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ALEC: Desperate for Dough?
As a stampede of global corporations drop their membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the right-wing organization is apparently desperate for funds.
Several public interest organizations, including the Center for Media and Democracy, Color of Change, Common Cause, People for the American Way, CREDO and others have been asking corporations to stop funding ALEC for its role in helping spread policies like voter suppression and "Shoot First." In the last two weeks, some of America's largest corporations, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, MARS, Intuit, McDonald's, Wendy's, and Kraft Foods have announced they will not be renewing their ALEC membership. ALEC receives ninety-eight percent of its funding from its corporate members and from foundations, and only through this funding can ALEC advance its agenda.
Exactly how big are these companies, and what does it mean for ALEC?
With a total revenue of $49.6 billion dollars in 2011, Kraft Foods is the largest corporation to withdraw so far. Fast food and beverage giant PepsiCo is the second largest, with revenue totaling about $57.8 billion in 2011. Coca-Cola is close behind, earning around $35 billion last year.
MARS and McDonald's are next in line. MARS recorded revenues of about $30 billion in 2011, and McDonald's about $24 billion. Software manufacturer Intuit reported 2011 revenues of $3.5 billion, Wendy's $2.4 billion, and Arizona Public Services reported a revenue of of $3.2 billion.
In total, these corporations reported about $206 billion in revenue for 2011.
With these corporations announcing they will no longer be funding ALEC, the organization is apparently feeling the pinch (or at least trying to capitalize off of the publicity). Today, this is the blaring front page of the ALEC site:
Correction: The original version of the article did not include Kraft's revenue in the final total. This increases the total revenue of the former ALEC corporations to $206 billion dollars.