The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board says it will investigate the American Legislative Exchange Council’s lobbying status in Minnesota.
The board disclosed the investigation in a letter to Common Cause Minnesota, the local arm of a national group that is asking many states to probe whether the conservative organization has violated its tax-exempt status.
Earlier this month, Common Cause Minnesota filed two complaints regarding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
The first asks the campaign finance board to look into whether ALEC should be registered as a lobbyist in Minnesota.
Common Cause Minnesota contends that the group, which brings together state lawmakers and businesses to write model legislation meant to inspire state legislation, has lobbied Minnesota’s legislators on specific bills and issues.
The campaign finance board’s letter says Common Cause Minnesota’s request for investigation will be discussed privately by the board on June 5, but that the matter will likely be held over until its next meeting in July.
The second complaint filed with state Attorney General Lori Swanson contends that because ALEC lobbies lawmakers, it has misrepresented its purpose under state laws regarding charities.
ALEC is organized as a 501(c)(3) under the Internal Revenue Code. Such groups are allowed to lobby, as long as it doesn’t constitute a substantial part of a group’s activities.
Last month Common Cause’s national organization requested that the Internal Revenue Service challenge ALEC’s tax status.