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10 and Counting — Corporations Flee ALEC and its Harmful Agenda

Suzanne Merkelson
UnitedRe:public / News Report
Published: Wednesday 18 April 2012
“ALEC is responsible for pushing harmful laws like Stand Your Ground and disenfranchising voter ID requirements in states across the country”
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As of today, ten major corporations and organizations have publicly quit the American Legislative Exchange Council, the low-profile corporate front group better known as ALEC. ALEC is responsible for pushing harmful laws like Stand Your Ground and disenfranchising voter ID requirements in states across the country. And it’s funded almost entirely by corporations. But public pressure has compelled some of these corporations to stand by their shareholders, employees, and customers, and quit the group. Here’s how they did it:

Coca Cola, April:

“The Coca-Cola Company has elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 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.”

PepsiCo, April 5:

(From a Jan. 25, 2012 email to Color of Change; made public April 5)

As we discussed, PepsiCo has been a member of the bipartisan group of state legislators ALEC, for the last decade, where we largely focused on issues raised by discriminatory taxes. We were not involved in the discussion on voter registration, nor do we serve on the Task Force, which reviewed the proposals. In addition, PepsiCo pays the minimal, standard membership fee to ALEC and thus does not have influence over issues in which we do not actively engage. … Please note, at this point in time, PepsiCo is not a member of ALEC, as of 2012, as our membership expires each year.

Kraft, April 5:

“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.”

Intuit, April 6:

“Intuit’s McKay explained to [the Center for Media and Democracy] that the company doesn’t “usually issue statements about membership in any organization” and declined to comment further.”

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, April 9:

“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today became the latest backer to withdraw financial support for the American Legislative Exchange Council. A foundation spokesman told Roll Call that it does not plan to make future grants to the conservative nonprofit, which has come under fire from progressive activists for its support of voter identification laws and other contentious measures.”

McDonald’s, April 10:

“While [we] were a member of ALEC in 2011, we evaluate all professional memberships annually and made the business decision not to renew in 2012.”

Wendy’s, April 11:

“Wendy’s is not a member of ALEC. Last year, we made the decision not to renew for 2012,” wrote a spokesman for Wendy’s in an email to Mother Jones.

The company sent out a tweet [April 11] from its official account, saying that their withdrawal from ALEC had been anticipated for several months. “We decided late 2011 and never renewed this year. It didn’t fit our business needs,” read the message.

Mars, April 12:

“Earlier this year, Mars, Incorporated reviewed all of its trade associations and sponsorships and decided not to renew the ALEC membership in 2012.”

Arizona Public Service, April 12:

Arizona Public Service lobbyist Jessica Pacheco said the company would not renew its membership in ALEC, a conservative state lawmakers’ organization known for drafting model legislation for members to sponsor in their respective states. The company’s membership expires this summer, she said.

Reed Elsevier, April 13:

“We made the decision after considering the broad range of criticism being leveled at ALEC.”

American Traffic Solutions, April 13:

“Our decision was based on how best to allocate our resources.”



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ABOUT Suzanne Merkelson

Suzanne Merkelson is the Associate Web Editor for United Republic, where she curates and comments on the day’s top money-in-politics news. She previously produced web content for Foreign Policy magazine and has written for the Chicago Tribune, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic, among others.

Grodt,Please keep me informed

Grodt,Please keep me informed about what you learn and your decision. I am in the same position as you. I want to find a good alternative to State Farm.Rod

Rod, we left State Farm auto

Rod, we left State Farm auto insurance after 25 years because of their membership in ALEC. My agent and I practically cried.

We went with the Hartford through AARP for about the same price because they are not ALEC members. I am not sure about Geico in ALEC because they are not responding. We have one of our homes insured by Geico.

Anyway, we are happy with the Hartford. We just had a deer run into one of our vehicles and it was repaired beautifully by one of their body shops with a car rental provided. The only thing was we had $500 deductible and found out that for an additional $10 per car, we could have had only $250 deductible! We changed that and are avoiding driving at night during deer season-HA

And if we go away thinking

And if we go away thinking that the ALEC problem is "cured," we will have earned the reputation on our own, that the Reich Minions invented for us.

They think Progressives are stupid. Well, we WOULD BE stupid, to take ALEC's word that everything is now "better," just because they have "disbanded" the "task force" that drew up the ORIGINAL Reich Wing blueprints for Corporate and Conservative
Dominance.

(Remember, when a Corporate PR Department says something (ANYTHING), that they got MONEY to say it. Corporate PR is the DEFINITION of a corrupt communication)

So the "model Bills" are finished, and are still being sent around, one assumes (note that they DIDN'T say they weren't, so THEY ARE), and now that the work of that "task force" is done, it's being disbanded.

Big Woop.

ALEC reminds me of a possum; playing, um, possum.

The darlings of US/Chinese

The darlings of US/Chinese capitalism doing their part to make it a better world- for themselves. Its nicer that way

After reading State Farm's

After reading State Farm's response to a request to discontinue their support of ALEC I am looking for an alternative. I know GEICO is a member, but Allstate responded to me that they are not. Are there other alternatives someone could suggest that I contact.As an aside I have been a customer of State Farm for 50 years (yes I am old) but the response just piXXed me off. We still have the right to do business with whomever we wish.

I am looking for an

I am looking for an alternative as well. Please keep in touch with your choice.

They may be pulling out, but

They may be pulling out, but there are so many ALEC-initiated bills already moving through state legislatures (and so many true believers sponsoring them) that I really wonder how much good in the short term the withdrawal of support by these businesses will make toward stopping things...even slowing them down.Nevertheless, I cheer each time another one quits.

We've got power in numbers!

We've got power in numbers! Please click this 1minute video :)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxUMj5j5cgI

I'm glad these 10 and more

I'm glad these 10 and more are pulling out of ALEC because they can see that hindering your customer's right to vote is not going to get them any brownie points, but its too bad they gave $ to ALEC for years - that's how it got to be big enough to cause trouble in the first place. The photo ID voter laws should be unconstitutional violations of religious freedom if they ever have their day in court; there are several religions (muslim women, amish, etc) who don't allow their photo to be taken. A photo is not a requirement of citizenship, which is the only requirement for voting, so proof of citizenship should be the only documentation that could be required of a voter, and if it is to be required, it should be the fed's responsibility to ensure every elligible voter gets an ID, not put the burden on the voters where the poorest will have the hardest time getting the IDs. This will be very costly, but if we can census our nation, we should be able to issue voter IDs to it. Or just leave our voting access alone. The event of inelligible voters committing fraud at the polls has always been far less than the number of valid votes these laws will discard.

We could afford to give

We could afford to give corporations a tax break, but I believe they should be progressive just like individual income tax has always been and should remain progressive. Corporations could be taxed at 15% for the first $5,Million, then taxed at 20% for the next $45,Million, and then taxed at 25% for all income over $50,Million. We need tax reform for the individual american citizen also. My motto is "Tax Em Like 1938". In 1938 we had 33 tax brackets from 4% for all income up to $64,000., all the way up to a top marginal bracket of 79% for income over $79,Million. Now that is what I call "Fair & Balanced".

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