Corporations that Have Cut Ties to ALEC

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About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

To see a list of corporations and other groups known to be connected with ALEC now or in the past, please see ALEC Corporations.

As of September 2014, at least 91 corporations and 19 non-profits -- for a total of 110 private sector members -- have publicly announced that they cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) (three of those corporations have subsequently returned to ALEC, and many of the non-profits listed by ALEC as "lapsed" in August 2013 share an ideological agenda with and noted their desire to return to ALEC):

Corporations

  • Coca-Cola Company: Gave a statement to the Washington Examiner on April 4th stating that it had "elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council" [1]
  • Pepsi: Informed Color of Change in a letter dated January 25th that they would not renew their membership in ALEC in 2012.[2]
  • Kraft: Announced in an email on April 6th that "Our membership in ALEC expires this spring and for a number of reasons...we have made the decision not to renew." [3]
  • Intuit: Told the Center for Media and Democracy on April 6th that they did not renew their membership when it expired in 2011. [4]
  • McDonald's: Initially defended its membership in ALEC [5] Announced on April 10th that they had made the decision to withdraw from ALEC at the end of March. [6]
  • Wendy's: Sent an email to the Center for Media and Democracy on April 11th confirming that it is no longer a member of ALEC [7]
  • Mars: Sent an email to Color of Change on April 12th, stating that they had ended their membership with ALEC [8]
  • Reed Elsevier: Told Reuters on April 12th that they had withdrawn "after considering the broad range of criticism being leveled at ALEC," [9]
  • American Traffic Solutions: Told the Arizona Capitol Times on April 13th that they would not renew their ALEC membership. [10]
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield: Announced on April 19th that it had not renewed its membership in February 2012,[11] but according to an ALEC document, "left after losing on exchanges workshop" and didn't terminate until April 4, 2013.[12]
  • YUM! Brands: Told Color of Change that they would not renew their membership on April 19th. [13]
  • Procter & Gamble: Told Color of Change that it would not renew its membership on April 20th.[14]
  • Kaplan: Wrote Republic Report on April 26th, 2012 to confirm that they were no longer a member of ALEC[15]
  • Scantron Corporation: Told CMD in May 2012 that it was no longer a member of ALEC.[16]
  • Amazon.com: Announced at a shareholder meeting on May 24, 2012 that it had decided not to renew its membership in ALEC this year.[17]
  • Medtronic: Medtronic did not renew its ALEC membership in 2011 or 2012, according to a spokesperson.[18]
  • Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart told Reuters on May 30 that it is suspending its ALEC membership because "we feel that the divide between these activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide," according to Wal-Mart vice president of public affairs and government relations and ALEC corporate board secretary Maggie Sans.[19]
  • Johnson & Johnson: A Johnson & Johnson spokesperson told CMD on June 12, "We have been in dialogue with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for some time, and while we acknowledge ALEC’s recent decision to focus only on innovation and growth-supporting policies, we have decided to suspend our participation and membership.”[20]
  • Dell Computers: Dell confirmed on June 21, 2012, that it would not be renewing its ALEC membership.[21]
  • John Deere & Company told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it is leaving ALEC.[22]
  • CVS Caremark told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it had discontinued its ALEC membership.[22]
  • MillerCoors told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it had not renewed its ALEC membership in 2012, nor does it plan to.[22]
  • Hewlett-Packard (HP) told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it is not currently an ALEC member.[22]
  • Best Buy told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it had not renewed its ALEC membership in 2012.[22]
  • Express Scripts/Medco (two ALEC members that merged in April 2012) told the Center for Media and Democracy and ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it had dropped its ALEC membership.[23][24] An August 2013 ALEC board document later suggested that it had not terminated its ALEC membership until January 14, 2013, "b/c of PBM issue."[12]
  • Connections Academy, which had been co-chair of ALEC's Education Task Force, told CMD in July 2012 that it withdrew from ALEC's Education Task Force in mid-May 2012 in order to align "our affiliations with organizations whose central focus is education."[25]
  • General Motors (GM), which had been a member of ALEC's Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force and its Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, told CMD in July 2012 that it had "decided to discontinue relations with ALEC at this time."[26]
  • Walgreens, which had been a member of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force, told ColorOfChange.org in July 2012 that it "will not be renewing its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council."[26]
  • Louis Dreyfus, which sponsored ALEC's 2012 annual meeting, told CMD it had decided not to fund ALEC this year.[27]
  • Amgen, which was a member of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force, announced its determination not to renew its ALEC membership on August 3 in response to a letter from a group of concerned shareholders and advocates led by Walden Asset Management and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).[28]
  • General Electric (GE), which was a member of ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force as of March 2011,[29] told ColorOfChange.org (CoC) that it decided not to renew its ALEC membership in July 2012.[30]
  • Western Union, which was a member of ALEC's Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force as of June 2011,[31] told CoC that the company was only an ALEC member in 2011 and chose not to renew in May 2012.[30]
  • Sprint Nextel, which was a member of ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force in July 2011, told CoC in August 2012 that it did not renew its ALEC membership in 2012.[30]
  • Symantec, which was a member of ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force, told CoC in August 2012 that the company's membership expired June 2010 and was not renewed.[30]
  • Reckitt Benckiser Group, which was a member of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force as of June 2011,[32] told CoC in August 2012 that it is no longer an ALEC member.[30]
  • Entergy, which was a member of ALEC's Civil Justice Task Force as of June 2011, told Walden Asset Management in August 2012 that it did not renew its ALEC membership in 2012.[30]
  • Merck, which told the New Jersey Star-Ledger in September 2012 that it would not renew its ALEC membership after 2012.[33]
  • Sanofi, which confirmed to CMD that it was cutting ties to ALEC in October 2012.[34]
