The American Legislative Exchange Council is the corporate-financed bill mill that thinks up reams of anti-labor, anti-consumer, anti-environment, anti-democracy, and other anti-people laws favored by its corporate funders. It then works with Republican law makers in state legislatures to introduce about 1,000 of these cookie-cutter bills every year in statehouses all over the country. Until recently, ALEC largely operated clandestinely but such watchdog groups as Center for Media and Democracy, Color of Change, and Nation magazine have now outed it as the insidious force behind some of America’s most-extreme, right-wing legislation.
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By not only exposing the raw ugliness of the front group’s agenda, but also naming its corporate backers, the fiesty watchdogs are producing a rush of brand-name, Fortune 500 firms fleeing ALEC. Let’s call the roll of some that have discontinued their membership and sponsorship so far this year: Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Intuit, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars Candies, Blue Cross Blue Shield, YUM! Brands (including Pizza Hut), Procter & Gamble, Amazon, and Medtronic.
And, on May 30, even the far-right-wing, anti-worker,
ethically-challenged Wal-Mart empire abandoned the ALEC ship. “We feel that the divide between [ALEC’s political] activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide,” declared Wal-Mart’s head of lobbying and PR. “To that end, we are suspending our membership.”
Like the infamous Koch brothers (who continue to stay aboard the Legislative Exchange Council’s sinking ship), the very name of ALEC has become a political epithet, a symbol of the corruption of America’s democratic values by the plutocratic elite. To keep up with developments, go to www.ALECexposed.org.
“Wal-Mart latest to leave conservative ALEC advocacy group,” www.reuters.com, May 31, 2012.