Acting as a sort of consortium, the American Legislative Exchange Council brings together state legislators and private-sector businesses to discuss public policy and draft model state-level legislation. ALEC’s lawmaker members often introduce those model bills, sometimes word-for-word, in their home states. Although it purports to be “non-partisan,” code words like “limited government” and the fact that Republican state legislators dominate its board of directors broadcast ALEC’s political perspective.

Many of the initiatives pushed by ALEC align with a plainly conservative agenda. In addition to legislation that would deprive the government of revenue, a notable chunk of ALEC’s model bills seek to edge everything from prisons to public schools to health care toward privatization, turning them into new streams of private-sector revenue for its corporate members. A number of Voter ID laws and other electoral restrictions are also tied to ALEC. The most notorious legislation generated by the group, brought to light in the wake of the death of 15-year-old Trayvon Martin, is Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, versions of which have been pushed in dozens of other states. The resulting controversy prompted a number of high-profile businesses to withdraw from ALEC, and shortly thereafter, ALEC issued a statement pledging to focus on economic issues.

Although ALEC does not have to disclose its donors, among its prominent sources of cash are the Scaife-linked Allegheny and Scaife Family Foundations; Exxon Mobile, PhRMA, Searle Freedom Trust, the Castle Rock Foundation, the Koch-controlled Claude R. Lambe and Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundations, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Foundation contributions and corporate member account for the majority of ALEC’s budget.

Notable Facts:

  • Since the Center for Media and Democracy obtained an archive of ALEC-drafted legislation and launched the website ALECExposed.org in 2011, shedding light on the secretive organization’s role in voter ID and “stand your ground” laws, many corporations have left and publicly distanced themselves from ALEC, including General Motors, Walgreens, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, Amazon, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and GE.
  • In 2013, ALEC began adding a disclaimer to the bottom of all its documents stating: “Because this is an internal ALEC document, ALEC believes it is not subject to disclosure under any state Freedom of Information or Public Records Act.” This move seems to be an attempt to avoid state public records laws. ALEC has also started using the internet drop box website Box.com, allowing ALEC members to share materials via hyperlink.
  • A study by the Brookings Institution found that during the 2012 legislative session 132 bills based on ALEC models were introduced in the states, and that Republicans sponsored over 90 percent of them. In addition, the ALEC bills’ likelihood of passing was “strikingly high compared to the dismal rate at which all other bills are enacted into law.”
  • While ALEC disbanded its “Public Safety and Elections” taskforce after growing criticism of its role in stand your ground and voter ID laws, according to the Center for Media and Democracy, 10 “stand your ground” bills and 52 bills “to enact or tighten voter-ID restrictions” based on ALEC model legislation were introduced in 2013.
  • ALEC has close ties to the Koch brothers. Since 2007, foundations associated with the Kochs have given ALEC around $600,000, and Koch Industries has donated an “untold amount.” Koch Industries has also chaired ALEC’s corporate board and has had a seat on its board for over a decade.

 

View Financial Record
#
Year
Assets
Revenue
Grants In
Grants Out
Total Expenses
Link
12013$4,838,138$7,322,531$5,825,882$17,500$8,510,952View 990
22012$4,855,087$8,125,051$7,216,208$10,000$8,642,647View 990
32011$6,638,621$9,218,069$7,759,834$0$7,105,525View 990
42010$4,047,129$7,171,357$5,997,347$0$5,874,206View 990
52009$3,306,976$6,271,633$5,302,779$15,686$6,610,562View 990
62008$3,391,001$6,975,222$5,626,129$26,102$7,437,632View 990
72007$3,168,106$7,803,119$6,130,496$19,760$7,239,394View 990
82006$2,918,259$7,228,171$5,775,598$0$6,925,550View 990
92005$1,693,257$6,278,800$5,215,031$0$6,022,358View 990
102004$1,285,162$570,395$4,678,159$0$5,399,341View 990
112003$1,537,032$5,640,684$4,663,222$0$5,811,400View 990
122002$1,725,243$4,990,388$4,041,300$0$5,631,476View 990

116 transactions on record as a recipient.

Ordered By: Year (Newer to Older)

#
Donor
Recipient
Amount
Year
Link
1Charles G. Koch Charitable FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$150,0002014+
2Charles G. Koch Charitable FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$130,6402014+
3Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$11,0002014+
4Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$70,0002014+
5Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$18,0002014+
6Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$25,0002014+
7Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$20,0002014+
8DonorsTrustAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$3002014+
9DonorsTrustAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$1,0002014+
10DonorsTrustAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$5,0002014+
11Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$2,5002013+
12Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$40,0002013+
13Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$65,0002013+
14The Lynde and Harry Bradley FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$70,0002013+
15Charles G. Koch Charitable FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$71,1002012+
16eBayAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$12,0002012+
17Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$25,0002012+
18Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$17,5002012+
19Exxon MobilAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$25,0002012+
20Exxon MobilAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$34,0002012+
21Allegheny FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$50,0002012+
22Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$5,0002012+
23Armstrong FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$2,5002012+
24The Roe FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$1,0002012+
25Jaquelin Hume FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$50,0002012+
26MyWireless.orgAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$10,0002012+
27Claude R. Lambe Charitable FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$150,0002012+
28Allegheny FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$100,0002011+
29Claude R. Lambe Charitable FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$150,0002011+
30Castle Rock FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$50,0002011+
31JM FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$30,0002011+
32Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$20,0002011+
33The Roe FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$1,0002011+
34Exxon MobilAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$74,0002011+
35Exxon MobilAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$12,5002011+
36The Lynde and Harry Bradley FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$75,0002011+
37Castle Rock FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$50,0002010+
38Claude R. Lambe Charitable FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$100,0002010+
39DonorsTrustAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$25,0002010+
40PhRMAAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$356,0752010+
41The Roe FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$2,5002010+
42The Vernon K. Krieble FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$25,0002010+
43The Lynde and Harry Bradley FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$20,0002010+
44The Lynde and Harry Bradley FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$37,5002010+
45The Lynde and Harry Bradley FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$37,5002010+
46Allegheny FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$25,0002009+
47Castle Rock FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$50,0002009+
48Charles G. Koch Charitable FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$75,8582009+
49Donors Capital FundAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$8,0002009+
50JM FoundationAmerican Legislative Exchange Council$25,0002009+
The transactions in Conservative Transparency are based on information reported by the donors and exclude 'dark money' raised by the recipients from unknown donors that are not in the database. For more information about our methodology, visit our about page.