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Now that the real political agenda of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is becoming publicized, companies who've been members and financial supporters of the group are thinking twice about being associated with it. Yesterday, Coca Cola joined PepsiCo in leaving the organization.

Today it's Kraft Foods and Intuit.

The companies began dropping their memberships after the black advocacy group Color of Change launched an online campaign calling on Coca-Cola to end its support.

Color of Change has been pressuring corporate sponsors to terminate their memberships with ALEC since last year. Until recently, the campaign was focused on ALEC’s support for voter identification laws. At the end of last year, Pepsi was the first group to notify Color of Change that it wouldn’t be renewing its sponsorship.

Kraft's statement downplays the politics of their decision.
"We belong to many external groups, including ALEC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes growth and fiscal responsibility.

"ALEC covers numerous issues but our involvement has been strictly limited to discussions about economic growth and development, transportation and tax policy. We did not participate in meetings or conversations related to other issues.

"Our membership in ALEC expires this spring and for a number of reasons, including limited resources, we have made the decision not to renew."

Intuit is also being circumspect on the issue: "Intuit's [Bernie McKay, Vice President of Government Affairs] explained to [Center for Media and Democracy] that the company doesn't 'usually issue statements about membership in any organization' and declined to comment further."

A few high-profile corporations are staying their ground. This one is no surprise: "'Yes, we plan to continue our membership in and support of ALEC,' said Philip Ellender of Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC." Neither is this one, Wal Mart: "Our membership in any organization does not affirm our agreement with each policy created by the broader group." Others Reuters reports as sticking are Pfizer, Reynolds American, Altria/Philip Morris and non-board ALEC member Procter & Gamble.

(There's much more discussion in diaries from Bekah, jamess and elwior.)

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 11:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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