The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and its allies have been honored by the Business Ethics Network, which celebrates outstanding contributions to the advancement of corporate ethics, with two awards -- the BENNY Award and the Populist Category BENNY -- for our campaign asking corporations to "Dump ALEC".
The BENNY Awards honor the campaign to persuade some of the world’s largest corporations to cut ties with the right-wing corporate bill mill, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Some of the world’s largest multinational corporations have bankrolled the organization as it pushed for extreme gun laws, voter-suppressing "voter ID" bills, and anti-worker legislation like the Michigan "Right to Work" bill. Now the firms are abandoning ship -- 42 firms have left so far.
Many groups and individuals have joined in the effort to expose ALEC, with more every week. In April 2011, a small group of college students and other community activists formed the first public protest at an ALEC meeting. In July 2011, CMD and The Nation Magazine jointly launched the ALECexposed project, with CMD posting over 800 model bills and The Nation Magazine publishing in-depth analysis of ALEC's reach in policy areas such as health care, education, and the democratic process.
When CMD launched ALECexposed, it began a corporate campaign targeting Coca Cola and other listing other corporations joining Koch Industries in bankrolling ALEC, and since then organizations that include CMD as well as Common Cause, Color of Change, People for the American Way, ProgressNow!, the Voters Legislative Transparency Project, and others joined in efforts to convince Coca Cola and others out of ALEC. Color of Change was instrumental in getting Coke to be the first firm to publicly announce (in April 2012) that it was cutting ties to ALEC, and since then even more organizations and individuals have joined in these and other efforts to keep pressure on ALEC.
See the video highlighting this year's BENNY award winners here.