You know about ALEC -- the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council; the group behind some of the country’s most notorious right-wing state legislation like Florida’s “shoot first/stand your ground” law, Arizona’s infamous “show me your papers” immigration bill and Voter ID laws aimed at disenfranchising minority and young voters in many states.
PFAW has been tracking and exposing ALEC’s influence for many years. Now, we’re working to pressure the companies that are part of ALEC to sever their ties with the group. And it’s already working, with Coca Cola announcing it will disassociate with ALEC yesterday and Pepsi Co. following suit this morning.
Help us drain ALEC of more of its corporate backing.
The Koch brothers and other overtly ideological funders of ALEC have a stake in ALEC’s political agenda. Likewise, certain industries are behind ALEC’s specific legislative efforts. For example, gun manufacturers and the NRA push for “stand your ground” type laws, Arizona’s immigration bill had the support of the private prison industry and, obviously, Big Oil and other corporate polluters have a stake in weakening environmental protections. But every company that’s part of ALEC should be held directly accountable for the destructive laws ALEC pushes, even if those laws are not connected to a company’s own corporate agenda.
Coca Cola’s statement said:
“Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry.”
All companies who have supported ALEC should now take this approach. We need to build pressure on companies and let them know that good corporate citizenship means not helping to fund the organization that has helped spread the passage of laws like the Florida “shoot first” law implicated in the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin, or the Jim Crow-style voter suppression laws that deny blacks, Latinos, students and low-income people their right to vote.
Help us turn support of ALEC into a liability for companies.
Thank you for being part of this new and important consumer grassroots movement. After you take action, please help build the movement by sharing the petition and asking others to sign.
Ben Betz, Online Strategy Manager
P.S. By getting companies to remove their support for and participation in ALEC, you’ll be helping to get corporate money out of politics and policy making.
Please note at:
Yesterday, Kraft told NPR that “it was keeping its membership in ALEC.” But by this evening, Kraft reversed its position, announcing it would no longer support ALEC. The company has issued the following statement:
We belong to many external groups, including ALEC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes growth and fiscal responsibility.
ALEC covers numerous issues but our involvement has been strictly limited to discussions about economic growth and development, transportation and tax policy. We did not participate in meetings or conversations related to other issues.
Our membership in ALEC expires this spring and for a number of reasons, including limited resources, we have made the decision not to renew.
“We welcome Kraft’s decision to stop supporting ALEC, an organization which has worked to disenfranchise African-Americans, Latinos, students, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor,” ColorOfChange executive director Rashad Robinson said. “We reached out to Kraft months ago and have been in dialogue with them since then to convey the concerns of more than 85,000 ColorOfChange members who called on major corporations to stop supporting ALEC.”
Reuters reports that many other companies, such as drug-maker Pfizer and cigarette-makers Reynolds and Altria are sticking by ALEC."
Make that 4: Intuit has also left ALEC.
Please read and note this article listing some of the people from ALEC who craft the legislation for their member corporations, including ways to contact them:
Also, here's another petition to sign to call on corporations to leave ALEC:
Let's keep getting these corporations to leave ALEC!:
"This week, progressive activists scored a major victory by pressuring Coca-Cola to stop funding the group that passes right-wing state laws.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) spearheaded union-busting laws in Wisconsin and Ohio, voter-disenfranchisement laws in Maine and New Hampshire, and the "Shoot First" law in Florida that let Trayvon Martin's murderer go free.
After Coke's announcement, Pepsi and Kraft announced they would stop funding ALEC too!
After Coke's announcement, civil rights group ColorOfChange said, "The clear and simple message was that you can't come for black folks' money by day and try to take away our vote by night." Amen.
Our friends at ColorOfChange led last week's activism and were assisted by Credo, a progressive phone company which engages in progressive campaigns.
If we can get other dominoes to fall, we can dramatically reduce ALEC's ability to do evil.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
-- James Ploeser, PCCC State Organizing Director"
What to make of the ALEC Exodus.
Interesting article from Yes Magazine.
Yesterday, the candy company Mars, Inc. and the Arizona Public Service Company (Arizona’s largest electric utility) became the latest in a group of high-profile companies to part ways with the American Legislative Exchange Council. They join Kraft, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Intuit, and the Gates Foundation.
ALEC, as the group is better known, describes itself as “a constructive forum for state legislators and private sector leaders to discuss and exchange practical, state-level public policy issues.” Its critics call it a way for big corporations to impose their will through state law—laws that have included easing taxes and regulations on big companies while restricting the rights of immigrants, workers, and minorities.
So why are companies leaving ALEC? What are we to make of this trend? Well, here are a few things this exodus is not:
Only about Stand Your GroundJust about corporations A sign that these companies are getting religion Likely to stop here The only fight that matters A coincidence
That’s just a teaser. Please read more
It occurs to me some pressure needs to be put on the state legislators that are involved. I made some suggestions in the comments in a petition to my states reps regarding our state budget just this week. Anyone else have any thoughts on this idea.
I think it's reasonable to speculate that not every corporation was involved in every decision, so there was a core of the organization that pushes their overall agenda, and then there were fringe organizations that only joined to get advocacy for specific issues, and when it became apparent what the organization was doing, it disturbed them enough to leave.
For example, I know Pepsi and Coke have stated that they joined only because of the proposed taxes on non-diet soft drinks, but they had no active part in other legislation backed by ALEC, and I highly doubt that the Gates Foundation would have backed voter suppression or stand your ground laws or any of the other malicious acts.
They'll probably keep a core of companies that are part of the bigger mission, including energy, tobacco, and other bad ones, but the less political or more moderate companies will continue leaving.
The ALEC Scorecard – Updated Daily!
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an organization in trouble. Over the past two weeks, 10 major supporters have listened to public demands and quit the corporate front group, responsible for the controversial Stand Your Ground laws and others. Below, you can thank the corporations that left ALEC – and tell those standing by it and its harmful agenda that’s not okay.
ALEC says it plans to craft legislation to take down state renewable energy targets.
“...Last July, Bloomberg News acquired tax documents showing that Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil and other energy companies paid membership fees to ALEC in order to help write legislation repealing carbon pollution reduction programs in states around country.
Bloomberg now reports that ALEC is looking to take aim at renewable energy programs in states:
ALEC, a group of state lawmakers and corporations recently criticized for its support of Stand-Your-Ground laws highlighted in the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin, may write model legislation for state lawmakers to repeal or weaken the mandates later this year, said Todd Wynn, energy, environment and agriculture task force director for the group, in an interview. Stand-Your-Ground laws allows citizens to use force when threatened, even when they can retreat.
The group may also develop an “energy freedom” index that ranks states based on regulation, market intervention and taxes.
ALEC has already attempted to write legislation preventing targets for renewable energy on the federal level. As nothing substantive has happened nationally, it seems ALEC is now preparing to take its corporate-influenced legislation to the 29 states that actually have targets in place...”
This post was modified from its original form on 25 Apr, 17:11
Some ALEC-sponsored legislation also passed the House this week (I believe it was attached to a transportation bill) that would hurt the EPA's power over coal companies by not classifying coal ash as a hazardous material.
Hopefully this dies in the Senate.
Here's an interesting article about the situation with Johnson & Johnson not being willing to leave ALEC:
Thanks for sharing.
signed April 26th..thanks
Thank you Just C. and Seth which I gladly signed.