[As we pointed out on the Occupy the Airwaves show, the reactionary operatives at ALEC are finally getting their come uppins: the corporados are bailing in droves. We thank all those who have shed light on these anti-democratic ideologues over the past few months, Occupations, pundits, and activists who would not sit by silently while their governments are being undermined. ALEC, your days are numbered.-ed]
A list of corporations involved in ALEC can be found here and we know you won’t be surprised to learn about ALEC’s Koch connection here!
Welcome to ALEC Exposed!
On July 13, 2011, the Center for Media and Democracy unveiled this trove of over 800 “model” bills and resolutions secretly voted on by corporations and politicians through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). These bills reveal the corporate collaboration reshaping our democracy, state by state.
ALEC bills, which largely benefit the organization’s corporate members, have been introduced in legislatures in every state—but without disclosing to the public that corporations previously drafted or voted on them through ALEC.
Before our publication of this trove of bills, it has been difficult to trace the numerous controversial and extreme provisions popping up in legislatures across the country directly to ALEC and its corporate underwriters.
The Center obtained copies of the bills after one of the thousands of people with access shared them, and a whistleblower provided a copy to the Center.
We have analyzed and marked up the bills and resolutions to help readers understand what the bills do, beyond the PR in the names of bills. We share them to help the public identify the legislation in their state and the wide extent of the agenda to rewrite our rights by the corporations that bankroll ALEC.
These bills and resolutions reach into almost every area of American life: worker and consumer rights, education, the rights of Americans injured or killed by corporations, taxes, health care, immigration, and the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. Only by seeing the depth and breadth and language of the bills can one fully understand the power and sweep of corporate influence behind the scenes on bills affecting the rights and future of every American in every single state.
Please join us in helping to expose ALEC, its corporations and politicians, and how money has corrupted the democratic process. You can read the bills without signing up to be a contributing editor of this site. But, we hope readers will team up with reporters to dig through the cache of documents and share the truth with others. (Here’s how.)
Public interest groups campaigning to convince Coca-Cola to break ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) scored a major victory yesterday when Coke announced it had “elected to discontinue its membership with” ALEC.
According to a statement Coke made to the Washington Examiner, “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.”
By Faiz Shakir on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm
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
BIG NEWS: We scored a victory within hours of launching our campaign against the right-wing ALEC yesterday!
Roll Call reports that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will stop future funding of the voter-suppression and union-busting group ALEC after being “the target of an online petition launched by the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee that garnered more than 23,000 signatures in a matter of hours.”
More big news today: McDonalds dumped ALEC too — joining Coke, Pepsi, Kraft, Intuit, and Gates! Six down, more to go!
Working with civil rights group ColorOfChange, we’re now escalating the pressure on AT&T and others. With you’re help, we’ll keep the pressure on. Sign the petition here.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
— James Ploeser, PCCC State Organizing Director
By Adam Peck on Apr 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm
Wendy’s, the nation’s newly crowned second largest fast-food restaurant, announced that they too have declined to renew their membership in corporate front group ALEC for 2012. The company sent out a tweet last night 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.
Wendy’s joins a quickly growing list of large corporations and other institutions that pulled their support and funding from ALEC, a conservative organization that has helped draft controversial voter ID bills in dozens of states. Coca Cola, Pepsi Co, Intuit, Kraft, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wendy’s fellow fast-food giant McDonalds all previously announced that they would drop ALEC as well.
As Mother Jones reports, the news that Wendy’s is turning its back on a group like ALEC is surprising and significant, given the company’s history of political activism:
Wendy’s departure is arguably more significant than McDonald’s given Wendy’s past support for conservative and staunchly pro-industry causes. For instance, Wendy’s International has funded the Center for Consumer Freedom, a phony grassroots group that fights regulation of the food and beverage industries. And Wendy’s political action committee has given significantly more of its money in recent election cycles to Republican lawmakers than Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The recent wave of departures from ALEC’s member rolls is attributable at least in part to progressive advocacy group Color of Change, which has targeted companies that do business with ALEC for its efforts to expand voter suppression laws and “stand your ground” laws.
DROP DEAD ALEC!
- Coke and PepsiCo End Partnership With Right-Wing Front Group ALEC (theageofblasphemy.wordpress.com)
- Politicians-corprtns Rewriting Your Rights….. (unbiasedtruth.net)
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pull support from ALEC (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- Intuit, Kraft pull support of ALEC (dailykos.com)
- Intuit is Now The Fourth Company to Drop Voter Suppression Group ALEC (the2012scenario.com)