Have a Coke and A Boycott: ColorOfChange Gets Coca-Cola to Dump ALEC

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In an incredible display of the power of boycotts, it only took 5 hours for ColorofChange to get Coca-Cola to stop supporting ALEC.

Here is how ColorOfChange described the boycott against ALEC’s corporate supporters,

You and more than 85,000 ColorOfChange members have called on corporations to stop supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because of its role in voter suppression.

We contacted Coca-Cola to make sure they understand that through their membership in ALEC, they are supporting racially-discriminatory voter ID laws that have the potential to disenfranchise over 5 million people in the upcoming elections. They told us they “recognize the importance of voting rights” but claimed that they weren’t responsible for ALEC’s voter ID legislation.

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It only took five hours for Coca-Cola to announce that, “The Coca-Cola Company has elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry.”

ColorofChange responded to the announcement by applauding Coca-Cola,

We welcome Coca-Cola’s decision to stop supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization which has worked to disenfranchise African Americans, Latinos, students, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor. We confirmed with Coca-Cola that they are no longer a member of ALEC and no longer fund the group in any capacity.

We reached out to Coca-Cola last year and have been in dialogue with them since then to convey the concerns of more than 85,000 ColorOfChange members who called on major corporations to stop supporting ALEC. Hundreds of ColorOfChange members began making phone calls to Coca-Cola this morning, and the company listened to their voices. We continue to call on all major corporations to stop supporting voter suppression through ALEC. Our members are prepared to hold accountable companies that continue to participate in ALEC’s attack on voting rights.

The boycott is also targeting of ALEC corporate sponsors including Wal-Mart, which put out a statement today that tried to have it both ways and claim that they didn’t agree with ALEC on everything, but were still financially supporting them. ALEC is funded by right wing billionaires such as the Koch brothers, so an advertiser boycott isn’t likely to drive them out of the legislation writing business, but that isn’t necessarily the point of the boycott.

Advertiser boycotts are also about raising awareness. How many Americans knew before today that the Coke they buy at the vending machine at school or work was helping to fund voter ID laws that will suppress millions of votes? Would people still be willing to drink Coke or shop at Wal-Mart if they knew about ALEC and their activities?

The right is predictably outraged by Coke’s decision, but since Glenn Beck and more recently Rush Limbaugh, corporations have learned to fear boycotts. The Supreme Court may have declared that corporations are people, but those “people” don’t need food, water, or oxygen, but they do need your money to survive. A boycott that takes away consumer dollars threatens a corporation’s very existence.

Even if corporations like Coca-Cola can withstand any financial losses, they can’t handle the bad publicity. Nothing can undo millions of dollars of advertising faster than the negative publicity that a grassroots boycott is capable of generating. Boycotts have the ability to utilize the free market to empower every American consumer to speak out against political agendas that they disagree with.

One of the reasons ALEC has been successful is that it wasn’t until the last few years that the left started to expose them. All of these stealth threats to democracy need to operate out of the public view. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact the advertiser boycott strategy will have on a political organization.

Voter ID laws are being put in place under the guise of preventing voter fraud, but the fraud doesn’t exist. The real intention of voter ID laws is to suppress the vote among constituencies that are likely to support Democrats. Voter ID laws disproportionately impact minorities, the poor, and students. Their purpose is to make the electorate whiter and more conservative. If Republicans can’t win elections straight up, they will reshape the electorate until they have one that favors them. Voter ID laws are un-American and those who care about liberty should use any legal tactics to stop them.

The power of the boycott should never be doubted, and ColorOfChange has given ALEC a whole lot to think about. The very free market that the right supposedly champions has given their opponents the tools needed to combat their unjust agenda.

20 Replies to “Have a Coke and A Boycott: ColorOfChange Gets Coca-Cola to Dump ALEC”

  1. I can, at last, clean rusty iron and steel and oxidized copper without pangs of conscience, and Coca-Cola is a wonderful tenderizer of tough meat, too. The best souvlaki I ever made had Coke in the marinade, and flat Coke is good for a sour stomach, as well as, when added to Esbilac and such, a good perker-upper for droopy baby animals. These things do go better with Coke, and Coke goes better with a clean conscience.

