The American Legislative Exchange Council provides a “constituent management program” worth thousands of dollars and run by a leading Republican political data operation to its overwhelmingly Republican legislative members at no charge, in potential violation of its charitable tax status and state gift and campaign finance laws, the Center for Media and Democracy has learned.
As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is prohibited from engaging in any electoral activity as a condition of its charitable tax-exempt status, and in most states, contributing something of value to legislators or their campaigns would trigger gift or campaign contribution limits subject to public disclosure.
According to ALEC CARE training materials obtained by CMD, the program comes “preloaded with constituent information,” and can enable robocalls or send text messages to constituents. The training also revealed that the “data vendor” (Voter Gravity) has access to users’ data.
This follows a 2015 blog post where Voter Gravity announced that it was “fully integrated with the Republican National Committee database.” Ned Ryun added, “Our ultimate goal is to outmaneuver the left philosophically and politically.”
In 2014, voter data operations on the Right, including the Koch’s i360, the RNC, the NRCC, and Ryun, met with GOP operatives and candidates “behind closed doors to discuss how to synchronize their sometimes competing tech efforts,” Politico reported.
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