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Another company, Wendy's, has gone public this week with the news that they've dropped sponsorship of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), saying it "didn't fit our business needs." They join McDonald's, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Inuit as well at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

All of which is making ALEC just a little defensive (via Crooks and Liars)

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. [...]

For years, ALEC has partnered with legislators to research and develop better, more effective public policies—legislation that creates a more transparent, accountable government, policies that place a priority on free enterprise and consumer choice, and tax policies that are fair, simple and that spur the kind of competiveness that puts Americans back to work.

But the private sector is becoming increasingly disenchanted with the all that other stuff ALEC is working on, all that stuff that is far removed from free enterprise, consumer choice, and tax policy; things like Stand Your Ground, forced birth, and voter suppression laws.

That's become even more clear as a number of companies face shareholder action questioning their companies involvement with ALEC, including UPS. Shareholders want their companies to disclose their contributions to tax-exempt organizations, like ALEC, because, as a shareholder statement on the pending UPS vote says: "Such expenditures and contributions can potentially involve the company in controversies posing reputational risks."

Other companies with similar shareholder statements, who will have votes on disclosure of ALEC ties are the Altria Group, Union Pacific, Peabody Energy and Kraft Foods. If Altria (the tobacco conglomerate) and Peabody (the world's largest coal company) are worried about whether association with ALEC hurts their image, you know ALEC is turning toxic.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project and Daily Kos.

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