American Legislative Exchange Council counters attacks from Common Cause

On behalf of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Washington, D.C. attorney Alan P. Dye has issued a formal statement countering what ALEC called a “frivolous IRS complaint” filed by Common Cause.

Dye, a veteran attorney for tax-exempt organizations in the nation’s capital, said in the statement sent to CapitolBeatOK: “The attacks on the American Legislative Exchange Council are based on patently false claims being made by liberal front groups that differ with ALEC on philosophical terms.

“The current complaint mostly ignores applicable law and distorts what it does not ignore. After three decades of counseling clients on nonprofit and federal disclosure requirements, it’s clear to me that this is a tired campaign to abuse the legal system, distort the facts and tarnish the reputation of ideological foes.

“Without question, Common Cause is a partisan front group masquerading as an ethics watchdog.”

Common Cause is asserting ALEC is flouting federal tax laws by spending money to lobby for bills in state Legislatures. The filing asserts that ALEC is a vehicle for corporate lobbying, assailing ALEC for talking points, issue alerts, tracking documents and other actions, including sponsorship of gatherings for state election officials. 

Phillips and Cohen LLP, a self-described “whistleblower law firm” has organized the complaints against ALEC on behalf of Common Cause. A formal complaint was filed in Washington, D.C. on Monday (April 23).

The attorneys want an IRS audit of ALEC, payment of back taxes and penalties.

Common Cause supports taxpayer funding of elections, and has strongly opposed the “Citizens United” case and other precedents expanding protections for political speech.