Twelve new reports released today expose the State Policy Network (SPN), an $83 million web of right-wing "think tanks" in every state across the country. Although SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, an in-depth investigation reveals that SPN and its state affiliates are major drivers of the 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. The reports show how these groups masquerade as "think tanks," and describe how some of them may be skirting tax laws while really orchestrating extensive lobbying and political operations to peddle their legislative agenda to state legislators, all while reporting little or no lobbying activities.
On October 1, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a brief countering claims by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Senator Leah Vukmir that legislators cannot be held accountable for violating the open records law during their entire term in office.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2013
CONTACT: Brendan Fischer, firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON -- Texas Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has issued an Open Records Letter Ruling rejecting an effort by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state's public records law, after the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas filed briefs in the matter.
CONTACT: Rebekah Wilce, email@example.com
- Center for Media and Democracy site will feature corporate profiles, local privatization deals gone bad, and "fine print follies" spotlighting outrageous contract giveaways
- New video accompanies launch, from Pulitzer-winner Mark Fiore, illustrating the corporate take over of schools, prisons, water, and other vital services
CONTACT: Brendan Fischer, firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is the Center for Media and Democracy's response to Senator Leah Vukmir's statement regarding CMD's public records case and her claim that she has "fully complied" with CMD's public records request. The following can be attributed to CMD General Counsel Brendan Fischer:
CONTACT: Alex Oberley, 608-260-9713, Alex@PRwatch.org
Madison -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has taken the unprecedented step of asserting that a state legislator cannot be held accountable for refusing to disclose public records in response to a lawful open records request by the Center for Media and Democracy.
For First Time, ALEC Is Formally Requesting Open Records Immunity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2013
The Center for Media and Democracy filed a letter with the Texas Attorney General on Thursday refuting efforts by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state's open records law. Texas is the first known state where ALEC has formally asked an Attorney General for an exemption from sunshine-in-government laws, and it marks a new low in the organization's attempts to advance its legislative agenda in secret and avoid public accountability for facilitating special interest influence.
New Report Identifies 466 ALEC Bills in 2013 That Reflect Corporate Agenda
For Immediate Release: August 8, 2013
Today, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released a new report: "ALEC at 40: Turning Back the Clock on Prosperity and Progress." The report identifies and analyzes 466 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bills introduced in 2013.
As Legislators Converge on Chicago, Watchdogs Urge Full Disclosure of Travel Slush Fund Spending and Tough Enforcement of State Gift Laws
For Immediate Release: August 5, 2013
Contact: Harriet Rowan, email@example.com
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is running a secretive, multi-million dollar slush fund that finances lavish trips for state legislators and has misled the Internal Revenue Service about the fund's activity, two government watchdog groups charged today.
ALEC Asserting Immunity From State Freedom of Information Laws
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2013
CONTACT: Brendan Fischer, Brendan@prwatch.org
MADISON -- The Center for Media and Democracy filed suit Thursday against Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the treasurer of ALEC's national board, over her failure to disclose ALEC-related materials under Wisconsin's public records law -- possibly because ALEC told her to keep the documents secret.