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Hurricane Isaac is raking the Gulf Coast this morning on the seventh anniversary of Katrina and will undoubtedly leave a trail of destruction and woe behind. Elsewhere, however — for better or worse — the world moves on. Here’s one small bright spot worth celebrating: The good people at the Center for Media and Democracy report that the front group for right-wing economic and social causes known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (or ALEC) continues to lose more and more members.

According to this encouraging report:

“Six more companies have indicated that they are cutting, or have cut, ties to ALEC: General Electric (GE), Western Union, Sprint Nextel, Symantec (maker of Norton antivirus software), Reckitt Benckiser Group (a British consumer goods company that makes such brands as French’s mustard, Woolite, Lysol, Clearasil, Durex, and D-Con), and Entergy (a power plant company headquartered in New Orleans)…. Read More

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As we and others reported on Friday, a candidate for state Democratic Party Chair, Donald Vaughan, was revealed in recent days to have been a member of the corporate-funded, arch-conservative group ALEC. Late on Friday, Vaughan sent us a letter in which he explained that he is resigning from the group. Click here to read the letter.

Good for Vaughan. It remains to be seen, however, whether the state’s Democrats will find the explanation compelling or too little too late.

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In case you missed today’s “Follies” edition of the Fitzsimon File, be sure to check it out — especially the part about State Senator Donald Vaughan’s candidacy for chair of the state Democratic Party. As Chris notes, Vaughan is:

“a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a national right-wing organization that brings big money interests and conservative state legislators together to develop and promote model bills in state legislatures.

ALEC recently announced it was ending its work on non-economic issues after several major corporations resigned in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida and the controversy about the Stand Your Ground law passed there at the urging of ALEC members.

Common Cause has filed a complaint with the IRS asking that ALEC’s tax-exempt status be revoked because it is a lobbying group.

ALEC has become one of the most visible national symbols of the right-wing policy machine.”

Also, Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies has more details in a special report on Vaughan that you can read by clicking here.

 

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The government watchdog Common Cause North Carolina is calling on Attorney General Roy Cooper to investigate the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council and its claim of nonprofit status. According to a letter the group is asking folks to sign and forward to Cooper:

“Common Cause has discovered compelling evidence that ALEC is a corporate lobby masquerading as a charity. It devotes its $7 million annual budget to lobbying for laws that will boost the profits of its member corporations but it pays no taxes and solicits corporate contributions with a promise that donors can deduct gifts on their annual tax returns.

That’s not right. As attorney general, the person we elect to enforce state laws, you shouldn’t stand for it.”

Click here for more information.