ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row
• Rightwing lobby group appealing to major donors to return
• Internal documents reveal so-called ‘Prodigal Son Project’
• Network lost almost 400 state legislators over past two years
Ed Pilkington in New York and Suzanne Goldenberg
theguardian.com, Tuesday 3 December 2013 13.06 EST

An influential US lobbying network of Republican politicians and big businesses is seeking to avert a looming funding crisis by appealing to major donors that have abandoned it over the past two years following criticism of its policy on gun laws.

The Guardian has learned that the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US, has identified more than 40 lapsed corporate members it wants to attract back into the fold under a scheme referred to in its documents as the “Prodigal Son Project”.

The target firms include commercial giants such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kraft, McDonald’s and Walmart, all of which cut ties with the group following the furore over the killing of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in February 2012.

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