As Scandal Engulfs American Legislative Exchange Council’s UK Affiliate, a Closer Look at Its US Operation
Tuesday 18 October 2011
by: Lee Fang and Scott Keyes, ThinkProgress
The Atlantic Bridge, the British affiliate organization to the American Legislative Exchange Council, is quickly erupting into a scandal that may force the public to scrutinize the practices of both right-wing groups. Earlier this month, the U.K.’s Charity Commission shut down Atlantic Bridge after an investigation  revealed that the nonprofit has operated as little more than a front for various corporate lobbying and Tory party interests. The scandal  has already forced the resignation of David Cameron’s Defense Secretary Liam Fox after the revelation that the Atlantic Bridge’s London-based director, Adam Werritty, had improperly acted as a high level advisor to Fox while employed by a number of military industry and lobbying clients.
In 2003, Fox and Werritty officially  partnered with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to form the Atlantic Bridge nonprofit. The relationship flourished; ALEC supplied staff to the Atlantic Bridge, and Fox and his associates frequently  spoke at ALEC events, which are comprised of meetings between American politicians and business lobbyists. But with the implosion  of the Atlantic Bridge, which has already ensnared  lobbyists for Pfizer  and several defense firms, the controversy has brought ALEC into the limelight.