I'm going to try to keep this short, so I'll put the punch line up front. State Farm is not budging in its support of ALEC. I think that if you are a policy holder, you should do two things. First, write an e-mail to your agent. Second, call State Farm's complaint line -- 518-884-5346. My agent says they tabulate the complaints they receive, so the complaint line is definitely worth doing. My agent had to call "corporate" to find out the story on this, so complaining to the agent doubtless also causes ripples up the corporate chain.
I now think they're a pretty right-wing outfit (which I did not previously know), so they won't back off without a lot of pressure.
Here are a couple of the e-mails I sent that you can steal from:
State Farm's Support of State Legislation Unrelated to Its Business
Date: Apr 12, 2012 6:15 PM
I have been a customer of State Farm's for about 30 years. I have just been surprised to learn about State Farm's support of a hyper-partisan legislative group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which promulgates all sorts of bad legislation in state legislatures. The legislative initiatives that State Farm, and unfortunately the premiums I pay, end up supporting include numerous things that I personally strongly oppose. You may have heard of the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law that recently led to the death of a young Florida boy, Trayvon Martin. That was an ALEC initiative, supported by State Farm. I do not see what business it is of State Farm's to support an organization dedicated to such extreme measures that have nothing to do with its business.
Undesirably permissive legislation concerning the use of firearms is hardly the only bad legislation State Farm promulgates through ALEC. Many other legislative initiatives have such aims as suppressing voter turnout among the poor and minorities, limiting the rights of union members, ending any measures to deal with global warming, and privatizing schools, among others. I do not see what any of this has to do with car insurance, and I do not intend for my premiums to support such measures for long.
As you may know, many corporations -- Coca-Cola, Kraft, McDonald's, Wendy's and others -- are getting out of the political business that their support of ALEC involves. Kindly let me know whether State Farm will be doing the same.
My agent replied that she had never heard of this and asked where I got my information, so I sent her the following response, citing Krugman, NPR, etc., to hide the fact that I'm just another DFH.
I learned about ALEC from this New York Times Op-Ed piece.
The Times piece links to this list of ALEC supporters, which includes State Farm.
State Farm seems to think that supporting the legislative initiatives of ALEC is just fine.
One of Alec's, and by extension State Farm's, initiatives, is the appalling Florida "Stand Your Ground" law.
I heartily disagree that State Farm should be supporting a broad and socially damaging right-wing agenda, including, as I noted, support of permissive gun laws and other radical measures.
Thank you for looking into this. Please communicate my displeasure to "corporate," although they seem to be quite pleased that they are supporting this group. I, of course, reserve my right to take my business elsewhere if they don't change their position.
Their ultimate response was: "We do not support all of the positions or policies adopted by these organizations. Our work with ALEC involves only matters related to our customers’ needs: the affordability and availability of insurance."
I have found a cheaper source of insurance and expect to cancel my policy in the next couple of weeks.