A number of national progressive groups with ample funding spent a lot of time working to get corporations to change their business paradigms and cut their ties to ALEC. A very admirable undertaking, as this was supposed to cut directly into ALEC’s operating capital while putting them (ALEC and the progressive groups) in the spotlight of at least cable news shows and internet media reporting. A spot of MSM coverage, but just a spot.Did these corporate members of ALEC back off their financial support for a radical right wing agenda when they quit ALEC – after all, most of them claimed to know nothing about ALEC’s political work. They were just involved for “business”.
Coca Cola, for example, issued a statement that “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.”
Well, don’t believe for a second that Coca Cola participated in ALEC meetings and never heard a word about Voter ID laws or immigration laws, or women’s health laws, or any number of other radical right wing model legislation. I can’t prove this because Coca Cola’s PR department is not taking questions on this subject and I wasn’t allowed into any of the ALEC meetings. But none of the photos and videos we have of Coca Cola members at ALEC meetings—in social situations or in task force meetings–show them wearing blinders and ear plugs.
So what exactly did Coca Cola – and the other insurgents– do to earn their “get-out-of-jail-free card” from MSNBC, big national public interest groups like Color of Change and Common Cause, and the print media?
Are they making any sort of amends for the ALEC written model legislation they voted for? No!
Are they making any sort of restitution to those directly hurt by model legislation that ALEC passed? No!
Are they encouraging legislatures not to pass these hateful bills? No!
Are they now doing anything to help black voters register to vote? Again, No!
To put it succinctly, many of the corporations that are no longer bankrolling ALEC continue to engage in stealth lobbying through other Cabal members.
Stealth lobbying. ALEC is a 501(c)3 so it is precluded from lobbying. There have been three whistleblower complaints filed with the IRS about ALEC, in fact, being a lobbying organization.
Appropriately, this is all about money. Money is at the core of what ALEC stands for. And despite claims of success at getting corporations to quit ALEC we can plainly see that, in about half the cases, money flowing into ALEC went to “another ALEC” instead.
Were the goals of these well intentioned groups who fought hard to get these corporations to quit ALEC actually achieved, or did ALEC slip past this attack?
The results are indeed mixed. Assuming that companies actually are not making any donations to ALEC or actively involved in ALEC policy-writing, let’s take a look. (Please click on any of the blue-colored links to find out more about these members of “The Cabal”, or “The Other ALECs” – as Truthout has dubbed them – with whom the quitting corporations are now in bed.) Then let’s say it again, without laughing, that they did not know about ALEC’s political agenda.
List of Corporations Which Have Dumped ALEC Which Are Still Supporting the Radical Right Wing:
Coca-Cola – NGA, SGAC, SLLF
Kraft – SGAC, CSG,SLLF
Intuit – CSG, SLLF,NGA
McDonald’s – SGAC, CSG,SLLF
Mars – SGAC
Reed Elsevier – SGAC
American Traffic Solutions – SLLF
Blue Cross, Blue Shield – CSG,NGA
Procter and Gamble – SGAC, CSG, SLLF,NGA
Walmart – SGAC, CSG, SLLF, NGA
Johnson & Johnson – NCSL, CSG,NGA
John Deere -SGAC
CVS – SGAC, SLLF,NGA
Hewlett-Packard – SGAC, CSG,NGA
Best Buy – SGAC, NCSL,NGA
Gates Foundation – SLLF
Lumina Foundation – NGA
To summarize, while ALEC may have been financially hurt by the exodus of these corporations, corporate behavioral change was most certainly not achieved as monies were simply re-directed to other influential members of the Cabal. These corporations need to be treated accordingly for trying to pull the wool over the public’s eye.
These corporations are still
supporting financial de-regulation
supporting privatization of government
supporting the elimination of unions
supporting the elimination of the minimum wage
supporting climate change denial legislation
supporting Voter ID
supporting Kill at Will
These corporations have certainly NOT distanced themselves from the pro-corporate extremist agenda of ALEC, and in fact manipulated the progressive media into creating the echo chamber that sold this to the public.