The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), an online activist group, announced that they will be putting pressure on the minority of Democrats who are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to dump ALEC.
ALEC claims that they are a nonpartisan organization that is "bipartisan" like the National Conference of State Legislators, but ALEC's leadership is overwhelmingly Republican as is its membership, a fact conceded by ALEC scholar and Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore in a recent interview. ALEC says it has 2,000 legislative members. The total number of Democratic legislators is unknown, but according to the PCCC, there are 26 states with Democratic lawmakers that belong to ALEC.
ALEC Thrilled When They Catch a Live One
When ALEC does get a Democrat to join the organization they are thrilled as emails between ALEC staffs and staff for ALEC's Ohio public sector chair, John P. Adams, illustrate.
Democrats Call Out the "Democrats" in ALEC
The goal of PCCC's campaign is to separate Democratic members from an organization with a clearly partisan agenda -- ALEC even briefed Wisconsin Republicans on how to do redistricting in the state -- and to help remove the bipartisan veneer ALEC has been relying upon.
PCCC held a phone call on April 20 to launch the effort, and Wisconsin state Senator Chris Larson spoke about the harm that ALEC legislation has caused in Wisconsin. "I actually got my seat by beating the last democrat in my state that was an ALEC member. We have seen some of the most restrictive voter suppression bills that are ALEC sponsored. They're dividing our state and dividing our communities. There is no reason a Democrat should be a member of ALEC, given the backward bills that they push forward."
To date, 12 major U.S. corporations have severed ties with ALEC: YUM! Brands, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mars Inc., Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, McDonald's, Wendy's, American Traffic Solutions, Reed Elsevier, and Arizona Public Service. You can access a list of state legislators who have done so here. Among other tactics, numerous groups are focusing on asking State Farm, Johnson & Johnson, and AT&T to stop funding ALEC.