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We are riding three big wins in quick succession: Amazon, Walmart and now Johnson & Johnson has decided to "suspend their participation and membership" in ALEC -- The American Legislative Exchange Council is crumbling!

"The dominoes continue to fall. Johnson & Johnson's decision to dump ALEC shows that public pressure is working. The PCCC and its allies will continue to keep up the pressure against companies who funnel our consumer dollars to promote right-wing extremism."
      ~ James Ploeser, PCCC State Organizing Director
Time for a roundup and check in to see where we are as a movement.

Amazon announced it would not renew its ALEC membership at its shareholder meeting on May 24th because they wanted to distance their company from ALEC’s extreme right-wing agenda that reaches far beyond just “pro-business” and free market ideas. Just one week later on May 31st Walmart followed suit for similar reasons.

In April, PCCC launched a petition for companies and politicians to ditch ALEC which has garnered 102,000+ signatures so far -- we are proud we have been so successful working together with other progressive groups! Click here to add your name.

Not only are companies and politicians leaving, the taskforce on Public Safety and Elections where the most heinous bills were produced -- voter-ID, union-busting, immigration (SB 1070), prison privatization, and stand-your-ground (partly responsible for Trayvon’s death) -- was disbanded!

PCCC Organizer, Kristiane Skolmen, spoke at the Amazon protest outside the Seattle Art Museum where the shareholder meeting was being held. She noted the energy of the 200 activists rallying from a wide range of groups and said:

“As an experienced organizer, coalitions rarely work out the way each member anticipates them to, but I thought this was a really beautiful joining of the forces, especially from groups who couldn’t be there in person but contributed to the 511,160 petitions we delivered.
That number has grown in the week since the coalition petitions were delivered to Amazon. PCCC’s signatures have shot up beyond 100,000! Add your name here.

We would like to thank our partners who together collected an astounding half a million and growing total coalition petition signatures for the Amazon action -- Color of Change, Credo Action, SEIU local 775,  Sum of Us,  People for the American Way, Progress Now, Washington CAN!, Working Washington -- the 285 activists who made phone calls, and the many other groups working to fight ALEC’s corporate takeover of our democracy.

Additionally,Common Cause has filed a whistleblower complaint with the IRS claiming that ALEC exists for the main purpose of lobbying -- passing legislation -- and therefore has committed tax fraud because they claim they do no lobbying as a 501(c)(3) "nonprofit" organization. If the complaint is successful, ALEC might have to pay back 40 years of taxes plus deal with fraud charges and fines.

So many groups have an interest in taking down ALEC because their reach is wide. The shareholder’s protest was also about corporations paying their fair share in taxes -- Amazon only paid 2.6% in federal taxes last year. Protesters further demanded that Amazon respect workers' rights to safe labor conditions -- Amazon agreed to pay $52 million to retrofit their warehouses with air-conditioning because workers were forced to work in temperatures up to 100 degrees. It was a very successful day for all involved.

Kristiane explains our frustrations with Amazon and ALEC very succinctly on local TV here:

Who’s Next?

These 23 organizations have decided to leave ALEC:


   
Corporations that dumped ALEC Non-Profits that dumped ALEC
1.       Coca-Cola Company
2.       Pepsi
3.       Kraft
4.       Intuit
5.       McDonald's
6.       Wendy's
7.       Mars
8.       Arizona Public Service
9.       Reed Elsevier
10.   American Traffic Solutions
11.   Blue Cross Blue Shield
12.   YUM! Brands
13.   Procter & Gamble
14.   Kaplan
15.   Scantron Corporation
16.   Amazon.com
17.   Medtronic
18.   Wal-Mart
19.   Johnson & Johnson
1.       Gates Foundation
2.       National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
3.       National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA)
4.       Lumina Foundation for Education
Additionally, 55 politicians in total -- 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans --  have also decided ALEC is too extreme for them to participate in such a group. When PCCC launched our petition in April, there were still 87 Democrats giving ALEC the cover of “bipartisanship” for its extreme right-wing agenda, now only 42 remain.

We know petitions, public engagements, and phone calls work on both companies and politicians. So who’s next?

Check out which politicians and corporations are still in cahoots with ALEC. The lists are unfortunately too large to reproduce in full. Please check them out for yourself here:

Democrats still associating with ALEC.
Corporations still sponsoring ALEC.
Tell us who you think we can get to ditch ALEC next in the comments!

And of course, please sign the petition joined by 500,000+ other progressives calling for corporations and politicians to dump ALEC.

Thanks to the Center for Media and Democracy, Common Cause, and all the wiki editors, for putting together the great repositories of information on www.ALECexposed.com and www.SourceWatch.com

Originally posted to BoldProgressives on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 02:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and German American Friendship Group.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Think Progress coverage (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, x, jgilhousen, Siri, kurt, JVolvo

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 02:46:19 PM PDT

  •  Hopefully State Farm, though doubt it. (9+ / 0-)

    I'm ready to change my insurance coverage for...
     - 3 cars
     - Primary residence
     - Rental property
     - Umbrella policy
     - Jewelry insurance

    •  That would be my strong preference too (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ayjaymay, cotterperson, Siri, gzodik, JVolvo

      I believe that their annual shareholder meeting was yesterday, which is unfortunate.  As a mutual, policyholders own the main company, and have the right to request a proxy. A campaign along those lines would have sent a message to all the mutual companies and credit unions out there about the power of the people they work for.

      http://www.economicpopulist.org

      by ManfromMiddletown on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:09:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Although I have recommended.... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Siri, kurt, gzodik, Ohiodem1, Hector Solon

      this diary, and I agree ALEC has taken a deserved whack, I wish I could be more sanguine about the long-term prospects here.