  • Bank of America, which told Walden Asset Management that it was cutting ties to ALEC in November 2012.[35]
  • WellPoint, which announced on March 1, 2013 that it had not attended an ALEC meeting nor supported ALEC financially since the summer of 2011 and has "no current plans to support ALEC or attend any of their meetings,"[36] but according to an August 2013 ALEC board document, terminated April 22, 2013 and was then "considering giving funds outside of membership."[12]
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb, which confirmed in March 2013 that it had not renewed its ALEC membership at the end of 2012.[37]
  • Brown-Forman Company, which confirmed in April 2013 that the company declined to renew its ALEC membership in 2012[38]
  • Publix Super Markets, which announced on June 24, 2013, via social media that it had "not been a member of ALEC since 2011."[39]
  • GlaxoSmithKline, whose CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, said in a response to a shareholder's question at the company's annual meeting in May 2013 that the company had decided to sever its relationship with ALEC[40]
  • Unilever, whose president, Kees Kruythoff, stated in a letter to shareholders sent earlier this year, "Unilever is not a member of ALEC following a review undertaken at the end of 2011. We took the decision that ALEC's agenda did not align with our business objectives and values focused on social, economic, and environmental sustainability, and withdrew as a member."[40]
  • ConocoPhillips spokesperson Daren Beaudo confirmed to CMD in June 2013 that the company is no longer a member of ALEC, did not fund ALEC in 2012, and has no plans to do so in 2013.[40]
  • Sallie Mae announced quietly in September 2013 that it had cut ties with ALEC, after a student-led campaign demanded its exit, gathering nearly 15,000 petition signatures in August.[41]
  • Visa told Boston Common Asset Management, which had been engaging with the company over the past year on lobbying disclosure, that it had dropped its ALEC membership in December 2013.[42]
  • Xcel Energy, the ALEC corporate state chair of Wisconsin as of August 2011, told the Boulder Weekly in January 2014 that it was a member of ALEC until 2011[43] and that it hadn't funded ALEC since 2010.[44]
  • Endo Pharmaceuticals, a member of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force as of April 2012, announced that it had cut ties with ALEC in January 2014 after engagement with Trillium Asset Management[45]
  • 3M, an ALEC member in the late 1990s,[46] stated as of a company corporate governance disclosure revised in May 2013, "3M has not been a member in groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)."[47]
  • Darden Restaurants, a member of ALEC's corporate board as of 2010,[48] confirmed in April 2013 that the company cut ties with ALEC in January 2010 in order to allocate more resources to organizational connections like its involvement with the National Restaurant Association[49] (which, like ALEC, has lobbied to override local paid sick day ordinances).[50]
  • IBM confirmed in June 2013 that it is no longer an ALEC member and does not "provide ALEC with any financial support, including financial support for their meetings."[51]
  • Intel, an ALEC funder in 2002,[52] stated in June 2013 that it is not a member of ALEC and does not sponsor ALEC[53]
  • Nestlé USA Inc. was, according to a company spokesperson, "a low-tier member of ALEC during a several year span in the 1990s ending, as I recall, in 1999, but has "not been a member of ALEC since that time" and does "not foresee a circumstance where we would consider rejoining," as of May 2013.[54]
  • AstraZeneca, a member of ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force as well as state corporate co-chair of Delaware, confirmed in response to an April 2013 shareholder question that it decided not to renew its membership in ALEC's task force.[55]
  • Ameren, a sponsor of ALEC's 1998 annual meeting as well as of "Missouri Night" at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans during the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company is not a member of ALEC in April 2014.[56]
  • Berkshire Hathaway Energy (formerly MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company), which had a long history of involvement with ALEC, having sponsored ALEC's 1998 annual meeting, confirmed to Greenpeace in May 2014 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[57]
  • PacifiCorp, a member of the ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, confirmed to Greenpeace in May 2014 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[57]
  • NV Energy, a member of the ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force as well as ALEC corporate co-chair of Nevada, confirmed to Greenpeace in May 2014 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[57]
  • Alliant Energy, which sponsored ALEC's 1998 annual meeting, confirmed to Greenpeace in May 2014 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[57]
  • The Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), which funded ALEC in at least 2010 and earlier, confirmed to Greenpeace in May 2014 that it had cut ties to ALEC.[57]
  • Microsoft, a member of the ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force, confirmed that "in 2014 Microsoft decided to no longer participate in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Communications and Technology Task Force, which had been our only previous involvement with ALEC. With this decision, we no longer contribute any dues to ALEC" in an email to The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott and Coolidge and Walden Asset Management, which had engaged Microsoft over its affiliation with ALEC.[58]
  • Google', a member of the ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force, confirmed that it would not renew its ALEC membership at the end of 2014[59] after its chairman, Eric Schmidt, told NPRs Diane Rehm on September 22, 2014, "The consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake and so we're trying to not do that in the future.... The company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts -- what a shock. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people -- they're just, they're just literally lying."[60]
  • Facebook, a member of the ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force, told the San Francisco Chronicle on September 23, 2014: “We re-evaluate our memberships on an annual basis and are in that process now. While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress so we are not likely to renew our membership in 2015.” [61]
  • Yelp told Common Cause on September 24, 2014 that they are no longer part of ALEC. [62]
  • Yahoo Inc. announced on September 24, 2014 -- after Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Yelp dropped ALEC that week and ALEC responded by saying that Google had left because of misinformation -- that it had dropped its membership of ALEC.[63]
  • International Paper told Common Cause September 26, 2014 that "we no longer have a membership with ALEC" and confirmed the company also no longer funds ALEC.[64]
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation had "no plans to continue Occidental's membership in, or make further payments to, ALEC" as of September 29, 2014, according to the National Journal.[65]

