In 2016, the Center for Media and Democracy obtained audio of Nuzzo bragging about efforts to trick voters into supporting an anti-solar ballot initiative — Amendment 1 — dressed up as a pro-solar measure.
In Taylor’s state of Wisconsin, then-Governor Scott Walker, backed by a strong Republican majority in the state legislature, immediately passed legislation to strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights and signed a budget cutting public school funding by more than $1 billion. In the 2011-2012 session, Walker signed into law 19 bills or budget provisions at least partially based on ALEC model bills, according to the watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). In 2015, Walker’s “right to work” bill was a near verbatim copy of ALEC’s right to work bill.
It’s becoming an annual ritual. The Koch-funded cluster of groups, which has long abused their 501(c)3 IRS “charitable” designation by working to destroy political enemies, has concocted another “union busting” toolkit, giving ammunition and guidance to Republican politicians on how to attack and dismantle a major funder of the Democratic Party.
American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) has opposed tobacco taxes, plain packaging and a number of other tobacco control regulations, which public health authorities agree reduce smoking. In 2010, the group attempted to dissuade the Australian government from enacting plain packaging laws, arguing they would violate international trade rules. The same year, Alec’s board of directors approved a resolution calling on the Obama administration to oppose plain packaging rules worldwide, according to documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy. In 2016, Alec also signed a letter to the World Health Organization opposing plain packaging. Additionally, Alec passed resolutions which would directly benefit snus manufacturers, a type of smokeless tobacco. In 2017, the group wrote to the US Food and Drug Administration in support of IQOS, a product Philip Morris hopes to sell in the US market as less risky than cigarettes. PR Watch reported in 2014 that “tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris/Altria gave Alec $1,426,700 between 1995 and 2010 – significantly more than the approximately $50,000 a year it was previously reported to have given Alec.” PR Watch also reported that Reynolds American, maker of Camel cigarettes, “gave Alec $688,250 between 1995 and 1998 and in 2010”.
It’s the American Legislative Exchange Council. On its website the group calls itself “America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.”
According to the Center for Media and Democracy, the National School Choice Week website listed the American Federation for Children, the Walton Family Fund, ALEC, SPN, the Freedom Foundation, FreedomWorks, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, the James Madison Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as education partners in 2016. Using the Wayback Machine, you will also find so-called progressive organizations such as Democrats for Education Reform (DFER), KIPP and Education Reform Now on the partners’ list that year.
“The film clearly conveys the dramatic expansion of the prison population,” Lisa Graves, the executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, told Black Enterprise. “After Nixon ran under the southern strategy to criminalize drug addiction, to criminalize the problems people dealt with in the face of continued discrimination and poverty, it was driven upward at such an exponential rate. Those policies were focused in many respects on African Americans and these communities have been targeted.”
It’s time for a clean sweep at the Capitol, writes the Center for Media and Democracy’s Mary Bottari in a column for Isthmus. She presents a checklist of the changes that need to be made to make Wisconsin government transparent and free from outside influences.
ALEC, which claims to be a “membership organization of state legislators,” instead actually receives 98% of its funding from corporations and corporate foundations. ALEC provides state lawmakers with sample legislation, most of which is designed to (according to the Center for Media and Democracy) “undermine environmental regulations and deny climate change; support school privatization; undercut health care reform; defund unions and limit their political influence; restrain legislature’s abilities to raise revenue through taxes; mandate strict election laws that disenfranchise voters, among many other issues.”
According to SourceWatch, an investigative publication of The Center for Media and Democracy, DDK Tours was established in 1985 by Alphin “when he was a sergeant in the St. Louis Police Department. … [He later] started organizing Educational and Training tours to The King Center, Atlanta GA.” Since 1995, DDK has expanded its array of educational pilgrimages beyond the United States to South Africa and Ghana in Africa.