Are You Supporting 'Stand Your Ground' And Voter Suppression?
If you're buying from these companies, then yes, you might be
In case you haven't heard, major corporations are pulling out of supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC. The conservative organization says that it stands on free-market principles, limited government, federalism and individual liberties. In layman's terms, doing what you want to do if you got the money.
A wikipedia entry states:
The group provides a venue for private individuals and corporations to assist politicians in developing what it considers model laws serving the economic and political aims of its members. ALEC also serves as a networking tool among state legislators, allowing them to research the handling and "best practices" of policy in other states...ALEC currently has more than 2,000 legislative members representing all 50 states, as well as more than 85 members of congress and 14 sitting or former governors who are considered "alumni". ALEC also claims approximately 300 corporate, foundation, and other private-sector members. A list of ALEC leaders in the states includes 73 Republican lawmakers and 7 Democrats.
This week ALEC's name has taken up headlines as a handful of its corporate partners have withdrawn support after Color of Change revealed that ALEC has supported Voter ID laws and promote voter suppression and the controversial Stand Your Ground laws that may result in the exoneration of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin. Among the companies to distance themselves from ALEC are Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods. However some companies are not letting the negative press scare them away. Wal-Mart has stated that they have no plans on parting ways with ALEC and they aren't the only ones. Pfizer, Phillip-Morris, Proctor and Gamble and Reynolds American are also continuing their relationships with the organization in the face of controversy.
A little digging will show you that the list of corporations with ties to ALEC, past or present, is longer than you might think. Of course it's your decision on if you want to support brands that support an organization that supports voter suppression and Stand Your Ground laws. Just like it's up to you determine if ALEC's support of those laws are balanced out by their efforts to stop prison overcrowding or their efforts to make companies adhere to safe work conditions and provide adequate worker's compensation.
Either way, we wanted to present you with a list of companies that have ties to ALEC and ties to laws that can and may effect your everyday life.
According to SourceWatch, this is ALEC's current list of corporate board members:
CenterPoint 360, W. Preston Baldwin - Chairman
Altria Group, Daniel Smith
American Bail Coalition, William Carmichael, Jerry Watson
AT&T, William Leahy
Bayer Corp., Sandy Oliver
Diageo (makers of Red Stripe, Guiness, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Smirnoff), Kenneth Lane
Energy Future Holdings, Sano Blocker
ExxonMobil Corporation, Randall Smith
GlaxoSmithKline, John Del Giorno
Johnson & Johnson, Don Bohn
Koch Companies Public Sector, Mike Morgan
Peabody Energy, Kelly Mader
Pfizer Inc., Michael Hubert
PhRMA, Jeff Bond
Reed Elsevier, Inc., Teresa Jennings
Reynolds American, David Powers
Salt River Project, Russell Smoldon
State Farm Insurance Co., Roland Spies
United Parcel Service (UPS), Richard McArdle
Wal-Mart Stores, Maggie Sans
Here are companies that have been involved with ALEC as of July 2011
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Mars (makers of M&Ms)
Taser (stun gun makers)
Yum! Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut)
[Also Read: Are Republicans To Blame For Trayvon's Death?]