American Legislative Exchange Council

A national progressive organization that's pressuring Democrats to drop their memberships in a conservative nonprofit is now operating in Kentucky.

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Several Democrats in the Kentucky Senate have held on to their memberships in the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, despite national blowback against the group for its conservative model laws. 

The advocacy group Common Cause is asking federal agencies to remove the non-profit tax-exempt status of the American Legislative Exchange Council. The ALEC provides lawmakers with sample legislation and talking points, often to promote conservative issues, and Common Cause says the organization is a lobbying group. Kentucky's ALEC co-chair, Senator Tom Buford, says Common Cause could be considered a Democratic group, and isn’t worried about the organization being examined by the Attorney General’s office.

Common Cause Challenges ALEC's Tax Status

May 2, 2012

A government watchdog group is challenging the tax-exempt status of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national group that's active in state legislatures across the country. Common Cause of Kentucky Chairman Richard Beliles is asking Attorney General Jack Conway to review whether the group should be taxed in Kentucky. Beliles' action comes on the heels of a national-level initiative to try to get the IRS to revoke the group's 502(c) (3) status.

A controversial national legislative group may not have the same pull in Kentucky as it does in other states.

For weeks, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has been under fire for its work pushing model state laws. The group has been linked to "stand your ground" gun laws, which have been in the news since the shooting death of a Florida teenager in February.

Many of ALEC's corporate members, including Kentucky-based Yum Brands, have ended their association with the group.