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Wal-Mart Dumps ALEC and Outs Them as Un-American

Wal-Mart dumped ALEC and gave the reason as ALEC’s departure from Jeffersonian free market principles; a.k.a. Wal-Mart hinted ALEC has become un-American.

In a statement, Wal-Mart representative Maggie Sans wrote, “Previously, we expressed our concerns about ALEC’s decision to weigh in on issues that stray from its core mission ‘to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets…We feel that the divide between these activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide. To that end, we are suspending our membership in ALEC.”

Wal-Mart claimed that ALEC was no longer as interested in Jeffersonian free market principles as they were other partisan political issues. Two of those unnamed political issues are most certainly voter ID and stand your ground laws.

Some of the statements from businesses who have dumped ALEC have blown the lid off the true goals of the formerly secretive organization, Procter & Gamble said, “On Friday afternoon, we learned that P&G began reviewing its membership in January and recently decided not to rejoin ALEC in 2012. External Relations Manager Elizabeth Ratchford told us via email that, ‘Decisions about which memberships we retain are guided by budgetary considerations, value to the business and engagement on issues core to our ability to compete in the marketplace.’”

Yum! Brands, operator of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell cited ALEC’s secretive behind closed doors policymaking, “ Executive Director Rashad Robinson said in a statement, This week, ColorOfChange members have been calling executives at Yum! Brands to ask the company to end its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Today, employees in Yum! Brands’ corporate headquarters have told our members and ColorOfChange staff that the company has in fact dropped ALEC. In doing so, the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell has restored our belief that it stands in favor of crafting legislation in view of the public, rather than behind closed doors.”

The insights provided by former members give us a glimpse of what ALEC’s true priorities are. The organization wraps itself around Jeffersonian principles, but their real motivations are to carry a far right wing ideological agenda of secret policymaking and vote suppression.

Wal-Mart is sensitive to its public image, and with good reason given its business model, but to accuse ALEC of drifting away from Jeffersonian principles was a serious allegation that struck at the very core of the organization’s public façade. Of course, the allegation contains more than a healthy bit of irony as few companies have done as much to destroy workers’ rights, small businesses, and free markets as Wal-Mart. Sam Walton’s baby calling another organization un-American is a serious pot meets kettle moment.

Each company that dumps ALEC punches another hole in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s public image. Being associated with ALEC is now bad for business, and in these economic times, not even a giant like Wal-Mart can afford the unnecessary bad publicity that comes from associating with ALEC.

The public exposure brought on by the boycott means that it will be more difficult for ALEC to inhabit the dark corners of our democracy.

No criticism from a former member could be sharper than Wal-Mart’s allegation that ALEC is no longer in step with the views of one of our Founding Fathers. We already knew that ALEC was actively working to subvert our democracy, but according to Wal-Mart the group has also become un-American.

What is most devastating for the American Legislative Exchange Council is that the more companies depart, the more their former veil of secrecy shatters.

It turns out that right wing corporate billionaires who owe their success to the country that gave them the opportunity may be as un-American as they come.

View Comments

  • Even wal mart? Poor Alec. They're going to have to find a new rock to hide under. Oh and fu for the voter Id laws!!

  • This does make business sense, when you consider the Wal-Mart model.

    Their profits are based on lower and middle class people buying products. I read the Citibank memo today after learning about it, and it seems that the 1% are being encouraged to remove their investments in companies (like Wal-Mart) which serve the 99%, and reinvest in companies that serve the 1%. Thus, it is logical for companies like Wal-Mart, as big and bad as they are, to start resisting the 1% too. That means ALEC isn't good business sense for them.

    I imagine it's got to be a conundrum for the top people at Wal-Mart, as they're 1%ers too, but to keep their position they need to go against their own kind.

    I hope as ALEC's influence wanes, so does the power of the Republicans and the Tea Party.

        • Only a few problems with this thread
          1) Walmart doesn't "serve" the 99%, they leech from them, by forcing smaller (and much more economically beneficial) local businesses out, and by paying their staff near-minimum wage with negligible benefits... oh, and did i mention pay discrimination and advancement discrimination too?
          2) the only reason they're pulling out is because their sales have dropped a steady 2-3% for each of the past three years, and with the recent revelation of ALEC's membership list they don't want to suffer greater losses in demand
          3) investing in the 1% isn't risky... in fact, it's rather reliable... as in, you can "rely" on someone ripping you off somewhere down the line. it's a lose-lose and risk is no longer a factor.

          • Depends on the point of view, actually.

            Yeah, I see them as leeches... worse actually because leeches only want blood and they usually don't cause pain when they're being parasitic.

            But, I'm trying to see it from their point of view, and I'm sure their top echelon read the report I mentioned.

            Put it this way... if there's no blood left in the body, a leech will starve before it gets a meal.

            I'd suggest reading the report. It DOES encourage many pretty reprehensible things, like disenfranchising us. It also says that as long as we 99% have any rights left, we're a threat to the 1%, and that they won't have their way.

  • Walmart sales are down slightly.I am sure they needed to do something. Wal-Mart is the biggest jerkoff company in the world.

    But no matter, the slam they did on ALEC is perfect!

  • When you've lost wal-mart what kind of kind of creepy fascist wing show are you running there, ALEC? Hmmmmm?

    Mahalos, Jason!

  • It's a case of poetic justice, or Karma, that ALEC is getting the boot from so many large, prominent businesses. ALEC's activities are about deliberate disenfranchisement of the very people that WalMart among others depends on for its very existence and ability to survive. Any businessman or businesswoman who's about something and has a clear view of the big picture realizes that they have to depend on a healthy middle class in order to continue surviving and thriving themselves.

  • The most despicable, irresponsible, diabolical company in American history gets a moral.

    I think not. just another opportunistic moment for the these scum bags.

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