Monday, April 23, 2012

Advocacy Group Files IRS Complaint Against ALEC

An advocacy group filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), claiming that the group is violating its tax-exempt status.

The Washington Post reported today that D.C.-based Common Cause accused ALEC of lobbying the government while hiding behind its nonprofit status. ALEC describes itself as a nonprofit that brings together lawmakers and private sector organizations to develop new legislation and policy.

Common Cause disagrees with this premise, saying that the organization's main motivation is to lobby for policies that favorably impact businesses. The nonprofit requested that the IRS conduct an audit of ALEC's work, penalties, and back taxes.

ALEC, which was formed in the 1970s, has long been a target of open government groups that are suspicious of its partnership with legislators. The group has made headlines recently for its support of the "Stand Your Ground Laws," which have played a major role in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Companies that have previously partnered with ALEC, such as Coca Cola, are no longer members, and the group says it is disbanding its task force that was responsible for importing the law to other states.

You can read the full story in The Washington Post.

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