Press Release

State Legislators, Supporters Show Concern Regarding Inappropriate Outreach by Senator Durbin

State Legislators, Supporters Show Concern

Regarding Inappropriate Outreach by Senator Durbin

Chicago, Ill. (August 9, 2013)— Following the distribution of an open letter to more than 300 member and non-member companies by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), the American Legislative Exchange Council today provided a response while in the midst of its 40th annual meeting in Chicago.

“The private sector has a First Amendment right to share opinions and participate in voluntary organizations,” said Private Enterprise Advisory Council Chairman C. Stevens Seale. 

“Members and donors to 501(c)3 organizations are specifically protected by the Internal Revenue Service and the Supreme Court to shield them from the type of political intimidation found in Senator Durbin’s letter,” said ALEC First Vice Chair and Iowa Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer.

“ALEC members employ more than 33 million American workers,” said scholar Dr. Arthur Laffer. “The jobs member companies provide create income to support families and help people pursue the American dream.”

“Before any elected official considers potential legislation, he or she considers inputs from all perspectives including other legislators, constituents and coalition groups,” said ALEC National Chairman and Connecticut Representative John Piscopo. “Further, Senator Durbin should know the American Legislative Exchange Council maintains no policy on ‘stand your ground’ and hasn’t for quite some time.

Piscopo continued, “By hosting its conference in Chicago, ALEC brought millions of dollars of revenue to the city and its workers. Beyond direct meeting costs, more than 1,500 people shopped, dined and paid for entertainment during our week-long stay in the city.”

The American Legislative Exchange Council provides a forum to facilitate the exchange of ideas from a variety of perspectives. It produces nonpartisan policy analysis, study and research. Model policy and resolutions are developed by organization members and may or may not reflect the positions of any individual member, company, association, or non-profit. The only results of ALEC exchanges are resolutions of support for ideas that are then posted on its website:


The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit:

Contact: Bill Meierling