As Donors Flee, Corporate Front Group ALEC Whines That Critics Are Trying To ‘Eliminate Discourse’
At least six major corporations and foundations — Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Kraft, Intuit, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — have now left or have pledged to leave the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive corporate front group that works to pass legislation in all fifty states.
The corporations are leaving largely thanks to protests by activists and consumers outraged that ALEC has been pushing voter suppression and “Stand Your Ground” laws that harm American communities.
This morning, ALEC sent out a panicked press statement complaining of an “intimidation” campaign that is trying to “eliminate discourse”:
ALEC is an organization that supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies and the vigorous exchange of ideas between the public and private sector to develop state based solutions. Today, we find ourselves the focus of a well-funded, expertly coordinated intimidation campaign.
Our members join ALEC because we connect state legislators with other state legislators and with job-creators in their states. They join because we support pro-business policies that promote innovation and spur local and national competitiveness. They’re ALEC members because they’re more interested in solutions than rhetoric. […]
At a time when job creation, real solutions and improved dialogue among political leaders is needed most, ALEC’s mission has never been more important. This is why we are redoubling our commitment to these essential priorities. We are not and will not be defined by ideological special interests who would like to eliminate discourse that leads to economic vitality, jobs and fiscal stability for the states.
Our members join ALEC because we connect state legislators with other state legislators and with the biggest campaign donors in their states. They join because we support pro-Big Business policies that promote the bottom lines of special interests and spur local and national donations by Big Business to our organization. They’re ALEC members because they’re more interested in profit than principles.