The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became the latest high profile backer of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to withdraw financial support after pressure from groups opposed to ALEC’s support of “stand your ground” laws and Voter ID.
Roll Call reports that a foundation spokesperson said it does not plan to make any future grants to the organization. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed more than $375,000 to ALEC in the past two years.
“We have made a single grant, narrowly and specifically focused on providing information to ALEC-affiliated state legislators on teacher effectiveness and school finance,” said Chris Williams, the spokesman, noting that the foundation was never a dues-paying member. The foundation advocates for global health initiatives and efforts to reduce poverty.
The Foundation joins Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Intuit as sponsors leaving after pressure from groups intensifies and shows no signs of slowing. AT&T is the latest target. Color of Change Executive Director Rashad Robinson said the group is using Internet appeals to pressure companies that have made explicit efforts to build a strong relationship with African-American customers. “Our goal is to ensure that these companies can’t have it both ways,” he said. “AT&T touts its support of civil rights groups and unions, which ALEC works to weaken.”
Photo from batmoo via flickr.