Smart ALEC Oregon

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KBOO investigates the influence of ALEC in Oregon

 

KBOO received a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism to do an investigation on the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, in Oregon.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 charitable organization that has existed since the 1960s. In recent years, it has become infamous in its efforts to influence members of state legislatures throughout the country to adopt model legislation ALEC creates through various industry "task forces" that focus on corporate interests. Although the most famous of these, the so called "Stand Your Ground" law, received much attention in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, many others quietly become law. Examples range from legislation that prevents farmers from protesting the nearby plantings of genetically modified seeds to requiring users of solar panels to pay a subsidy to utility companies. Other task forces highlight efforts to, among others, reduce the advocacy of labor, to increase the prevalence of private prisons and to inhibit the ability of states to dictate protocols for identifying railcar contents.

Some background, from 2012, from Old Mole Variety Hour host Frann Michel.

The official project page, with audio and transcripts, a database of Oregon ALEC bills, a map of ALEC affliated districts, ALEC model bills, Oregon legislation, and useful links,  is here: smartalec.kboo.fm

This project was led by Don Merrill, with additional reporting by Sam Bouman, Mike Klepfer, Yana Maximova and Sam Smith.

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KBOO Stream 1
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Retired

Smart ALEC Oregon: Following the Money

Airs at: Mon, 09/22/2014 at 5:00pm - 5:15pm
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"The central question about ALEC is this: how does an organization that many feel is lobbying under the nose of the IRS and state Ethics boards maintain its status as a tax-exempt charity? Among other things, 501c3 status exempts ALEC from reporting any lobbying expenditure... Read more

Smart ALEC Oregon: ALEC's Past, Present and Future

Airs at: Mon, 09/08/2014 at 5:00pm - 5:15pm
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Originally aired September 8, 2014 This seventh segment looks at how ALEC formed in the early 70s, how it extracts commitments from legislators to uphold ALEC principles and how it is dealing with challenges to its lobbying efforts.  Those challenges include questions abou... Read more

Smart ALEC Oregon: KBOO Reporters Investigate ALEC Conference in Kansas City

Airs at: Thu, 09/04/2014 at 12:00am
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The sixth piece examines the ALEC conferences themselves in terms of what gets accomplished.  Annual spring and winter conferences are events where legislators discuss potential model legislation with business leaders.  The annual summer conference is more of a public relat... Read more

ALEC Influence on Immigration-related legislation in Oregon

Airs at: Wed, 08/20/2014 at 5:00pm - 5:15pm
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Originally aired August 20. 2014 The fifth piece looks at three of ALEC’s task forces; Civil Justice, Public Safety and Elections, and the Justice Performance Project and how together, these task forces have compelled ALEC supporters in the Oregon legislature to introduce ... Read more

Smart ALEC Oregon: Public Employees

Airs at: Thu, 07/31/2014 at 5:00pm
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Originally aired July 31, 2014 The fourth piece focuses on how ALEC’s Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force drafted model bills that attacked public employees, their pensions and their right to unionize as well as threatened to privatize many public servi... Read more

Smart ALEC Oregon: School Privatization

Airs at: Mon, 07/07/2014 at 5:00pm - 5:15pm
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Originally aired July 7, 2014 The third piece examines how ALEC, through it’s Education Task Force, works with ALEC members in state legislatures to privatize, defund or dismantle public schools through charter schools, voucher programs and tuition tax credits.  In Oregon,... Read more

Smart ALEC Oregon: Jackson County GMO Ban Initiative

Airs at: Tue, 06/24/2014 at 5:00pm - 5:15pm
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Originally aired June 24, 2014. This second piece in the series looks at the issue of genetically modified organisms and ALEC’s connection to the effort to legalize them in Oregon.  ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agricultural Task Force was instrumental in drafting several... Read more

ALEC Investigative Report: On the influence of ALEC in Oregon

Airs at: Fri, 05/09/2014 at 12:00am
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During KBOO's all-day special program on KBOO titled Fighting the Neoliberal Agenda on Friday, May 9th, KBOO listeners heard the first report-back from KBOO’s investigative reporting team on the impact of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on legislation and l... Read more