      The right wing is relentless...they do NOT give up.  You thought Bush's efforts to "reform" Social Security were defeated?  They are back at it bigger and better than before.

      Dodd Frank and Volker regulations?  They are doing everything they can to gut the budgets of the agencies responsible for carrying out the regulations.

      They lost the Health Care Bill....they went right to work to get rid of it with a mountain of lies.

      Restrictions on corporate financing of elections?  Cue John Roberts and the Federalist Society.  Roberts didn't just rule on the case, he essentially ordered that Citizens United be brought before the Court and with undue haste, opened the doors to a tidal wave of funding (NPR today reported Dems are being outspent 8-1 in national and Congressional campaigns.)

      The GOP and big business got caught with their fingers all over ALEC and pitching canned legislation language to willing stooges in state legislatures nationwide.  The corporate backers suddenly get religion and announced they aren't going to fund ALEC any more.

      But the GOP and big business has a zillion ways to get what they want.  Next you know it is going to be ALEC Super PAC, allowing companies and billionaires to donate millions a pop to just this sort of thing without being publicly identified.

      They don't give up and just cuz they got caught doesn't mean they aren't already crafting a less visible but equally potent version of ALEC - financed by the same companies that today are claiming they see the light - to drive their agenda for the future.  Just Wait....

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 04:51:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Going to Rec this comment... (0+ / 0-)

        ... because I agree is much of it, but will add some optimism.

        Just saying we will fight this fight now just like those before us and no doubt those that will follow us. It is our responsibility to hand over to those generations something resembling the democracy we inherited.

        ALEC is the current "service provider" to the forces we have been fighting for decades. This is just another tool/tactic of the rad-right-wing (mega-wealthy/rich) of the same vein/ilk that have always been there. Jefferson and Madison knew these 'monied' interests would threaten the frameworks they did their best to establish.

        Yes, the level of funding and power is HUGE and opposition to the CNP, Heritage, Rad-Right Think Tank INDUSTRY el al... armed with the doctrines of the "New Traditionalists" and "Powell Memo" is not easy.

        But we are going to continue. Why? This is our watch, our generation and our time in history.  Who are we to give up on this, our 'American Experiment'?

        The "long-term prospect" here is the continuation of Citizen Government (however defined) Yes or No, and that struggle has always been a long one, right from the start.

        Fight the battle immediately to your front.

        Haven't done that well here in MI, need to take responsibility for that, but personally determined to keep on moving. At least we are not getting dodged as much and nobody says "Who's ALEC?" anymore. MI is now an ALEC Model 'exporter' - we need to slow that down, and make sure the people who are executing ALEC orders know what they are doing to our Nation... Buying it and thereby, killing it.

        Give up? No, sir... it's my country, my time in our history, my responsibility. Not going to pass it on, that's how we got where we are at now.

        MacArthur: "It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it."

        Old Stormin' Norman said (paraphrasing):  The means to fight doesn't determine victories... "It's all about the will to continue."

        Thanks for your comment, needed to remind myself of a few things.

        For the occasional reluctant tweet

        by Hector Solon on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 06:26:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hitting them in the pocketbook is where it is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hector Solon

      at with corporate America.  It costs far less to keep a customer than it takes to get a new customer.  Five policies indicates a very long term customer relationship.  If and when you make the move, make damn sure that both your local agent and the corporate executives know why you dumped them and forced them to go out and find another customer as loyal as you are.

      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

      by Ohiodem1 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:43:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, goodie - TX leads again (4+ / 0-)

    12 of the Dems are from TX (although PA has a pretty good share, too, with 9)

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:09:16 PM PDT

  •  That's great news. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, kurt

    But I'm not convinced that corporate participation isn't just going to be pushed underground with new back channels and secret methods created to hide any association with ALEC.


    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:10:34 PM PDT

  •  I'd think JC Penney might make a good target (7+ / 0-)

    They have been drastically rethinking their brand image, and even have a face saving defense of reevaluating their expenditures given their [ahem] current financial situation.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:11:19 PM PDT

  •  The Fascist agenda of ALEC is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    slowly dying, as it takes another hit.

    The definition of INSANITY: Voting Republican over and over and over and expecting the economy to get better.

    by pollbuster on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:14:57 PM PDT

  •  Who says we can't get anything done :-) (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, cotterperson, jgilhousen, kurt

    This is great news.  Pressure needs to be kept ON at all times.  

    Everyone you talk to hates money in politics, except the people who make money from politics.  Getting the "little guy" involved will do more good than not.  Even republicans can be persuaded to sign a petition.

    I NEVER couch ALEC in terms of rightwingnut organization.  It's rich people working to get laws for themselves.  That even gets the "I don't give a shit about politics" people to hear you.

    David Koch is fucking Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

    by PsychoSavannah on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:34:01 PM PDT

  •  Well Done! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, cotterperson
  •  Good diary, thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 03:55:44 PM PDT

  •  Color of Change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    bought ads publicizing Johnson & Johnson's connect to ALEC as well :)

    Last week, ColorOfChange, a civil rights group, announced a $10,000 ad buy in radio stations pointing out Johnson & Johnson's connection to ALEC. The spots ran in Chicago, New Brunswick and Sanford, Fla., where [Trayvon] Martin was shot.

    NJ.com

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 04:26:44 PM PDT

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