In today’s atmosphere of big government, ever-expanding entitlement programs and bloated spending, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) is working to spread the principles of conservatism thought throughout the country.
ALG is headquartered in Fairfax, Va., just outside the beltway, giving the organization a good location from which to watch the activities of the federal government. According to Director of Communications Trent Willis, ALG works to reduce the overall size of government by supporting “fiscal accountability, caps on taxes and spending, and applying transparency standards on government actions.” Also, ALG supports anti-corruption measures, and ending the spending of tax money, often illegally, on creating political support for big government.
Founded in 2001, ALG has more than 100,000 members, with a financial base of 25,000 contributors, according to Willis. ALG Chairman Howard Rich and most of the founding members and directors were active in the 1990s term-limits movement — “ALG is an outgrowth of that effort,” says Willis. The group’s leaders view themselves as constitutionalists with the goal of trying to “see the intent of the Founders reinstated.” They work with anti-big-government groups at local, state and federal levels, which Willis said, “Sometimes makes for strange bedfellows.” ALG is currently working on campaigns with 14 state partners that focus on government ethics, judicial reform, property rights, school choice, and tax and spending reform.
In judicial reform, they are currently working on “The Citizens Right to Recall” in Montana, which is a proposal to make judges responsible to their constituents. ALG supports the position that judges have grown far too comfortable with legislating from the bench, being held accountable to no one once they are appointed. This issue is still pending in Montana, and ALG continues its support of the group’s state partner there.
ALG has also partnered with different state groups in the wake of the disastrous Kelo v. New London Supreme Court decision. They have joined with the group Protect our Homes and Churches to stand against the growing abuses of eminent domain. In the course of their support they have gone nine for 12 with regard to full repeals of eminent domain. In California, there was a recent, though hopeful, statewide 48-to-52 eminent domain loss. But if it is that close in California, it gives hope to the rest of the country, one ALG analyst said.
In terms of educational reform, ALG firmly supports allowing parental control over their children’s educational opportunities by advocating for school choice. Their state partner in South Carolina has been involved with a school choice effort and it is expected that some legislation will make it out of the house and senate next year.
ALG is committed to the continuation of liberty, something that is intrinsically tied to limited government. Willis said: “The Founders knew that government had to be limited if individual liberty was to survive. Our mission is to work on all levels to advance the cause of truly limited, restricted government power.”
ALG can be contacted at 9900 Main Street, Suite 303, Fairfax, VA 22031; (703) 383-0880. The website is www.GetLiberty.org.