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Wilce reports: "Wal-Mart, a member of ALEC's corporate 'Private Enterprise' board and of the Public Safety and Elections Task Force that adopted Florida's 'Stand Your Ground' as a 'model' bill, announced yesterday that it is 'suspending' its ALEC membership."

Walmart is the 18th corporation to drop out of ALEC. (photo: PR Watch)
Walmart is the 18th corporation to drop out of ALEC. (photo: PR Watch)



Wal-Mart Ending Membership in ALEC

By Rebekah Wilce, PR Watch

02 June 12

 

al-Mart, a member of ALEC's corporate "Private Enterprise" board and of the Public Safety and Elections Task Force that adopted Florida's "Stand Your Ground" as a "model" bill, announced yesterday that it is "suspending" its ALEC membership.

"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 vice president of public affairs and government relations, Maggie Sans, told Reuters. Sans is stepping down as secretary of ALEC's corporate board.

The Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD's) Executive Director, Lisa Graves, applauded Wal-Mart "for doing the right thing in leaving ALEC, especially in the wake of newly emerged information showing how ALEC has been skirting federal and state lobbying and ethics laws." She added that "this is a very positive step for Wal-Mart," a long-time leader and funder of ALEC's operations, and "it also shows that the excellent work of advocates to shine a light on ALEC's extreme agenda is having a major impact."

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world as well as the largest retailer of firearms in the United States. It had $421.8 billion in sales in 2011, edging out Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, BP -- all of which are still ALEC member companies -- for the most revenue, according to CNN.

Wal-Mart's History of Involvement with ALEC

Wal-Mart, which joined ALEC in 1993, had previously declined to cut ties with ALEC, telling the Washington Examiner in April, "Our membership in any organization does not affirm our agreement with each policy created by the broader group."

Sans told Reuters, "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.'"

When the Public Safety Elections Task Force ratified the law that may protect Trayvon Martin's killer and other unarmed victims in 2005, Wal-Mart was the corporate co-chair of that Task Force (see the screenshot here), as has reported.

In addition to its membership in the Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which was disbanded in April, Wal-Mart participated in ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force, its Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force, and its Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. ALEC documents obtained and released by Common Cause confirm these affiliations. Over the years, these task forces have approved ALEC "model" bills expanding the power of insurance companies, undermining state insurance mandates, eroding workers' rights, deregulating the telecommunications industry, eliminating the capital gains tax for the wealthy, and forcing severe austerity measures for basic services by severely limiting the ability of state government to raise revenue. (It is not clear how long Wal-Mart was a member of these task forces.)

For more on Wal-Mart's role in ALEC, see CMD's reporting here and here.

The Rush to Dump ALEC

Corporations that have publicly cut ties to ALEC in recent weeks include Medtronic, Amazon.com, Scantron Corporation, Kaplan Higher Education, Procter & Gamble, YUM! Brands, Blue Cross Blue Shield, American Traffic Solutions, Reed Elsevier, Arizona Public Service, Mars, Wendy's, McDonald's, Intuit, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola. The addition of Wal-Mart brings the total to 18. Four non-profits -- Lumina Foundation for Education, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and the Gates Foundation -- and 54 state legislators have also cut ties with ALEC.

Color of Change, along with CMD, Common Cause, People for the American Way, and others are focusing now on asking State Farm, AT&T, and Johnson & Johnson to cut ties with ALEC.

 

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+6 # neohip 2012-06-02 07:26
Now if they'd just stop themselves.
 
 
-10 # JH Gordon 2012-06-02 08:03
It's always the one rotten apple... Disarm the public if you will and if you think you can. But use logic and disarm the criminals first.

It would no longer waste the time of a criminal telling you to drop your gun, the state will have done it for him. If the state succeeds then all we have to worry about are the huge number of "accidental" shootings by police of unarmed citizens in their homes. That happens a lot. So were do you begin? And why are you doing it? Are there really that many law abiding citizens killing people? It's a contradiction in terms. Law abiding citizens don't murder, they defend themselves Does one person cruising around looking for trouble mean everyone is that nuts? Are you that nuts? Try protecting citizens by protecting their right to defend themselves. The police can only make chalk outlines around dead law abiding citizens, they cannot defend them, To take away a person's defense is worse than the criminals who attack them in their homes.
JH Gordon
Fireclosure
Smashwords
 
 
+3 # humactdoc 2012-06-02 08:15
Why is the headline "ending" when the company used the word"suspending "? They are not the same thing.
 
 
+9 # portiz 2012-06-02 08:23
Where can I get a list of ALEC's members? I would boycott EVERY one of them!!!
 
 
+1 # giraffee2012 2012-06-02 09:25
Quoting portiz:
Where can I get a list of ALEC's members? I would boycott EVERY one of them!!!

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ALEC_Corporations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Legislative_Exchange_Council
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2012-06-02 08:25
Big deal! Wal-Mart is still Wal-Mart.
They're still the same old ruthlessly cheapskate and anti-organizati onal behemoth who treat their employees like disposable chattel.
And B.T.W., "JH Gordon" the militarized police are already shooting people and askin' questions later. No amount of heavily armed paranoid private citizens is going to stop that unless we form a critical mass -preferably unarmed. Or would you like to see a huge crowd of rednecks shooting at will? Have visions of armed drones to be on sale at the likes of Wal-Mart and y'r friendly neighborhood gun shop do you?
"Law-abiding" is a very loose term in these times;almost a non-sequitor.
Enjoy you arsenal.
 
 
+6 # ENetArch 2012-06-02 09:33
The other question I have is, if ALEC is dying, what's taking it's place. And where are these companies choosing to move to, if not stay with ALEC? Time to start the next hunt for rotten tomatoes.
 
 
+1 # Street Level 2012-06-02 17:05
I have also heard that ALEC has 2 different "memberships" and that companies are still "members" even thought they say they've quit. Anyone know?
 
 
+1 # davidhp 2012-06-04 07:10
WALMART will just do the same lobbying ALEC does with their own money. This does not lessen them in their exploitation of workers or their right wing anti-worker political pressure on Washington.

WalMart was born a corporate robber baron and remains one with or without ALEC.
 

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