Corporate front group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has faced increasing scrutiny for secretly passing off corporate-written laws to state legislatures, including the controversial Stand Your Ground gun law. Late last night, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer and biggest seller of firearms in the country, announced it was suspending its membership in ALEC, which the retailer joined in 1993.
“Previously, we expressed our concerns about ALEC’s decision to weigh in on issues that stray from its core mission ‘to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets,’” Maggie Sans, Wal-Mart’s vice president of public affairs and government relations, said in a May 30 letter to ALEC’s national chairman and executive director.
“We feel that the divide between these activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide. To that end, we are suspending our membership in ALEC.”
Sans is also giving up her role as secretary of ALEC’s private enterprise board.
Two days ago, the medical device company Medtronic also announced that it chose not to renew its membership in ALEC in 2010. Medtronic joins companies including Scantron, which announced earlier this week it was leaving ALEC, as well as Coca-Cola, Kaplan,PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Wendy’s, Mars, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and BlueCrossBlueShield. Check out United Republic’s scorecard for more information on the groups that have left ALEC.
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