Talk:Koch Brothers and ALEC

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According to an article written by Lisa Graves in The Nation magazine, the Koch Brothers -- Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch -- have influenced hundreds of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bills and resolutions and contributed substantial funding to the organization.[1]

Koch Wiki

Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.

Koch Funding for ALEC

"While it is unclear how much the Kochs have given to ALEC in all, the amount likely exceeds $1 million, not including half a million dollars loaned to ALEC when the group was floundering," according to The Nation.[1] "The Kochs ... bailed out ALEC with a loan of nearly half a million dollars in the late 1990s," according to a special report by Lisa Graves on "ALEC's Funding and Spending" published by[2][3][4][5]

The Charles Koch Institute was a "Trustee" level sponsor of the 2013 American Legislative Exchange Council States & Nation Policy Summit in Washington, DC.[6]

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation gave ALEC donations of $75,858 in 2009 and $71,100 in 2012.[7][8] Cumulatively, it gave ALEC $389,958 from 1998 to 2012.[9] Additionally, In 1996, the Charles G. Koch Foundation gave ALEC a $500,000 loan, as mentioned above.[10]

The Kochs' Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation gave donations totaling $600,000 to ALEC between 2007 and 2012.[9]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

Koch Industries' Ties to ALEC

Koch Industries is a long-time member and funder of ALEC and a long-time member of its corporate board, which is now called its "Private Enterprise Advisory Council."[11]

Mike Morgan, Director of Public and Government Affairs, represents Koch Industries on ALEC's corporate Private Enterprise Advisory Council as of 2014;[11] he was previously its Chairman.[12]

Koch Industries was a "Chairman" level sponsor of the 2013 American Legislative Exchange Council Spring Task Force Summit in Oklahoma City.[13] It was earlier a "Vice-Chairman" level sponsor of the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference, which in 2010 equated to $25,000.[14]

Koch Industries financially supported the publication of ALEC's 1995 Sourcebook, the annual publication in which it released its "model" legislation until it moved to online publication.[15]

Koch Sponsorship of 1995 Sourcebook.png

Kochs and ALEC Rollback of Environmental Protections

"Helped by Koch Industries' lobbying efforts, one of the first bills George W. Bush signed into law as governor of Texas was an ALEC ... bill giving corporations immunity from penalties if they tell regulators about their own violation of environmental rules.... The Kochs have a penchant for paying their way out of serious violations and coming out ahead.... Dozens of similar ALEC bills would limit environmental regulations or litigation in ways that would benefit Koch," according to The Nation (see the ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force and "Energy, Environment and Agriculture" on for more).[1]

Kochs and ALEC Push School Vouchers

The Kochs have long pushed taxpayer-subsidized school vouchers. As a candidate for vice president in 1980, David Koch "helped inject the idea of privatizing public schools into the national debate.... A cornerstone of the Libertarian Party platform, which be bankrolled, was the call for 'educational tax credits to encourage alternatives to public education," a plan to the right of Ronald Reagan. Several pieces of ALEC's ... legislation echo this plan. The Kochs’ mistrust of public education can be traced to their father, Fred, who ranted and raved that the National Education Association was a communist group and public-school books were filled with 'communist propaganda,' paranoia that extended to all unions, President Eisenhower and the 'pro-communist' Supreme Court," according to The Nation (see the ALEC Education Task Force and "Privatizing Public Education, Higher Ed Policy, and Teachers" on for more).[1]

Citizens for a Sound Economy and ALEC Agenda Overlap

Another David Koch project, Citizens for a Sound Economy, "helped fuel the fight for 'free trade.'" The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) "passed with help from CSE and its corporate allies. ALEC resolutions for state legislators have long supported such trade agreements in the face of local concerns about job losses, and today the Koch free-market fantasy is reflected in ALEC's support for free trade pacts with Korea, Georgia, Colombia and other countries. On just about every issue taken on by Koch's CSE, ALEC has provided legislative tools to carry them through to state legislatures, from privatizing 'federal and state services and assets,' as CSE put it, to blocking common-sense caps on unlimited credit card interest rates," according to The Nation (see the ALEC International Relations Task Force and "Worker and Consumer Rights" on for more).[1]

In July 2004, CSE merged with Empower America to create FreedomWorks.[16]

Parallel Between ALEC and Koch Judicial Junkets

"ALEC and the Kochs often pursue parallel tracks. Just as ALEC 'educates' legislators, Koch funding has helped 'tutor' hundreds of judges with all-expenses-paid junkets at fancy resorts, where they learn about the 'free market' impact of their rulings," according to The Nation (see PRWatch for more).[1]

"The seminars amount to a privately-funded all-expenses paid trip for judges, with conference sponsors picking up the costs of a judge's flights, hotel rooms, and meals.... The content of the seminars has a decidedly pro-corporate bent, and the expensive gifts raise concerns about improper influence when corporate sponsors have a stake in a case before a judge.[17][18] (Some reports have directly connected the trips to judge's decisions),"[19][20] according to PRWatch.[21]

Shared Personnel of Koch Groups and ALEC

Various Koch groups have employed several individuals who have also worked for ALEC. Koch Industries' top lobbyist was once ALEC's chairman, and Charles Koch Institute fellows have gone on to direct ALEC task forces (see ALEC Staff for more).[1]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Other CMD Resources

External Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Lisa Graves, ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection, The Nation, July 12, 2011.
  2. Lisa Graves, A CMD Special Report on ALEC's Funding and Spending,, July 13, 2011.
  3. American Legislative Exchange Council, Joint Board of Directors Meeting Agenda, December 4, 1996.
  4. American Legislative Exchange Council, Joint Board of Directors Meeting Agenda, March 21, 1997.
  5. American Legislative Exchange Council, 1998 Business Plan, November 24, 1997.
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2013 States & Nation Policy Summit Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, December 4, 2013.
  7. Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation 2009 IRS Form 990, accessed at
  8. Guidestar: Charles Koch Foundation: 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 Center for Media and Democracy, Koch Family Foundations,, accessed July 2014.
  10. American Legislative Exchange Council, 1998 Form 990, form filed with the IRS and available via, May 14, 1999
  11. 11.0 11.1 American Legislative Exchange Council, Private Enterprise Advisory Council, organizational website, accessed July 2014.
  12. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2001 Form 990, form filed with the IRS and available via, April 24, 2002
  13. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2013 Spring Task Force Summit Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, May 2, 2013]
  14. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011.
  15. Samuel Brunelli, Ed., American Legislative Exchange Council, Sourcebook of American State Legislation, Volume II, January 1995.
  16. FreedomWorks, [ Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) and Empower America Merge to Form FreedomWorks: Dick Armey, Jack Kemp, C. Boyden Gray to Chair New Org], organizational press release, archived July 25, 2004.
  17. Chris Young, Corporations, pro-business nonprofits foot bill for judicial seminars, Center for Public Integrity, March 28, 2013.
  18. Voters Legislative Transparency Project, ALEC’s Koch Funded Cabal “Educating” our state and Federal Judges, organizational special report, August 20, 2012.
  19. George Lardner, Jr., Report Links Environmental Rulings, Judges' Free Trips, Washington Post, July 25, 2000, republished by Common Dreams.
  20. Judge Seminars: To Inform or Influence?, ABC News 20/10, April 6, year unknown, accessed July 2014.
  21. Brendan Fischer, Federal Judge Who Halted Walker Dark Money Criminal Probe Attended Koch-Backed Judicial Junkets, PRWatch, May 27, 2014.