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August 11, 2014

Conservative Legislators' Group Spawns Affiliate Aimed at Local Officials

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit network that promotes primarily conservative and pro-business policies through state legislatures, has formed an affiliate group to work with municipal and county officials, according to Bloomberg.

The American City County Exchange held its organizational meeting last month in Dallas. Like its parent, known as ALEC, which promulgates model state bills, the new group will promote local measures on privatization of services, limits on collective bargaining, and other free-market policies.

More than 2,000 state lawmakers nationwide have free ALEC memberships. The group also has nearly 300 dues-paying corporate and foundation members. It saw an exodus of high-profile corporate backers in 2012 over its past support for "stand your ground" self-defense laws like that invoked in the slaying of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida, and watchdog group Common Cause has petitioned the Internal Revenue Service to revoke ALEC's 501(c)3 status, contending the group engages in lobbying.