Hate the American Legislative Exchange Council for voter suppression and racist "Stand Your Ground" laws? It's also preventing cities from creating their own faster, cheaper internet services.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the most powerful corporate front group you’ve never heard of. Drawing the vast majority of its financing from big corporations, the group allows these firms to help write bills that it then secretly passes off to state legislators to get turned into laws.
The organization has come under fire recently for backing “Stand Your Ground” laws and voter suppression efforts, leading to an exodus of some of its strongest corporate funders. But the group’s policy agenda stretches far beyond these areas, and impacts just about every area of American life.
The next time you groan at the thought of paying your broadband bill, remember that some of America’s biggest corporations — ranging from FedEx to WalMart — are funding a group that works to make sure your city is barred from offering a cheaper and faster service.[emphasis mine]
And this retrograde lobbyist meddler is a registered tax exempt charity.
American Express Company
America West Airlines (now US Airways)
Bank of America
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Ford Motor Co
Fruit of the Loom
General Motors Corporation
JC Penney Co.
Koch Industries and Koch Industries Public Sector,
Mary Kay Cosmetics
Miller Brewing Company
Nestlé USA Inc.
Procter & Gamble,
Sara Lee Corporation
Shell Oil Company
Southern California Edison
State Farm Insurance Co
Tropicana (now owned by PepsiCo
United Parcel Service (UPS),
Wall Street Journal
...and tell them why. Boycotting products and services doesn't do much good unless the companies know why you're angry.
And I'm not entirely sure boycotting some of these folks is going to do much good; some of these companies provide products that are so ubiquitous it would take a considerable amount of work to actually cut them out of your cash flow. For example, AN probably sits on a Dell server running Microsoft software.
What can we do to start chipping apart the system that allows groups like ALEC to exist anyway? Rules governing non-profits could probably do with a serious overhaul to start with, and ALEC isn't the only one out there.
Quite true, Sarah, and I always appreciate knowing who the culprits are. In this case, I have already notified companies that I am leaving their service because of their support of ALEC. I realize they don't care if one person leaves, but if enough people know Dell server runs Microsoft software, the consumer at least has a chance to make an informed decision.
I have never knowingly purchased Nestle products because of their manipulation of women in developing countries to use formula , causing mothers' milk to dry up when they switch to formula, and not having clean water for making it. Whenever I am tempted to use Nestle, I select another brand and write Nestle letting them know of my decision. Can one person make a difference? Probably not, but at least it is one step ... and I am not able and willing to picket the stores who carry Nestle products. Maybe the time will come when I will choose to do so.
I think what might be especially effective in the case of the large tech firms supporting it is to make industry professionals aware of ALEC and the danger it poses. Remember the groundswell against SOPA?
Sarah, Yes indeed. Good option.
We're seriously thinking about changing insurers after being with State Farm over 20 years. JC Penny and Wal Mart will be a bit harder, but there are alternatives locally. I was totally shocked to find Quaker Oats in the list. I thought about printing a letter to hand to the insurance agent and store managers, so our actions won't be anonymous and invisible.
There is apparently no end to the reasons to distrust ALEC
What has gone unmentioned, however, is ALEC's longtime stealth campaign to scuttle state--and federal--climate change initiatives, despite the fact that a number of its corporate members publicly acknowledge that global warming is a serious problem. They include General Motors; oil giants BP America, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell Oil; and electric utilities Duke Energy, Entergy and Progress Energy.......
Anything to do with the Kochs is bad for everyone. I need to dump comcast but the alternatives aren't great.
We switched to Verizon with our own TiVo box. But Verizon has it's own political taint, I hear.
Common Cause released a full list of current ALEC members.
Not surprisingly, four of the five major oil companies are members, as are many other energy companies. Some houshold names on the list include Johnson & Johson, State Farm insurance, and AT&T. There are lots of major online businesses, including AOL (the parent company of the Huffington Post), eBay, Amazon.com, Yahoo, and Time Warner.
Good news, everyone!
Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart and Amazon.com — have publicly renounced their ties to ALEC.