  2. Coke also takes blood off the highway real good and we used to use it to clean plastic off large heated shaping rolls on sheet extruders

  3. I only indulge in a Coca Cola about once a year. It must be in a glass bottle, not a can, and I pour it in a tall glass with lots of ice.
    I indulge in BOYCOTTS continually, and they give much more satisfaction than my once a year Coke.
    Kudos to the Coca Cola bottling company.

  4. I’ve found a lukewarm Coke is great for an upset stomach, especially if you’re nauseated. It’s one of our home remedies.

    Coke (the kind with sugar), however, is the worst thing possible to get on an electronics circuit board – if it happens, dump water on the device and keep dumping it on and keep it wet (and follow up with distilled or deionized water followed by alcohol as soon as possible). Once the coke dries onto the board and components, it starts corroding everything. The sugar is rather hygroscopic and pulls moisture out of the air… and coke is somewhat acidic. I’ve seen it RUIN stuff in no time. (The only way I know to clean it once it’s dried a bit is to dump the thing in an ultrasonicator with deionized water and then run it for a long time – dump the bad water and do it again – and again – and again, followed up by alcohol and then a sealant or metal protector.)

    Even then the device will probably have a shortened lifespan… significantly shortened.

    Otherwise… I kind of like Coke Zero and thanks to our water (especially at school), drink it fairly often. (That stuff isn’t bad like the sugar Coke… you can rinse it off and not have problems afterward.)

  5. Every victory counts. And ythis one is big for the notoriety involved. This is Coke, one of the most massive corps in the world. A company that poisons its customers.

    Wal-mart cannot be threatened with boycott, but tis sure susceptible to bad publicity

  6. Big victory here in terms of publicity alone. Now let’s shift attention to the rest of the corporations controlling this country and especially ALEC and the Republican Party.

  7. Recently Bain Capital showed everyone their true colors. Rush Limbaugh was boycotted by all of his sponsors and they keep him on the air. While that is happening, Coca Cola decides to side with the American people rather than large corporate hacks. There is nothing more American that base ball, Levi’s blue jeans, and Coca Cola. I applaud their decision in showing what true Americans really believe. Funding voter ID laws that will suppress millions of votes is just plain un-American, no two ways about it. Anyone who hasn’t figured it out yet will eventually realize that Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh are just the start of people who actually do pay attention and are tired of propagandists and pundits who call lying “mere opinion” and “entertainment news”. Making up hate speech isn’t entertainment, it is inciting. Their agenda is clear and it isn’t for the common working class and Coca Cola showed today who they support because they know their customers are the Real Americans despite those deluded by hard talking cheer leaders for a failed economic plan that only benefits a few. They speak out against the ones of us who see through their lies and this is the effect. You can bet they won’t shut up about it until they are taken completely off the airways. They seem to think telling more lies somehow makes it become the truth or that we are all stupid enough to believe that they care about anything but their meager ratings that they receive from the crackpots of our society.

  8. Congrats to Coke for dumping ALEC so quickly! COKE YOU ROCK!

    Congrats also to POLITICUSUSA for 10,000 Followers as you ROCK! Jason, thanks for creating a GREAT POLITICAL PAPER! Everyone POLITICUSUSA is a MUST FOLLOW!

  9. I recall our fambly Dr. prescribing coke syrup for childhood stomach upsets. Works with hangovers, too.

  10. A lukewarm coke will still settle my stomach, even if I’m violently nauseous. For much of my extended family, it’s a home remedy that works (I think even my cousin who is a MD uses it).

    I’ve also heard that the earlier versions (especially the first) were far more effective in settling an upset stomach.

    I’m also going to (try to) buy additional Coke Zeros to support them as thanks for supporting us (can’t drink the sugared stuff, and the other artificial sweetener doesn’t sweeten for me).

  11. But Kraft foods is still supporting ALEC…Time for a boycott!

    Easily found products..Let them know at Corp Hdqtrs ”’

  12. I’m not quite sure how to turn the current ideology of conservatism into a four letter word, but its happening and even the large corporations are beginning to see the light. Coke and Pepsi will just be the begnning. ALEC – hey! there is the four letter word I was looking for – they are on their way out. Having any connection to this organization is bad publicity for business of any stripe. ALEC has lost any credability it may have had and the ripple effect is going to be felt at every level of government. If it even smells like it came from ALEC, the wise politicians will steer clear of it.

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