What is

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2002:
WASHINGTON D.C.–The web site address, <www.alecwatch.org>,
calls to mind “smart-alec,” a synonym for “wiseguy.” In the current
political climate, that in turn suggests “wise-use wiseguys”–but
far-right strategist Paul Weyrich formed ALEC, short for the
American Legislative Exchange Council, in 1973, before going on to
form the Moral Majority for evangelist Jerry Falwell, a decade
before the term “wise-use” emerged.
Jointly prepared and posted on February 28, 2002 by
Defenders of Wildlife and the National Resources Defense Council,
<www.alecwatch.org> is a comprehensive report on how the corporate
members of ALEC, paying annual dues of just $5,000 apiece, are
purchasing unprecedented political influence in state legislatures.

The membership list includes at least 20 corporations and
trade associations having histories of frequent conflict with animal
advocates. Among them are most of the major firms involved in
agribusiness and animal testing–and the National Rifle Association.
Through ALEC, wise-use state representatives are able to
rapidly adapt single pieces of pre-drafted legislation for
introduction in their own states, and simultaneously push the same
agenda in statehouses across the nation. The multiple introductions
fragment the ability of most national advocacy groups to respond,
since most are poorly organized at the state level.
ALEC pushes the entire conservative agenda, and any
corporation can join, but the membership orientation tends to
emphasize such issues as compensating landowners if the Endangered
Species Act or other laws inhibit the use of property. ALEC also
helps to push so-called “hunter bills of rights.”

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