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Nineteen (19) ALEC Profit Sector members have cut their ties with ALEC and Four (4) ALEC Nonprofit Sector Members have cut their ties with ALEC.

The good news is that 21 of them said they were cutting ties.  The bad news is that WalMart and Johnson & Johnson are “suspending” their ALEC affiliation.  That’s kinda like saying – we’ll see what happens in the next six months and then maybe we will start up again with ALEC nastiness.

This all happened because of consumer activism – the free market working at its finest.  
In the past the concept of free market has pretty much been confined to the ALEC secretive meetings held at posh resort-like locations and benefited ALEC Profit Sector members, with the help of their ALEC state legislators.

Both parties undertake the exchange because each expects to gain from it. Also, each will repeat the exchange next time (or refuse to) because his expectation has proved correct (or incorrect) in the recent past.
In the past - both parties - were only ALEC legislators and ALEC Profit Sector Members and the expectations kept getting higher and higher – until now.

Now WE THE PEOPLE are taking to the free market

The Free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents.
and our actions will hopefully lead to a reductions in expectations from ALEC Corporate Profit Sector members on their use of our legislators.
At each step of the way, terms of exchanges, or prices, are determined by the voluntary interactions of suppliers and demanders. This market is "free" because choices, at each step, are made freely and voluntarily.
Up until now the process has been controlled by ALEC and ALEC Profit Sector members.

I bring this to the original epicenter of Expose ALEC and Abolish ALEC - Daily Kos.
This is where this all really started.  
Our vision must be clear - our actions decisive and on-going.

“One person can make a difference – and every person must try."
  John F. Kennedy
Now it’s time to look at one more company and tell them to destroy the ALEC pest invading their corporate boardroom by choosing to sterilize themselves of the nastiness of ALEC and flush old ALEC down the drain - which will relieve the consumer heartburn caused by being an ALEC Corporate Profit Sector member.

I am a strong proponent that you need to read lots of authors out there when it comes to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Reading lots of authors helps you to refine your thoughts and to develop the talking points that are so necessary as we continue our ALEC “education” process.  Knowing LOTS of facts – is also important when it comes to ALEC “educational” talking points.

I also know from experience that is always the right search words that take you to the best places and that can happen by mistake sometimes.

This past week I found a two month old article that is well worth your read.
The links that are in the article are well worth your read.
This article, in addition to being informative - is about the importance of activism.

I share some snips (my emphasis) – hopefully to entice you to read this great article.  

A Surprisingly Effective New Path to Neutralizing the Political Influence of Big Business

But if the companies didn’t want to publicly support ALEC’s preferred policies, why were they supporting ALEC in the first place?
This is a powerful and key statement that everyone should understand.  Any lobbyist or state legislator that regularly attends ALEC meetings or serves on an ALEC Task Force KNOWS exactly what the other task forces are working on.  They all knew about the Voter ID legislation – they knew about kill at will legislation.  By being there – they are supporting this type of legislation – AND they know it!
Describing the task forces through which ALEC does most of its policy work, the organization boasts that “Legislators welcome their private sector counterparts to the table as equals, working in unison to solve the challenges facing the nation.” Equality comes at a price, of course: $25,000 to join the “Jefferson Circle,” and an undisclosed amount, presumably much higher, to join the elite “Private Enterprise Board.”

A number of those donors seem to have decided that, faced with even modest amounts of negative publicity, the access provided by ALEC wasn’t worth the price of being associated with political positions they didn’t want to publicly endorse.

I particularly like that paragraph.  It stresses that while everything was secret at ALEC – the companies were okay to go to the meetings and help pass ALEC legislation.  By making it public – Not So Much.  This is why we have to expose organizations that work in clandestine manner – our of the eye of the public – behind our backs -  changing  our democracy.
Consumer-oriented companies in particular don’t want controversy and tend to avoid getting involved with issues that don’t affect the company directly—even if the executives are conservative and might personally favor policies that would help conservatives gain power, such as voter ID laws.

What organizations like ALEC do is sell access, which they in turn use to promote a broader range of conservative causes. Boycotts and shareholder activism can break that pattern—not by intimidation, as conservatives suggest, but by forcing the decision out of the hands of the lobbyists alone and into higher levels of the company.

Stop and think about it – the lobbyists are the ones going to the ALEC meetings.  This has been going on for decades.  It is only when we bring the mechanisms into the eye of the public and media that the big wigs at the corporations start to notice.  Many of suits in the executive suites may not even be aware that they belong to ALEC.  That’s why we have to be loud, we have to be in their face – so someone other than the corporate lobbyist – who attends ALEC meetings in swanky locations – multiple times a year, takes notice.
It’s not always that easy, though. Not surprisingly, the companies that moved most quickly to divest from ALEC were, like Wendy’s and Coca-Cola, well-known consumer companies whose name is their brand.  …  And the ALEC donor that has probably gained the most from its involvement in ALEC, the private-prison giant Corrections Corporation of America, has no reason at all to be concerned about its reputation with its involuntary customers.
Key point – we have to keep focusing on the consumer brands.
State Farm – not a good neighbor
Consumer Brands

Get you activist mo-jo going and sign petitions

As consumer activists we do have a huge voice – and we must use it.

