The Center for Media and Democracy Asks Rep. Van Wanggaard to Renounce ALEC Membership‏

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I received the following email on 5/18/12 from The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). It looks like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee ( ) is getting help in the effort to get law makers to leave ALEC (see link for my post on that subject below the email).


CONTACT: Sara Jerving

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) applauds Rep. Van Wanggaard's move to distance himself from the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) "scholarship" program, and is asking that he now renounce his membership in the organization.

CMD filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board (GAB) in March describing how the so-called ALEC "scholarship fund" that pays for ALEC member legislators' travel to resorts for ALEC meetings is funded entirely by corporations. CMD asked the GAB to issue a public ruling that these gifts violate Wisconsin's ethics and lobbying laws, which prohibit elected officials from accepting anything of value -- even a cup of coffee -- from corporations that employ lobbyists in the state. Rep. Wanggaard has insisted that he has never accepted a corporate-funded plane ticket or hotel room through his membership in ALEC, the controversial group responsible for policies that attack working people and environmental protections, and has pushed laws like Stand Your Ground/Shoot First.

"We applaud Rep. Wanggaard for acknowledging through his actions that corporations buying plane tickets and hotel rooms for elected officials could reasonably be expected to influence their official judgment," said Lisa Graves, CMD's Executive Director. "However, the structure of ALEC itself, where corporations vote as equals with legislators to approve 'model' legislation for introduction in all 50 states, warps the democratic process and puts corporations before people. We call on Rep. Wanggaard to follow the lead of 45 legislators of both parties from across the country and renounce his membership in ALEC today."

In its complaint to the GAB, CMD named all known ALEC members in the Wisconsin legislature because ALEC and the ALEC scholarship program operate under a cloak of secrecy, and information about which legislators had received the corporate-funded "scholarships" was not publicly available. Rep. Wanggaard has told the GAB he has never received an ALEC scholarship.

"We have asked the GAB for a ruling that the ALEC scholarship program violates Wisconsin ethics and lobbying laws, so that ALEC members -- like Rep. Wanggaard -- cannot accept these gifts in the future," said CMD Law Fellow Brendan Fischer. "The best way for Rep. Wanggaard to assure his constituents that he will never accept gifts of flights and hotel rooms from these corporate interests is to drop his ALEC membership."

CMD recently released a report on ALEC's influence in Wisconsin, identifying 49 ALEC members in the Wisconsin legislature and 32 bills or budget provisions that echo ALEC model legislation. That report is available here.

About the Center for Media and Democracy

The Center for Media and Democracy is a non-profit investigative reporting group whose work aids public awareness about the people, companies, and groups attempting to shape the media and our democracy. Founded in 1993, our national reporting and analysis focus on exposing corporate spin. We accept no funding from for-profit corporations or the government. The Center for Media and Democracy's websites are
PR Watch, SourceWatch,BanksterUSA, ALECexposed and Food Rights Network.

Center for Media and Democracy
520 University Avenue, Suite 260
Madison, Wisconsin 53703-4929
Phone: 608-260-9713 | Fax: 608-260-9714


Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am


Alec is in favor of smaller government and open markets, everything that is needed to get the country back on the right track. And off this course that is moving us toward a tax and spend liberal utopia. The voters in wisconsin have spoken and are in favor of the steps the legislators have taken to get wisconsin back in line with the voters wishes. Voter ID , conceal carry, the castle doctrine and balancing the budget are all very popular with the voters of wisconsin. None of the candidates for governor are running in favor of changing the conceal carry and the voter ID law or the castle doctrine. Governor walker has wisconsin moving forward and the voters support him.

whiskeyman's picture
Mar. 7, 2012 5:57 pm

As we say in the TH chat room ... :troll: :pile: :smoke: :badback: ... figure it out for yourself . lol

That reminds me ... Wiz, do we have an emoti for the Koch's ? Koch roaches ?

Jul. 7, 2011 11:13 am

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