One Democratic congressman escalates the fight over ALEC

A federal lawmaker from Arizona wants the Interior Department to investigate an active conservative group for what he alleges is unregistered lobbying.

In a letter to Interior Inspector General Mary Kendall, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D) on Wednesday called for an investigation into the American Legislative Exchange Council’s “aggressive effort” to change state laws regarding public land use. The group’s work constitutes unregistered lobbying, he argues.

“Despite actively pressing state lawmakers on a range of issues, ALEC has failed for decades to register as a lobbying organization in states where it has promoted changes to state laws,” Grijalva writes.

In the letter, Grijalva also requests an investigation into how ALEC’s efforts have affected department employees. ALEC’s position, he argues, is consistent with those of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, whose decades-long fight resulted in a weekend showdown between government officials and anti-government militia groups.