I have read letters warning us about the damaging power of the Koch brothers, Big Oil and the NRA. But there is another entity out there that is not on the radar of most people, which has tremendous power. It is the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

ALEC joins corporations and trade groups with state legislators across the country. Together, they write model legislation that will benefit the corporate members. ALEC treats legislators to expense-paid trips and meetings, where they receive this model legislation to benefit their largest campaign donors (plus the legislators' families have a lot of fun -- in 2009, ALEC spent more than $200,000 in child care for visiting legislators).

ALEC gets money, corporations get legislation that benefits them, legislators introduce and vote for that legislation, and in return, get more campaign money from those corporations. And they do it all without public awareness.

The only ones who don't benefit are the American people.      

Thirteen Kansas senators and 22 Kansas House members belong to ALEC, according to ALEC Exposed. Corporate members include ExxonMobile and, of course, Koch Industries, among many others.

This group wines and dines legislators and gets laws to benefit them, yet are not regulated like the lobbyists they are. It is past time for the American people to realize the tremendous influence this organization has in protecting its own interests at the expense of the American people. Google "ALEC Exposed" and see for yourself the far-reaching influence this organization has secured.

Dawn Olney

Prairie Village