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Jeffersonian Project aka ALEC

December 11, 2013

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is still alive, if not well. This organization, made up of America’s largest and most powerful corporations, was set up as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization so that contributions to ALEC would be tax deductible. ALEC’s only objective was to formulate Regulations for all levels of government. These Regulations are written to benefit ALEC’s corporate donors regardless of the detriment to the citizens that would be affected by them. The Regulations already in effect cover a wide range of issues, i.e., law enforcement, incarceration of convicted criminals with harsher penalties, for-profit privately owned penal systems, the controversial “Stand Your Ground,” establishment of for-profit schools and voter ID laws are just a few.
When the objective of ALEC was widely publicized – along with a list of donors – a ground swell of opposition was raised. This caused a large number of ALEC’s donors to withdraw from the organization as pressure was placed on them by their customers. Even the Koch Brothers, with their wide-ranging market base, had to pay attention to the focus of the public on ALEC’s policies. According to The Guardian, “ALEC’s plan for forming a 501)(c)(4) was due to suffering a $1.4 million budget shortfall in the first half of 2013, largely as a result of losing corporate funders.”
With dwindling income, ALEC has expanded by establishing a new subsidiary not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, called “The Jeffersonian Project.” This maneuver now allows them to receive taxable donations in unlimited amounts from their supporters. Huge amounts of cash may be raised without identifying any of its donors. This will only mean newer Regulations favoring the current 35% increase in corporate profits, certainly disproportionate to the 10% loss in lower and middle class incomes!

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