The American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC, got lots of attention last year because of the national backlash over its role in pushing “stand your ground” gun legislation. But the secretive ALEC's main mission is to craft ready-made business-friendly bills for Statehouses across the nation, and it's had lots of success in states with Republican governors and Legislatures. After a six-month investigation, Star-Ledger reporter Sal Rizzo found ALEC's bills had reached New Jersey, where Republican Gov. Chris Christie gained a national reputation as a reform-minded chief executive. Rizzo found his biggest legislative proposals for teachers and charter schools -- as well as some budgetary and environmental policies -- appeared to have been drafted by ALEC. In some cases, passages in laws and executive orders matched ALEC model bills word-for-word. Rizzo's project was groundbreaking, showing New Jersey's connections for the first time, researching how ALEC operates and explaining concerns about how its influence is growing as it avoids disclosure requirements. From his report, readers learned how this is a new form of lobbying, invisible to the public and free of disclosure requirements.