teacher who became a writer for the American Federation of Teachers and who crashed a private ALEC meeting Dec. 1, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., will also speak.

A two-minute video was made of her incursion, in which she charged that ALEC is an "unaccountable, undemocratic organization" whose members "hide from the people affected by their decisions." 

A leader of the group told Stevens she didn’t understand how ALEC works but she countered that its task forces draft policy that is taken up by the national body and recommended to legislatures.

She describes herself as "a teacher driven from the classroom into activism by destructive policies like ALEC's."

The Left Forum will run June 7-9 and have panels and presentations from hundreds of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the public.