An August 2013 ALEC board document released by The Guardian in December 2013 listed the following additional corporations as "LAPSED Members" of ALEC, with the accompanying "termination date," and any notes added by ALEC:[12]

Trade Associations and Non-Profits

  • Gates Foundation: Gates spokesman Chris Williams, while careful to note that Gates has never been a formal ALEC member, told Roll Call on April 9, 2012 that it does not plan to renew its financial support for ALEC's education initiatives. "We have made a single grant, narrowly and specifically focused on providing information to ALEC-affiliated state legislators on teacher effectiveness and school finance," said Williams.[66]
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS): In an official statement sent to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) on May 1, 2012, NBPTS spokesperson Brian Lewis said, "Given recent events, the new NBPTS President and CEO decided to discontinue engagement with ALEC. As a result, NBPTS terminated its membership as an Education Task Force Member of ALEC effective April 18, 2012, and also withdrew from participating in the upcoming ALEC conference. . . . The decision to participate in ALEC had been made by previous NBPTS leadership."[67]
  • National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA): On May 14, 2012, NACSA issued a press release announcing that, "As part of our annual review processes, however, we determined that alternative strategies would be more effective in achieving these policy objectives. Thus we will not be renewing our membership in ALEC when it expires next month."[68]
  • Lumina Foundation for Education: A Lumina spokesperson told CMD on May 23, 2012, "Lumina Foundation last paid annual dues to ALEC on 10/08/10. No staff member was able to attend meetings in 2011. We decided not to renew our membership, because we were not participating."[69]
  • Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA): In December 2012, SEIA said in an email to supporters that it had joined ALEC earlier in 2012 to promote bipartisan energy policies, but had decided not to renew its membership.[70] An August 2013 ALEC document noted that SEIA "left because their bill did not pas the task force."[12]
  • American Wind Energy Association (AWEA): In January 2013, AWEA dropped out of ALEC and warned state lawmakers not to be taken in by ALEC's message, one that AWEA spokesperson Peter Kelley told Greenwire is driven by fossil fuel companies.[71]

