Businesses Turn Their Backs On ALEC Agenda
by Jessica Pieklo
April 5, 2012
Is this the beginning of the end of the ALEC overreach?
Two of America’s best known companies, Coca Cola and PepsiCo, have dropped their membership in the conservative lobbying group behind just about every bad Republican initiatives including union-busting, reclamation of public lands, Voter ID, and “stand your ground” gun laws.
Coca-Cola was the first to announce it was leaving the group after civil rights group ColorOfChange.org launched an online drive calling on Coca-Cola to stop underwriting the ALEC agenda on voter ID laws sweeping the nation. Civil rights activists claim the laws are discriminatory and intended to suppress minority voter turnout.
PepsiCo soon followed, telling ColorOfChange that it would not be renewing its membership for 2012.
Progressive groups and shareholder activists want to drive a wedge between ALEC and its corporate members as a way to fight back on the group’s seemingly endless resources and bad model legislation. “There was no real downside because there was no public accountability. There was no transparency,” said Doug Clopp, deputy director of programs with Common Cause. “Everything up until now had been done behind closed doors, and these memberships were not known to the American people.”
It’s not just the advocacy groups calling on this kind of change and transparency. Tim Smith is a vice president with Walden Asset Management, which does what it calls socially responsible investing. He says corporate boards and top management are paying closer attention now. “They’re scrutinizing their trade association memberships, their relationships with controversial institutes,” said Smith. “And certainly I think that companies are scrutinizing their ALEC relationship more carefully, too.”
This is great news, especially if we can get more companies to follow Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s lead.
Koch Blocking Political Debate
Read more: alec, coca cola, common cause, koch bros, pepsi, stand your ground, trayvon martin, unionbusting, voter id
Kraft Foods Joins Coca-Cola and Pepsi In Leaving Corporate Front Group ALEC
By Suzanne Merkelson posted Apr 5th 2012 at 10:13PM
Earlier today, we reported that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo said they would leave the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate front group that pushes controversial laws like Stand Your Ground and disenfranchising Voter ID laws in state legislatures across the country. Citizen groups, led by Color of Change, have pressured the corporations that fund ALEC to quit the group, arguing that the popular consumer companies should not back laws harmful to the communities in which their shareholders, employees, and customers live and work.
Last week, the editors of Republic Report, along with Color of Change, Rebuild The Dream, and Center for Media and Democracy wrote to the 20 corporations on ALEC’s board asking them to stop supporting this controversial group. One of the 20 was Kraft Foods Inc., which initially said that it would remain with ALEC. Republic Report’s Zaid Jilani and Lee Fang visited Kraft’s Washington, D.C. lobby offices last week, asking about the letter we wrote:
Late in the day on Thursday, Kraft Foods Inc, said in an emailed statement that it would leave ALEC:
“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.”
Other popular consumer corporations, including Wal-Mart, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Proctor and Gamble, and UPS have not indicated that they plan to follow suit and dissociate themselves from ALEC. At least not yet.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/businesses-turn-their-backs-on-alec-agenda.html#ixzz1rH5BNLi3
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