Major corporations are continuing to withdraw their membership from the conservative corporate advocacy group, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Fast-food giants McDonald's and Wendy's have clarified that they are no longer members and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced they will no longer be providing the organization with grants. Other major companies that pulled out within the past week are Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Kraft. Now, shareholders are beginning to call on companies to disclose their ties to ALEC.
What is ALEC? Last year, a representative from People for the American Way came to The Last Word to share an exclusive report on ALEC's widespread influence over this country's policies. ALEC was created in 1976 by large corporations for the purpose of writing model legislation that favored their interests, shaping regulations and laws that shape this country. In 2009, 826 of ALEC's special interest model bills were introduced in state legislatures and 115 of those bills were enacted into law, in some cases verbatim.
Protests from groups like Color of Change helped call attention to ALEC's sketchier side, prompting big corps to withdraw their membership.
ALEC is known to have advocated the "Stand Your Ground" laws currently in the middle of the Trayvon Martin case. They have also advocated discriminatory voter ID laws, anti-immigration laws like SB-1070 in Arizona, union-busting laws passed in state legislatures across the country and criminal laws that benefit private prisons' profits.
It seems like some corporations are recognizing ALEC is bad for business and that corporate accountability has reached new heights in an America that has been "occupied."
Will more corporations continue dropping their membership and will this be a sign of the corporate stranglehold on government finally loosening?