An August 2013 ALEC board document released by The Guardian in December 2013 listed the following additional trade groups and non-profits as "LAPSED Members" of ALEC, with the accompanying "termination date" listed in ALEC's spreadsheet, as well as any notes made by ALEC (NOTE: MANY OF THESE GROUPS SHARE IDEOLOGICAL AIMS WITH ALEC):[12]

Corporations that Claimed They Were Cutting Ties but Returned to ALEC

Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

References

  1. Washington Secrets: "Coke Caves in the Face of Democratic Threat" Washington Examiner, accessed April 19th, 2012
  2. Barbara Liston and Martinne Geller: Coke Withdraws from Group that Backs Stand Your Ground LawReuters, Accessed April 19th, 2012
  3. Barbara Liston and Martinne Geller: Coke Withdraws from Group that Backs Stand Your Ground LawReuters, Accessed April 19th, 2012
  4. Rebekah Wilce: Intuit Out of ALEC, Coke, Kraft, and Pepsi too, while Koch stands ground PRWatch, Accessed April 19th, 2012
  5. Letter from Pat Harris, Chief Diversity officer at McDonald's Corporation, to Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change. Dated February 29th, 2012
  6. Anna Staver & Ryan Grim, McDonald's Says it Left ALEC at the End of March, Huffington Post, April 10, 2012
  7. Sara Jerving: Wendy's is the 6th Firm to say it is No Longer a Member of ALEC PRWatch, Accessed April 19th, 2012
  8. Color of Change, Press Release: ColorOfChange Applauds Mars Inc.'s Decision to End its Membership in ALEC Released April 12th, 2012. Accessed April 18th, 2012.
  9. Reuters: Reed Elsevier, Wendy's drop conservative group Accessed April 19th, 2012
  10. Jeremy Duda: American Traffic Solutions leaving ALEC, joining APS Arizona Capitol Times, accessed April 18th, 2012
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  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 40th Anniversary Annual Meeting Board Meeting packet, organizational documents, August 6, 2013, released by The Guardian December 3, 2013.
  13. Color of Change Press Release ColorOfChange Applauds Yum Brand's Decision to End its Membership in ALEC Released April 19th, 2012. Accessed April 19th, 2012.
  14. Color of Change, ColorOfChange Applauds Procter & Gamble's Decision to End its Membership in ALEC, press release, April 23, 2012, accessed April 2012
  15. David Halperin:Exclusive: Washington Post’s Kaplan and Other For-Profit Colleges Joined ALEC, Controversial Special Interest Lobby Republic Report, Accessed April 26th, 2012.
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  17. Rebekah Wilce, Amazon.com 16th Corporation to Dump ALEC, PRWatch.org, May 24, 2012
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  28. Rebekah Wilce, Amgen Drops ALEC (Number 32) as eBay Comes Under Fire, PRWatch.org, August 8, 2012
  29. American Legislative Exchange Council, Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Roster 2, organizational task force membership directory, March 31, 2011, p. 46, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 Rebekah Wilce, Six More Corporations Dump ALEC; 38 Companies Have Now Cut Ties with Corporate Bill Mill, PRWatch.org, August 27, 2012
  31. American Legislative Exchange Council, American Legislative Exchange Council Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force 2011 Spring Task Force Summit April 29, 2011 Attendees, organizational document, June 20, 2011, p. 8, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
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  33. 33.0 33.1 Rebekah Wilce, Merck and Wells Fargo Dump ALEC, While Duke Energy Holds Out, PRWatch.org, September 14, 2012
  34. Rebekah Wilce, Sanofi Dumps ALEC, Making 41 Corporations Out, PRWatch, October 2, 2012.
  35. Rebekah Wilce, Bank of America Cuts Ties to ALEC, PRWatch.org, November 29, 2012.
  36. WellPoint, WellPoint Statement on American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Participation, corporate statement, March 1, 2013.
