Des Moines, IA — State Representative Brian Quirk announced today that he has cancelled his membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and will no longer participate in the organization.
Rep. Quirk released the following statement about ALEC’s dangerous agenda:
“ALEC is not the bipartisan organization it claims to be. ALEC’s leadership discourages bipartisan cooperation, and pushes an agenda that is wrong for Iowa. As a member I saw firsthand the sort of legislation they push on state legislators around the country. I disagree with ALEC’s extreme agenda and the partisan way in which they operate. Our tax dollars should never be spent on funding such a partisan organization.”
After learning of his decision to leave ALEC, other Iowans issued statements thanking the Representative:
“We want to thank Rep. Quirk for cancelling his ALEC membership, and we hope his fellow legislators will follow suit,” said Matt Sinovic, Executive Director of Progress Iowa. “Iowa can’t afford to operate under the influence of ALEC any longer.”
“I’m very excited to learn that Rep. Quirk has ended his ALEC membership,” said Marcia Nichols, Legislative Director of AFSCME Iowa Council 61. “ALEC regularly pushes legislation that hurts working and middle class Iowans. We need our entire legislature to abandon this extreme organization.”
ALEC is a secretive, corporate front group that drafts legislation, allowing Iowa legislators to pass it off as their own. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC has provided model legislation in Iowa to suppress voter rights, withdraw from regional environmental partnerships, and require ‘intellectual diversity’ reporting from our college campuses.
During the past few months, ALEC has received mounting criticism for their role in promoting controversial legislation, such as “Stand Your Ground” laws, which have been implicated in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
As a result, a number of high-profile corporations and organizations have ended their financial support of ALEC, including: Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars, Inc., Kaplan, Blue Cross Blue Shield, YUM! Brands, American Traffic Solutions, Arizona Public Service, and Reed Elsevier.
Several pieces of legislation based on ALEC templates have been introduced in Iowa (click here for full information including links to Iowa legislation and ALEC model legislation):
- HF6 (introduced 1/11/11) “an act requiring the development of a searchable budget database.” Compare to ALEC’s “Transparency and Government Accountability Act.”
- HR4 (introduced 1/26/11), a “A resolution calling for the withdrawal of the State of Iowa from the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord.” Compare to ALEC’s “State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives.”
- HF95 (passed by the House 1/27/11) “establishing a requirement for voters to provide certain identification when voting in person.” Compare to ALEC’s “Voter ID Act.”
- HSB19 (recorded 1/20/11) “concerning state preemption of firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition regulation by political subdivisions and providing a remedy.” Compare to ALEC’s “Consistency in Firearms Regulation Act.”
- HF285 (introduced 2/15/11) “relating to intellectual diversity in community colleges and institutions of higher education under the control of the state board of regents and providing a reporting requirement.” Compare to ALEC’s “Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education Act.”