The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and Common Cause have filed an 18-page supplemental complaint to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which calls for a termination of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)'s status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and requests civil and criminal charges be brought against ALEC.
Internal Revenue Service
The Center for Public Integrity has broken new ground by publishing a months-long investigation into the public relations and influence-peddling spending conducted by Big Business trade associations between 2008-2012.
That investigation highlights spending for trade associations ranging from the American Petroleum Institute, National Mining Association, Edison Electric Institute, America's Natural Gas Association and many others not in the oil, gas and coal industry. The energy industrial complex, though, by far spent the most on public relations according to the Center.
Image Credit: Center for Public Integrity
API by far spent the most money on public relations according to the Center's analysis, which explained its research methodology as a side-bar to the story.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as covered previously by DeSmogBlog, is the “Trojan Horse” behind mandating that climate change denial (“skepticism,” or “balance,” in its words) be taught in K-12 classrooms.
Well, ALEC is at it again, it appears. Facing an IRS complaint filed by Common Cause, one of the leading advocacy groups working to expose the corporate-funded bill mill, ALEC has also launched an assault on renewable energy legislation, according to a well-documented report written by Bloomberg News.
The two developments are worth unpacking.
Common Cause IRS Complaint
The Washington Post reported that on April 23, Common Cause “had filed an IRS complaint accusing ALEC of masquerading as a public charity…while doing widespread lobbying.”
ALEC is trying to brush aside this complaint, but Common Cause presents a compelling case.
“It tells the IRS in its tax returns that it does no lobbying, yet it exists to pass profit-driven legislation in statehouses all over the country that benefits its corporate members,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, in a statement. “ALEC is not entitled to abuse its charitable tax status to lobby for private corporate interests, and stick the bill to the American taxpayer.”
Common Cause wants the IRS to complete a no-holds-barred audit of ALEC’s work and to examine whether it violated IRS laws.