MEDIA ADVISORY FOR:
Wednesday, 12 February 2014

CONTACT:
Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com

TODAY: Press Conference at the Capitol in Sacramento Urges Legislators to Resist the Influence of ALEC

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- On Wednesday, February 12th, concerned Californians joined by members of Common Cause and CourageCampaign.org will hold a press conference outside the State Capitol in Sacramento in protest of the right-wing corporate front group, ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Activists will then deliver Just Say NO to ALEC letters to every legislator.

WHO: Common Cause/Courage Campaign members
WHEN: Wednesday, February 12th at 10:30AM PT
WHERE: West Steps of the Capitol
WHAT: Press conference followed by letter delivery

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is a corporate funded nonprofit that brings together member corporations and state member legislators to create “model bills” that often directly benefit their corporate funders. Three state legislators -- Sens. Joel Anderson and Stephen Knight as well as Asm. Dan Logue -- are known to have ties to ALEC. Sen. Anderson was ALEC’s 2011 “State Legislator of the Year.” (Details available at ALECExposed.org)

Common Cause and the Center for Media and Democracy have linked ALEC to the creation of the Florida Stand Your Ground law that was used in the Trayvon Martin case, voter suppression legislation, legislative efforts to increase jail time that would benefit private prisons, and anti-immigration bills that boost revenues for detaining immigrants, like Arizona’s infamous SB 1070 law.

Common Cause filed a whistleblower complaint with the IRS showing that ALEC misuses charity laws, massively under reports  lobbying, and obtains improper tax breaks for corporate funders at the taxpayers' expense. Over 4,000 pages of ALEC documents were submitted as evidence. A supplemental submission was filed in July 2013, as a follow-up to the original complaint, documenting ALEC’s improper use of a corporate slush fund to finance lavish junkets for legislators and their families.

“Around the country, ALEC has been exposed for lying about their lobbying behavior and violating tax laws by pretending to be a non-profit. They’ve also improperly used corporate funds to finance lavish junkets for legislators and their families. And they would like nothing more than to get their dirty hands on California,” explained Dr. Paul Song, executive chairman of the California-based CourageCampaign.org. “Thousands of Courage members have already demanded Google, Facebook and Yelp follow the example of 72 other major corporations -- from Walmart to Coca Cola -- and cut their ties with ALEC due to their extreme and unethical agenda.”

“Now we must demand the same of our leaders in Sacramento,” added Song.

“Rather than acting as a tax-exempt charity, ALEC has proven to be the lobbying arm of corporate America, as shown through the countless number of ALEC bills that have been brought to light on the ALEC Exposed website and introduced in state houses across the country,” said Helen Grieco of Common Cause.

In the last few days, members of CourageCampaign.org have signed a petition urging legislators not to sell out to corporate interests and let ALEC’s extreme right-wing agenda corrupt our state Capitol.

VIEW THE PETITION: http://act.couragecampaign.org/sign/ALEC_CA/

For more information, or interviews with CourageCampaign.org, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

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