April 20, 2012

ALEC Tries To Fight Back, While Activists Groups Keep Racking Up Victories

ALEC Tries To Fight Back, While Activists Groups Keep Racking Up Victories
United Republic's ALEC scorecard

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is in trouble and it knows it. Corporate sponsors have dropped the group in droves and it has responded with a panicked public relations operation. After a series of extremely exaggerated (if not outrightly facetious) press releases, a plea for donations on the organization’s homepage, a botched social media operation, an announcement that it was disbanding its controversial “Public Safety and Elections Task Force,” ALEC took another step this week: a flat-out plea to conservative bloggers to help protect its public image.

The Center for Media and Democracy reports:

ALEC Director of External Relations Caitlyn Korb spoke yesterday at a Heritage Foundation “Bloggers Briefing,” begging conservative bloggers for help while prepping “a very aggressive campaign to really spread the word about what we actually do.”

…Korb briefed the friendly audience by handing out a new ALEC “Frequently Asked Questions” giving bloggers the ALEC party line. She noted that they might not have heard of ALEC because “we haven’t been the subject of many headlines in the last 35 years.”

Korb outlined ALEC’s PR counter-offensive. She told bloggers that ALEC will launch a website called “I Stand with ALEC” in the next few days…

Korb referenced the coalition-building and outreach being spearheaded by Americans for Tax Reform (ATR, another ALEC member) and asked the bloggers for “any and all institutional support.”

The campaign against ALEC has been especially effective on various social media outlets — the hashtags #alec, #alecexposed, and #dumpalec have proliferated with anti-ALEC sentiment. ALEC, apparently, is painfully aware:

Korb pleaded for help on social media: “We’re getting absolutely killed in social media venues — Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (I didn’t even know Pinterest was a forum for a lot of political opposition, but now it is) — so any and all new media support you guys can provide would be so helpful, not just to us but to average people who don’t know much about this fight but are seeing us get really heavily attacked with very little opposition.”

Meanwhile, today Yum! Brands, the owner of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, told Color of Change that they will no longer support ALEC.

The campaign to get corporations to dump ALEC is continuing — you can check out United Republic’s scorecard. It’s keeping track of which corporations have left, and which ones still need to quit. You can tweet at the good guys and thank them for leaving — and ask the ones we’re targeting with our partners to leave.