New PDF release: Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States

By Natural Resources Defense Council

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At least fifty state legislators from Missouri will be flying to Monterey, California, in July for ALEC’s five-day national conference, the St. 22 Some of the legislators readily acknowledge that among the 22. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 6, 1989, “Dyer one of 50 from Missouri to take California junket” 29 ALEC REPORT 30 lures is the conference’s proximity to the ocean. The conference is expected to cost at least $1,250 for each legislator, according to estimates of the Missouri State Senate. That includes $300 for airfare, a $200 registration fee, as much as $107 a night for lodging, and $50 a day for meals.

ALEC’s annual revenues soared from about $2 million in 1992 to about $5 million in 1995. Underneath it all, however, ALEC apparently was in financial trouble. In September 1995, after months of internal strife and an independent audit of the organization’s finances, ALEC’s legislative and corporate boards of directors fired Brunelli amid charges that the organization was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and was facing growing financial difficulties. 34 These issues seem to have precipitated significant fissures within ALEC’s power structure.

Stephens said that he had declared the expenditures as personal — and thus taxable — income. ” Nationwide, gaping holes in state ethics and financial-disclosure laws allow many state legislators to receive gifts in secrecy. What’s more, in the vast majority of states, state legislators do not have to report gifts received by their spouses and children. As a consequence, ALEC and its corporate sponsors can offer state legislators a large assortment of valuable perquisites that, in almost all cases, lawmakers do not have to include on their financial-disclosure forms -- this, despite the obvious potential conflict of interest.

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Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States by Natural Resources Defense Council

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