Last week, Coca Cola and Pepsi disassociated from ALEC and they’ve been quickly joined by two more corporations: Intuit, which makes accounting software such as Quicken and QuickBooks, and food giant Kraft.
Coke and Pepsi left just hours before a boycott against their products began because of their association with ALEC. The campaign is gaining steam and Quicken and Kraft followed within days.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the corporate-funded group that’s writes the outrageous right-wing state legislation that’s spreading across the country.
When you see many states passing the same legislation – union-busting laws, restrictive voter ID laws, anti-climate change laws, anti-women laws, "shoot first/stand your ground" and other gun laws – they’ve all been written by ALEC. The same is true for privatizing Medicare, Social Security and public schools, anti-immigrant laws, and laws that gut the minimum wage, and even paid sick leave. ALEC is even trying to turn public lands over to corporations.
Until recently, ALEC operated in the shadows – most Americans had never heard of them. Then the Center for Media and Democracy launched ALECexposed.org in July 2011 and began spotlighting its corporate funders. Color of Change is leading the charge to get funders to leave ALEC.
Many corporations say they won’t stop funding ALEC, notably, Koch Industries and Wal-Mart. Pfizer, Reynolds American, Altria/Philip Morris and Procter & Gamble also say they won’t leave. Exxon Mobil and and Diageo, which makes alcohol like Smirnoff Johnnie Walker declined to comment. Many of these companies serve on ALEC’s board.
They say although they don’t agree with every position ALEC takes, they need to remain because state legislators that can impact their business are members.
Cigarette-maker Reynolds, for example, says ALEC provides "a valuable forum for sharing of ideas and fostering better understanding of a broad range of both legislative and business issues."
The ALEC campaign is part of increasingly effective grass roots mobilization – it’s brought to light Voter Suppression laws, Komen vs. Planned Parenthood, Apple’s supplier Foxconn vs Worker Rights, and the campaign for radio stations and advertisers to drop Rush Limbaugh’s program.
Sign this petition asking corporate members to leave ALEC: