ALEC is fighting back – and so are we.
The Guardian just published an explosive expose that shows the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (a.k.a. “ALEC”) is reeling from our activism and now faces a funding crisis.1
This is a result of the mass defections of corporate sponsors who were targeted by CREDO, ColorOfChange and other progressive allies for their support of an organization responsible for the proliferation of voter suppression laws and the “Shoot First” laws responsible for freeing the murderer of Trayvon Martin.
But now according to documents leaked to the Guardian, ALEC is fighting back. The organization, which promotes right-wing legislation at the state level, has launched an initiative called the “Prodigal Son Project” to bring more than 40 of these corporate donors back into the fold.
Tell Amazon, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kraft, McDonald’s and other former ALEC funders: Don’t go back to ALEC.
Since 2012, hundreds of thousands of CREDO activists have signed petitions to major corporations demanding that they immediately and permanently stop funding ALEC. Thousands of our members have made phone calls to corporate headquarters. And it worked. Companies like Coca-Cola and Kraft listened to our activists and withdrew their funding from ALEC.
ALEC has been a major force behind the passage of voter suppression laws at the state level. Supporters of discriminatory voter ID laws claim they want to reduce voter fraud (individuals voting illegally, or voting twice). But such fraud almost never actually occurs, and never in amounts large enough to affect the result of elections. What is clear is that voter ID laws prevent large numbers of eligible voters from casting a ballot, and could disenfranchise up to 5 million people. ALEC's voter ID laws are undemocratic, unjust and part of a longstanding right-wing agenda to weaken the voting blocs that historically oppose Republican candidates.
And the ballot box isn't the only place where ALEC's policies are dangerous for Americans. Florida's Shoot First law stopped George Zimmerman from being held accountable for the murder of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old armed only with a pack of Skittles and an iced tea. ALEC views the Florida "Shoot First" law as a "model" piece of legislation for other states to adopt and it has helped push this dangerous law into over two dozen states, with it under consideration in eight more. The group has also written legislation to impose harsher criminal penalties on juveniles, to privatize education, and to break unions.
Tell Amazon, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kraft, McDonald’s, and other former ALEC funders: Don’t go back to ALEC.
The Guardian reported that by ALEC’s own assessment more than 60 corporations and nearly 400 state legislators have dropped their support in the last two years, at a cost of more than a third of its projected income in the first half of this year.2 But ALEC is starting to fight back and we need to make sure it isn’t successful in rolling back our hard-won gains.
Our campaign against ALEC has clearly hurt this key piece of right-wing infrastructure. Now is the time to double down on our efforts and make sure that no corporation that has dropped funding in the last two years reinstates its support for ALEC.
- Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg, "ALEC facing funding crisis from donor exodus in wake of Trayvon Martin row, Guardian, December 3, 2013.