Dana Milbank’s Dec. 5 Washington Sketch column, “ALEC stands its ground,” offered a misleading view of his time at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) recent policy summit. In fact, he wouldn’t have been able to write even his opening line — “it was like going into the belly of the beast” — if our doors hadn’t been open to him.
Mr. Milbank was offered access to the meeting alongside several dozen reporters — both critical and supportive of the organization. Like other similar organizations, ALEC holds events with both public and private elements. At Congress, for instance, conference committees are conducted in private so that legislators have the opportunity to resolve disagreement on specific bills. But, apparently to his chagrin, Mr. Milbank does not dictate ALEC policies; they are created and upheld by ALEC’s board of directors, which is composed solely of legislators.