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Corporate Lobbying Group ALEC Stands Its Ground, but Stumbles

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page.

"I'm proud to stand with ALEC today," declared Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday, as he addressed the American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington D.C.

"I first came to ALEC over a decade ago. When I was serving in the Bush administration, I'd been privileged to work with ALEC in the federal government," Cruz said. "I've been privileged to work with ALEC when I was back in Texas with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, leading the 10th Amendment Center."

As Cruz addressed the conference, around 200 activists marched outside, waving signs reading "A Legislator for Every Corporation" and chanting "you can hear us loud and clear -- we want ALEC out of here!"

Cruz (who became notorious for his effort to shutdown the government) was at ALEC to give its corporate lobbyists and state legislator members a pep talk. It was a rough week for the organization that has become known as a "corporate bill mill."

This week, The Guardian published ALEC documents demonstrating that the group has recently lost around 60 corporate members, largely as a result of its role in facilitating corporate influence over state legislators, and for pushing voter ID restrictions, climate change denial, and an array of other controversial, corporate-friendly bills. The documents show that ALEC misled its members about the strength of the organization, and misled the press about its plans for forming a 501(c)(4), and suffered a $1.4 million budget shortfall in the first half of 2013, largely as a result of losing corporate funders.    
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