By Nick Surgey on April 11, 2013

"My Name Is" sticker with ALEC crossed outThe American Legislative Exchange Council, which for decades has been known by the acronym "ALEC," is asking members to stop calling it ALEC because the name is now associated with a "distant, mysterious, Washington alphabet organization of unknown intentions."

"You may have noticed we are limiting the use of the acronym 'ALEC,'" wrote Bill Meierling, ALEC's recently-hired Senior Director of Public Affairs in a March 13 email sent to ALEC members and obtained through an open records request.

"Over the past year, the word 'ALEC' has been used to conjure up images of a distant, mysterious, Washington alphabet organization of unknown intentions," he continued. "The organization has refocused on the words 'Exchange' and 'Council' to emphasize our goal of a broad exchange of ideas to make government work better and more efficiently."

From ALEC email to members, March 13, 2013.This is the kind of expert advice Meierling brings to the operation. Meierling previously worked for Edelman, the world's largest PR firm, which rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s doing crisis management for R. J. Reynolds and other parts of the tobacco industry to help them "slow or reverse the growing negative trends in public opinion regarding smoking."

ALEC has been facing its own PR crisis since the Center for Media and Democracy launched the ALEC Exposed project in July 2011 and made publicly available over 800 ALEC "model bills." This exposure led to outrage over ALEC's role in promoting "Stand Your Ground" laws, voter suppression, union-busting, and climate change denial, leading 44 major corporations to publicly drop their ALEC membership.

The "corporate bill mill" hired Edelman and has been struggling to repair its image in the past year. In April 2012, it dismantled the "Public Safety and Elections Task Force" responsible for promoting gun laws and voter suppression, and last month, posted a small selection of its model bills online in an effort to further distance itself from its most undesirable legislation.

The ALEC name has become increasingly discredited in many circles, not because it is viewed as a "mysterious, Washington alphabet organization of unknown intentions," but because of its role in facilitating corporate influence over state lawmaking and warping the democratic process. This is not likely to change no matter what kind of makeover the organization gets.

Comments

Sorry ALEC. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and keeps forcing its duck bills where they don't belong....

We're on to you, and fully intend to turn up the heat and make you stew in your own juices.

They just won't tolerate being exposed for the crooks they are and the fact that they do NOTHING in the best interests of WE, THE PEOPLE.

The last notorious four letter acronym was NAZI. ALEC and NAZI seems to have a lot in common...namely Fascism!

Un American Un legislate Short Change Cowards

There I said it, 'ALEC," "ALEC," "ALEC." Three times and their armies of non-alec speak have not arrived at my door demanding that I stop!. They are nothing but a bunch of well-moneyed dumb-alecs who think they own the right to adversely influence the congress in my state to not represent us. Better ask future election hopeful candidates that if they belong to or even vaguely associated with the dumb-alecs that you will not vote for them.

You can try the 'Blackwater' trick in changing your name, but someone will find your new name, with the old game.

There are many of us who don't buy, "The best government money and power can buy."

We will 'hunt' you down for the rats you are!

No matter what you call yourself, no matter how much you try to hide your true intent to destroy democracy, we will find you and expose you again & again. And we will not stop until we have destroyed any corrupt influence you might have in our state legislatures.

How about American Lawless Executives Committee for a rebrand? Or Anti-democratic Leaders Engaging in Crime? Or just plain BASTARDS works for me.