New ALEC Report Blasts “Pension Fund Cronyism”
Source: The National Council on Teacher Retirement

A new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), released December 14, 2016, charges that public pension funds are intentionally making “inferior investment decisions” in order to “advance political agendas” of many pension plan officials and lawmakers. Instead of managing pension fund investments for the exclusive purpose of providing retirement benefits to government employees, ALEC charges that many state and local government pension fund assets are being invested in “a misguided attempt to boost their local economies, provide kickbacks to their political supporters, reward industries they like, punish those they don’t and bully corporations into silence and behaving as they see fit.”

ALEC is a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives that drafts and shares model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments. It has been described by The Guardian as “a dating agency for Republican state legislators and big corporations, bringing them together to frame rightwing legislative agendas in the form of ‘model bills.’” According to The New York Times, “special interests effectively turn ALEC’s lawmaker members into stealth lobbyists, providing them with talking points, signaling how they should vote, and collaborating on bills affecting hundreds of issues like school vouchers and tobacco taxes.” And Bloomberg Businessweek has described the organization as a “bill laundry” that “offers companies substantial benefits that seem to have little to do with ideology.”

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