Reckitt Benckiser
Most of us have never heard of Reckitt Benckiser, but this may be a time to re-introduce ourselves to this Profit Sector Member of the American Legislative Exchange council (ALEC).

We were introduced to them in this story published by CMD:

Kids Eating Rat Poison Is an "Acceptable Risk" for ALEC

An American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) member is defying Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules limiting the sale of rat poisons that pose dangers to children and the ecosystem. ALEC representatives say that kids eating rat poison is an "acceptable risk" that does not justify government intervention in the market.

Most of the rodenticide industry complied voluntarily with the new rules, which were scheduled to go into effect in June, 2011, but three companies held out. One of them, d-Con manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser, makes 12 of the 20 products targeted by the EPA. The global corporation sued in 2010 to force the agency to follow procedures for a formal "cancellation" of the products, and recently announced plans to "vigorously oppose" implementation of the measures throughout the cancellation process. Reckitt Benckiser is an ALEC member and has a representative on the ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force.

ALEC itself and other allies have jumped to the defense of the global corporation.

To develop model policies that reduce crime and violence in our cities and neighborhoods, while also developing policies to ensure integrity and efficiency in our elections and systems of government.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals serves on the

This is the Voter ID – Kill at Will Task Force.
One of the nastiest Task Forces that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has ever had.
(Which because of bad publicity, ALEC disbanded BUT - moved all the model legislation that the PSE task was working on into other task forces - slight of hand by ALEC.)

I can’t tell you how long Reckitt Benckiser has been affiliated with ALEC, but  ..  
The Reckitt ALEC private Sector Member on the Safety and Elections Task Force is
          Gregory Hoke
Whose previous work experience from his LinkedIn page includes only this:
          State Government Affairs (most at the level of director)
          Public Company; 10,001+ employees; PFE; Pharmaceuticals industry
          1981 – 2007 (26 years)
So there is a possibility that he is familiar with ALEC Task Force Meetings and missed the fine wine, cigars and fancy resort locations.

Wyeth (which was bought out by Pfizer in 2009) was a longstanding member of ALEC
Wyeth can be documented as a Director Level Sponsor of the 1997 ALEC Annual Meeting
Bernard Poussot, COO of WYETH, was at the 2007 ALEC Annual Meeting
And in 2008 both Wyeth and Pfizer donated $2,500 each to the Wisconsin ALEC scholarship fund.
Reckitt Benckiser is a UK company – that appears to do some things correctly.
From Wiki
   • The company are Save the Children's "most valuable UK-based
        corporate supporter".[31]
   • The initiative, which was announced in November 2007, aims
         to cut the total carbon footprint of its products – from creation
         to disposal – by 20% by 2020
   • In June 2006, Reckitt Benckiser launched Trees for Change, a
         major forestation project designed to offset the greenhouse
         gasses created as a by-product of its manufacturing processes
   • In 2008, in the U.S., RB was one of 40 companies awarded
         Champion Status in the Safer Detergents Stewardship
         Initiative (SDSI). The SDSI "recognizes environmental leaders
         who voluntarily commit to the use of safer surfactants".

Well – that explains why Reckitt Benckiser are NOT on the ALEC Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force.

Another reason that we should pay attention to Reckitt Benckiser is this – they have a tendency to do more of the correct thing:

Reckitt Benckiser Pulls Ads From Glenn Beck In UK

Joining the UK effort to stop Glenn Beck, we recently began targeting companies advertising on Glenn Beck’s program in the United Kingdom.

This morning, Reckitt Benckiser (maker of Lysol, Airwick, Vanish, Calgon, etc..) confirmed that they’ve already pulled their ads in the United States and will pull ads in the UK, writing:

               Thanks for bringing this to our attention. In the US
                we stopped ads, I will advise the UK team to do the same.
                In general RB does not endorse any specific show on any
                network nor the personal views or opinions that may be
                voiced on such shows.

Many thanks to all those who helped encourage Reckitt Benckiser to pull their ads from the Glenn Beck program.  Way to go!

Based on this – there is modicum of hope that they would do the correct thing in regards to ALEC.

So who is Reckitt Benckiser and what can we do?
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals is just one division of the Reckitt Benckiser family of products.

As Reckitt Benckiser notes on their webpage:
Reckitt Benckiser is a global force in household, health and personal care, delivering solutions to consumers.

From Wiki, some of the products that Reckitt Benckiser sells in the US are:
Air Wick
Finish (previously Electrasol in North America)
French's Foods
Glass Plus
Mop ‘n Glow
Neutra Air
Old English
Spray ‘n Wash
And from the CMD story:  d-Con

Probably should quit buying those products - along with products from Johnson & Johnson. State Farm and AT&T.

You can tweet Reckitt Benckiser
to #DumpALEC

Or talk to Reckitt Benckiser on their Facebook page
to #DumpALEC

And you can send them a polite message
here to the Reckitt Benckiser Corporate Responsibility Department
to #DumpALEC

This diary (below the squiggle) is the work of blogger Becauseican.
Published in its entirety with the permission of Becauseican.

Originally posted to MNDem999 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 at 07:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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