  37. Rebekah Wilce, WellPoint and Bristol-Myers Squibb Cut Ties to ALEC, Making 44 Corporations Out, PRWatch.org, March 18, 2013.
  38. Phil Lynch, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Brown-Forman, RE: Media Inquiry RE: Brown-Forman's ties to ALEC, email to CMD, April 29, 2013.
  39. Publix, @xultar Publix has not been a member of ALEC since 2011. ^BK, Twitter, June 24, 2013.
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Rebekah Wilce, "Shareholders Push Firms to Cut Ties to ALEC; 49 Corporations Now Out", PRWatch, June 25, 2013
  41. Brendan Fischer, After Student Protests, Sallie Mae Becomes 50th Corporation to Dump ALEC, PRWatch, September 9, 2013.
  42. Brendan Fischer, ALEC Is Not Where Visa Wants to Be, PRWatch, December 4, 2013.
  43. Letters I, Boulder Weekly, January 9, 2014.
  44. Jefferson Dodge, New PUC member might hinder Boulder’s municipalization, Boulder Weekly, January 9, 2014.
  45. Trillium Asset Management, Endo Health Solutions Exits ALEC, press release, January 8, 2014.
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  48. American Legislative Exchange Council, Private Enterprise Board, organizational website, archived in the WayBack Machine on February 10, 2010, accessed September 2012
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  50. Brendan Fischer and Mary Bottari, Efforts to Deliver "Kill Shot" to Paid Sick Leave Tied to ALEC, PRWatch.org, April 3, 2013.
  51. IBM spokesperson, email, June 2013, on file with CMD.
  52. Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, "Chapter Four: The Deep Pockets," Corporate America's Trojan Horse in the States: The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council, online report, 2003, accessed April 2012
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  54. Nestlé spokesperson, RE: Nestle - ALEC Involvement Clarification, email, May 31, 2013, on file with CMD.
  55. ShareAction, Astra Zeneca, organizational website, accessed August 2014.
  56. Ameren fends off activist shareholder proposals, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 24, 2014.
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 57.4 Greenpeace, Greenpeace Confirms Six Utilities Quietly Dumped ALEC, organizational blog post, May 1, 2014.
  58. Rebekah Wilce, Microsoft and More Leave ALEC, 80 Corporations Out, PRWatch, August 21, 2014.
  59. Brian Fung, Google: We’re parting with the climate change skeptics at ALEC, Washington Post, September 22, 2014.
  60. Diane Rehm, A Conversation With Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, "The Diane Rehm Show," NPR, September 22.2014.
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  65. Dustin Volz and Clare Foran, Large Oil Company Bolts From ALEC, National Journal, September 29, 2014.
  66. Janie Lorber, Gates Foundation Will No Longer Make Grants to ALEC Nonprofit, Roll Call, April 9, 2012
  67. Rebekah Wilce, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Cuts Ties to ALEC, PRWatch.org, May 1, 2012
  68. National Association of Charter School Authorizers, National Association of Charter School Authorizers Issues Statement Regarding American Legislative Exchange Council, organizational press release, May 14, 2012
  69. Rebekah Wilce, Scantron 15th Corporation to Dump ALEC, PRWatch.org, May 22, 2012
  70. Rebekah Wilce, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Cuts Ties to ALEC, PRWatch.org, December 3, 2012.
  71. Hannah Northey, Wind, solar groups quit ALEC as conservative powerhouse targets clean-energy programs, Greenwire, January 30, 2013.
  72. Lisa Graves, More Corporations Drop Off ALEC's Conference Brochure, PRWatch, August 15, 2013.
  73. Jeremy Duda, APS ending ALEC membership; SRP considers doing same, Arizona Capitol Times, April 12, 2012.
  74. Luige del Puerto, Months after publicly leaving ALEC in 2012, APS quietly rejoined, Arizona Capitol Times, November 7, 2013.