9 TX Republicans, Last 3 TX Democrats Leave ALEC (Updated)

Ed. note - This post has been reflected to note that Sen. Deuell was never a member of ALEC, and therefore did not recently leave. Please see our explanation on this update at the end of this post.

This year, we have worked to expose ALEC in Texas. You've sent letters to Texas legislators asking them to leave ALEC, and helped share our research about this corporate bill factory's influence in Texas. Today, we have tangible proof that our work is making a difference.

We are pleased to announce that an additional 12 Texas Legislators – 9 Republicans and 3 Democrats – have left and will no longer be a part of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). These 12 Legislators join 12 others who announced they were leaving in April of 2012, bringing the total number of Texas legislators who have left ALEC to 24 this year alone.

“These legislators have shown the courage of their convictions by standing up to a corporate bill factory and declaring their support for the people of Texas above all else,” said Matt Glazer, Executive Director of Progress Texas.

As we have written many times before, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate bill factory for model laws. The organization arranges for corporate lobbyists and conservative legislators to hold joint secret meetings to craft cookie-cutter bills that increase the profits of private companies at the public’s expense. Following public pressure from Progress Texas and its membership, 24 legislators have dropped - including every Democrat. A majority of the Texas Legislature – 96 of 181 members – is now no longer a part of ALEC.

Below is the list of the 12 Texas legislators who recently announced they are leaving ALEC.

  1. Sen. Glenn Hegar – R
  2. Sen. Eddie Lucio – D
  3. Sen. Carlos Uresti – D
  4. Sen. John Whitmire – D
  5. Rep. Leo Berman – R
  6. Rep. Myra Crownover – R
  7. Rep. Jim Keffer – R
  8. Rep. Dee Margo – R
  9. Rep. Jim Murphy – R
  10. Rep. Diane Patrick – R
  11. Rep. Debbie Riddle – R
  12. Rep. James White – R

As you may recall, the Texas Public Policy Foundation - ALEC's home away form home here in Texas - rushed to defend ALEC months ago by penning an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. Despite their pleas, Texas legislators - especially Texas Republicans - didn't listen. Additionally, after the departure of Senators Whitmire, Uresti, and Lucio, no Democrat in Texas remains in ALEC. Nationwide, 70 legislators have left ALEC; the 24 that have left from Texas is the most of any state. Additionally, 32 corporations across the country have cut ties with ALEC. A full list of those corporations and legislators can be found here: http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed.

Below is a list of all Texas legislators in ALEC, those not in ALEC, and those who have refused to answer repeated requests of that information from Progress Texas.

List of ALEC Membership in Texas

UPDATE - 8.17.12

Our original release stated that Sen. Deuell was no longer a member of ALEC. Following our press release, Sen. Deuell’s office contacted us to inform us that he was never a member of ALEC. Our records show a $750 contribution Sen. Deuell’s campaign made to ALEC in 2007 for conference registration – an amount that far exceeds the $100 registration/membership fee other legislators often pay to ALEC.

Our organization contacted Sen. Deuell and his office by letter in April, by e-mail in April and in May, and by letter again in June. We did not receive a response until we contacted his office by phone in June to ask about his membership in ALEC. Today, following yesterday’s press release, Sen. Deuell’s staff contacted us to say that while the $750 contribution was made from the Senator’s campaign account, it was his staff person – and not the Senator – that attended the conference and that the Senator has never been a part of ALEC. We have updated our records accordingly.

We appreciate that Senator Deuell has always rejected participating in ALEC, and we’re pleased he is part of the two-thirds majority of Texas Senators – Republicans and Democrats alike – who are not in this corporate bill factory.