Abandoning ALEC


Good grief — ALEC is even too icky for Wal-Mart!

The American Legislative Exchange Council is the corporatefinanced 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 lawmakers 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 mostextreme, right-wing legislation.

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, antiworker, ethically challenged Wal-Mart empire aban doned 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 American 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.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.