Despite its attempts to turn the increased scrutiny into an opportunity to self-promote, the future of the organization, less than a year ago considered one of the most influential public policy forces on the right, now seems in jeopardy.
A spokeswoman for ALEC did not return Roll Call’s request for comment Sunday, but ALEC officials have repeatedly insisted they are not breaking the law, thanks to an exception in the tax code for organizations engaging in “nonpartisan research and analysis.” The group’s lawyers maintain that ALEC simply provides independently produced, nonpartisan material to educate lawmakers.
ALEC’s treasurer, Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R), told Roll Call in April that the complaints were ideologically driven.
“These type of legislative organizations are common and have been common for years,” he said. “The only thing that separates ALEC from the other ones is that ALEC is conservative.”
Owens, a registered Democrat, said he is not active in party politics.
“I refuse to make political contributions and don't otherwise participate in political party events,” Owens said.
Clarification: July 2, 2 p.m.
An earlier version of this article misstated the restrictions on lobbying for 501(c)(3) organizations.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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