I’m becoming obsessed with ALEC. It started as a small interest but the more I read and the more research I do, the more I have to find out.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been in the press a lot these days. ALEC has a long history of supporting the conservative agenda. Several major corporations have stopped or are in the process of stopping their support of this group. ALEC's positions on "Stand Your Group" and Voter I.D. initiatives are finally in the public eye.
Before I get ahead of myself, the excerpt below is from the Frequently Asked Questions page of ALEC’s Website (http://www.alec.org/about-alec/frequently-asked-questions/):
Q: What is the American Legislative Exchange Council?
A: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It provides a constructive forum for state legislators and private sector leaders to discuss and exchange practical, state-level public policy issues. The potential solutions discussed at ALEC focus on free markets, limited government and constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments. The organization respects diversity of thought; it is a non-partisan resource for its members, which include more than 2,000 Republican and Democratic state legislators.
This does not sound like an organization that’s going to look out for our best interests. Their agenda is clear, and their influence is huge. ALEC has been around for over forty years, they’re good at what they do.
Back to my obsession,
If it were not for a news feed from Color of Change.com I wouldn’t have even known about ALEC. I wouldn’t have found out that ALEC had been deeply involved in crafting the infamous “Stand Your Ground” law at the state level. ALEC is also a player in the push for voter I.D. legislation.
The companies that have already publicly left ALEC under pressure from Color of Change and Common Cause are: Proctor and Gamble, PepsiCo, Reed Elsevier, Mars, Inc., Wendy’s, Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut), Coca-Cola, the Gates Foundation, American Traffic Solutions and Arizona Public Service, Kraft, Intuit, McDonalds, and the Blue-Cross Blue Shield Association. What amazed me was the list of companies that are part of or support ALEC. The list is a who’s who of virtually every major corporation in America. (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations)
This is an organization that has been around for forty years! Who knows how much they’ve had their hand in? This is not just a Republican thing, Democrats are onboard and involved too. This is all about the conservative agenda.
Yes, I’m obsessed with ALEC. I didn’t know, I should have known, now I have to know. Let’s get in the know!
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.