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British report pulls curtain back on ALEC

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The Guardian newspaper of London has spilled some of the beans on the American Legislative Exchange Council.  

That's the group which writes model legislation for Wisconsin lawmakers and others around the country. The paper cited 53 pages of documents leaked from the group's meeting in Chicago in August.  

Among other things, it said that 43 of the state's 132 legislators were members. Their names were not listed.  

The Guardian also said the council considered, but never passed, a policy which made their state chairmen promise loyalty to the group's principles.

The Exchange council says it brings business, special interests, and lawmakers together to seek what it calls "free market, small government, and federalism" measures that have included voter ID laws.  

The State Journal of Madison cites a report from the Center for Media and Democracy that the model legislation was a basis for 32 Wisconsin bills or budget provisions in the last session, about two-thirds of which were passed.  

The center has filed lawsuits and complaints against the exchange council and its members to obtain council records.

Senate Republican Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa is one of the defendants. The center said Wednesday that negotiations are taking place on settling that suit.

(Story Courtesy of Wheeler News Service)