It’s not the first time fingers are pointed at lobbying groups for interfering with the state, but the latest news about the ALEC conservative group have brought the matter back in focus. Coca-Cola and Kraft, two of the biggest companies in the United States, have dropped their membership in the ALEC conservative lobbying group.
ALEC stands for the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group quite reputable for its intense and aggressive lobbying actions. The corporate-funded organization has its main headquarters in Washington and a membership ranges from $100 for two years for state and federal lawmakers to $25,000 a year for corporations.
The conservative lobbying group is now under scrutiny after it has openly endorsed the voter ID and the “stand your ground” laws. Detractors of ALEC have launched protest campaigns and launched boycott actions against the members. Coca-Cola and Kraft have been among the targeted corporations.
Coca-Cola announced recently that the boycott against it for taking part in ALEC has convinced the company to drop its membership. The soft beverage company said in its statement that it has “elected to discontinue its membership” but didn’t miss the opportunity to rule ALEC as responsible for supporting “discriminatory food and beverage taxes” that had no “direct bearing on our business”.
Perhaps it was just an attempt to get on the good side of consumers, but Coca-Cola also added in its statement: “We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our company and industry”.
Kraft also dropped ALEC, but its statement read the company has “made the decision not to renew” the expiring membership on reasons that weren’t exactly explained. Apart from “limited resources” and emphasizing Kraft’s relationship with ALEC “has been strictly limited to discussions about economic growth and development, transportation and tax policy”, there’s nothing about the scrutiny the lobbying group has been under lately.
With Coca-Cola and Kraft now not associate with ALEC anymore, it’s likely more companies will soon drop their membership. PepsiCO has left the ALEC board in January this year, but kept its decision on the hush-hush. The ALEC Enterprise Board carries big names of executives with Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, Pfizer, UPS, AT&T and ExxonMobil.