How Did ALEC Fare in the Midterm Election?

SAP America has resigned as ALEC’s corporate chair because of the group’s "strange policies" on climate change and opposition to renewable energy, reports Center for Media & Democracy.

The software company decided to "immediately disassociate itself from ALEC," also noting its attacks on voter rights and gun safety.

"SAP is a particularly big loss for ALEC, because its representative at ALEC, lobbyist Steve Searle, is the Chair of ALEC’s corporate board, and the former corporate chair of ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. As a leader within ALEC, Searle would have helped drive the ALEC agenda, and would have had inside knowledge of what ALEC has planned for 2015 to continue to stonewall to tackle climate change," says Nick Surgey, Research Director at Center for Media & Democracy.


Not that this will deter ALEC, they had big successes in the midterm election. Many legislative members of ALEC will be elevated to leadership positions in statehouses across the country as a result of Republican majorities.

Turning to the Koch Brothers, not all their candidates won, but they did get a good return on their investment! In Florida, for example, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) managed to convince voters that Democratic candidate Charlie Christ’s strong support for renewable energy would be bad for them. Christ wants to hike your electric bills, they warned.

"In many places, [AFP] has more trained and paid operatives than the traditional political parties. Nowhere is this more obvious than Florida, where the group has 10 offices, its single largest field operation," reports Salon. It’s not hard to see how Rick Scott, the Republican candidate, won re-election.

In the tough North Carolina Senate race, AFP’s 45 paid staffers knocked on 186,000 doors and made at least 1 million phone calls, says the Washington Post. In the final weeks leading up to the election, the Koch brothers’ new Super PAC, Freedom Partners Action Fund bought seven figures-worth of ads that  attacked the Democratic candidate, making it the top state for outside spending. Needless to say, ALEC board member Thom Tillis won.

"The Kochs are not your average oligarchs, they are a political party. And where did they create their platform –  starve the state, burn the planet in the name of "free enterprise" – behind closed doors at ALEC, by the world’s most powerful lobbyists representing Exxon Mobil, Peabody Energy, and other major polluters," notes Center for Media & Democracy.

Many people were surprised that Cory Gardner won in Colorado and Joni Ernst in Iowa, but they too are ALEC members or alumnus, as is Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

High on the 2015 Agenda:

  • With heavily polluting industries driving ALEC’s agenda, all efforts to address climate change will be opposed. Members are calling for a "political tsunami" and "guerrilla warfare" (and lawsuits) to prevent EPA from regulating greenhouse gases from power plants (or any pollutant) or anyone even talking about carbon taxes. They will continue their work on repealing or weakening state Renewable Portfolio Standards, get taxes on solar energy, and get the Keystone pipeline approved. 
  • Economy: they will double down on job-killing austerity and tax cuts, attacks on public workers, pensions and wages, and outright banning of local efforts to raise the minimum wage or secure paid sick leave. The weaker and more despised the government is, the better it is for polluters, says Center for Media & Democracy.

Read our article, Republicans Lay Out Energy Agenda, Expecting to Control Congress.

See how outside spending helped in many tight races: 

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