ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row

Source: Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, December 3, 2013

…The Guardian has learned that by Alec’s own reckoning the network has lost almost 400 state legislators from its membership over the past two years, as well as more than 60 corporations that form the core of its funding. In the first six months of this year it suffered a hole in its budget of more than a third of its projected income.

The reference to the Prodigal Son Project is just one of many revelations contained in a batch of internal Alec documents that have been obtained by the Guardian. The documents, prepared for its most recent annual board meeting in Chicago in August, cast light on the inner workings of the group.

They show that:
• Alec has set up a separate sister group called the “Jeffersonian Project” amid concerns over possible government inquiries into whether its activities constitute lobbying – which would threaten its tax-exempt status;
• the network has suffered a decline in its membership among state-based Republicans and among big corporations following the Trayvon Martin controversy;
• its income raised from conferences, membership fees and donations has fallen short, leaving the group with a potential funding crisis;
• a draft agreement prepared for the board meeting proposed that Alec’s chairs in each of the 50 states, who are drawn from senior legislators, should be required to put the interests of the organisation first, thus setting up a possible conflict of interest with the voters who elected them;
• Alec also considered extending its remit to include the gambling industry, particularly online gambling, as a possible source of new members and revenue….

The documents include:
Jeffersonian Project
Draft state chair agreement
Public affairs update
2013 “Prospects”
Lapsed corporate members
Budget shortfall in six months to 30 June 2013
Financial services companies “failed to renew”
Gambling proposal

Related:
The Pledge of Corporate Allegiance?
Source: Leo Gerard, In These Times, December 11, 2013
Leaks reveal that corporate front group ALEC may ask for loyalty oaths from legislators….