Advocacy Groups Launch Petition Drive Urging Companies to Quit ALEC

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    Crossposted at ProgressVA.

    This morning ProgressVA joined with national advocacy organizations from across the country to urge companies to quit ALEC. In the past week, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Intuit and the Gates Foundation have all renounced their participation in ALEC. Last week, ProgressVA called for Virginia legislators to do the same. In January, ProgressVA released a report detailing the influence of ALEC on Virginia’s legislature, including over 50 bills introduced in the General Assembly and over $230,000 of taxpayer dollars spent to subside legislative membership in the organization. Today’s release reports:

    “A coalition of civil rights and government watchdog groups with members in all 50 states elevated the ongoing campaign to pressure corporations to withdraw from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by calling today on three prominent companies to join the list of firms departing ALEC.

    Color of Change, Common Cause, People for the American Way, Progress Now, the Center for Media and Democracy, and CREDO said their members will be petitioning State Farm Insurance, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s – all of whom play a prominent leadership role in ALEC to leave the organization immediately…

    ‘ALEC’s companies and lobbyists wine-and-dine our elected officials at expense-paid “seminars,” write legislation for them and then fade quietly into the background as that legislation is introduced and passed in statehouses across the country,’ said Anna Scholl of Progress Virginia. ‘People we elect to represent all of us end up representing just a few, driven by their pursuit of profit and/or a radical ideological agenda.’ Progress Virginia recently released a report detailing ALEC’s undue influence in the Commonwealth.”

    (Please find the rest of the release here.)

    BREAKING: McDonalds has now joined the growing list of companies dumping ALEC.

    • glennbear

      From Mother Jones :

      On Monday, another big name ALEC funder joined the list of defectors: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

      The foundation, which boasts an endowment of $33.5 billion, had given ALEC $375,000 in the past two years to provide “information to “ALEC-affiliated state legislators on teacher effectiveness and school finance,” a spokesman told Roll Call. But no more. The spokesman, Chris Williams, said the Gates Foundation would finish its existing grant but discontinue future ALEC funding.