June CEO Update

Our work here at ALEC has never been more important. We believe in capitalism, promote freedom, and put the pieces in place so that every man and woman can stand on their own two feet.

People often ask me why I do what I do – why I devote my time to the early mornings, the late nights, the countless meetings and dinners, and travel across the country to engage with partners, legislators, thought leaders. It can be exhausting. But I do it to make a difference: for my family, my friends, my community, and my country. This drive has been with me since I was young. I once thought my work with Speaker Gingrich would be my ultimate contribution to the nation, but building on that is my work with you at ALEC in the states where we are making a real impact today.

Though challenging, it fills me with a deep sense of patriotic pride. To assist upholding the vision our Founding Fathers created more than 250 years ago in their quest for freedom – a concept on full display last weekend at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, MD. Watching graduates in Navy whites and USMC blues descend onto the field filled me with pride as they took their first steps officially defending our nation and allies across the globe.

One such ally is Taiwan, which maintains its independence from mainland China thanks to the will of their people, the support of their friends, and the leadership of figures like Hsiao Bi-khim. A frequent ALEC speaker, then Ambassador Hsiao spoke eloquently about the price of freedom and the constant threats her country faces. Now serving as the 13th Vice President of Taiwan, we are excited to witness her continued success and extend our congratulations and best wishes for the security and prosperity of the island state.

In May, we celebrated our partnership by racing in the 21st Annual DC Dragon Boat Festival on the Potomac River. Co-Sponsored by the Taiwan-US Cultural Association and the Taipei Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), team Smart ALEC was made up of current ALEC staff, friends, and family.

Closer to home, Americans continue to feel that financial pinch more than ever. Under the current administration, prices continue to rise while our bank accounts continue to shrink. Despite President Biden’s assertion about the strength of the economy, many folks are still live paycheck to paycheck. His announcement, allowing the Tax Cut & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) to expire, will only make things worse. After all, TCJA provided substantial relief for more than 100 million taxpayers. That’s why ALEC took advantage of our inaugural State Chair Fly-In (more about that soon) to hand deliver a letter signed by more than 350 state legislators from 43 states highlighting the benefits of permanently extending the 2017 federal tax cuts.

During the Fly-In, we sat down with influential leaders such as Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, and House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan to amplify the voices of state leaders on extending TCJA. While they support our position, the current regime continues challenging our economy and your paycheck.

Our first annual State Chair Fly-In was a great success. ALEC leaders from across the nation, including ALEC National Chair and Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson, gathered at our new headquarters for intensive workshops and seminars. They returned home equipped with new techniques and skills to promote the values of limited government, free markets, and federalism – a success that would not have been possible without our incredible ALEC staff, who, firing on all cylinders, consistently exceed my expectations.

We traveled to Salt Lake City for our Utah Policy Day with Dr. Arthur B. Laffer. Joined by more than 70 Utah legislators, presentations and discussions focused on how Utah has held the top spot for all 17 editions of the Rich States Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index and how to further improve the Beehive State’s growth trajectoryThe ALEC team also traveled to state capitols in Arizona and Illinois to share our trusted policy solutions, and we completed our first legislator academy of 2024 in Ocean City, Maryland – with four more academies slated for this month.

When ALEC, our allies, and our policies are challenged, we don’t take it lightly. After an editorial criticized our Education Freedom Alliance co-chair, Iowa Gov. Reynolds for supporting education freedom, I felt the need to respond. With all Iowa students able to participate starting next year, Gov. Reynolds’ signature Students First program is poised to transform the education landscape in Iowa for the better. You can read my response here.

With Memorial Day behind us, and the Fourth of July around the corner, I reflect upon the ceremony at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Not because of the pomp and circumstance, but because of the memorial benches and plaques commemorating our nation’s past battles. It reminded me of a recent visit to Arlington National Ceremony. A hallowed place, dazzling in simplicity as the white tombstones wind an almost endless path through the hills and grass. From somewhere. To somewhere. For the families, it’s a pathway to memories. For the country, it’s a pathway to freedom. For without their courage, their service, and their sacrifice, the America we know today and dream of for tomorrow would be lost to the wind.

Our work here at ALEC has never been more important. It makes waves and produces positive results in people’s lives. We believe in capitalism, promote freedom, and put the pieces in place so that every man and woman can stand on their own two feet. You can be part of this work and walk the path alongside us. First step is to join. Second is to attend our Annual Meeting this July in Denver. Third is to believe. For with belief in our trusted policy solutions, I know we can prevail and get this great country back.  Our steadfast commitment to limited government, free markets and federalism works.  It is as simple as that.