Iowa House Democratic Leader Mark Smith (D-Marshalltown) said today the Iowa Legislature has not paid dues to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) since 2011. The letter is the second sent by Rep. Smith after ALEC officials claimed that the Iowa Legislature joined ALEC “as a single body.”
“ALEC’s assertion that the Iowa Legislature is a member of ALEC is false. Our non-partisan Legislative Service Agency has confirmed that no dues have been paid to ALEC in 2013 or 2014 for any single body membership or individual membership,” said Rep. Smith. “In fact, I can discover no authorization to pay ALEC anything for the current two years.”
“Moreover, ALEC’s claim that the General Assembly has a long history of paying dues as a single body is wrong, too,” Smith said. “The last time the Legislature paid dues to ALEC was in 2011 and those were individual memberships for 64 state representatives who asked to become ALEC members. There were 36 House Democrats and 50 state senators for whom dues were not paid. So clearly, the Legislature did not join ALEC ‘as a single body.’”
Smith says the response from ALEC is just the latest in a pattern of misinformation but is no surprise from a special interest group with no accountability beyond its corporate funders.
“ALEC has been scrambling to maintain memberships and corporate sponsorships over the last few years, but that doesn’t justify using false membership information to suggest that Iowans belong to ALEC or that ALEC is a bi-partisan organization because it is not,” added Smith.
Rep. Smith again demanded that all names of Iowa House Democrats be removed from ALEC membership lists and that it not list Iowa as joining as a single body.