This is great news.
For those of us against the excessive influence of corporations on politics ALEC is one of the bad guys. In fact, they’re one of the handful of organizations at the very heart of the problem.
ALEC is a right-wing lobbying group comprised of a conglomeration of Fortune 500 companies and rich Republicans. They help enact right-wing model legislation (test markets for legislation like Shoot First/Stand Your Ground) and help coordinate that legislation in other states as well as on the federal level.
ALEC doesn’t just push for legislation, they WRITE the bills and then give them to Republican lawmakers to enact–as-written. It’s called cookie-cutter legislation; multiple assemblies pass these bills containing the exact same wording; it’s pretty much fill in the blank where lawmakers simply add the district or state, sponsoring legislators, and the legislative body in which it’s being proposed; one Republican lawmaker (from Florida, of course) accidentally submitted a bill with the ALEC mission statement still attached.
ALEC proposed legislation includes (but is in no way limited to):
- Arizona’s controversial SB-1070 anti-immigration law.
- Privatizing education, foster care, adoption, and child support enforcement.
- Pushing for college education to promote conservative values.
- Eliminating labor unions–especially teachers’ and autoworkers’ (In 2011 Republican legislatures introduced over 500 antilabor bills).
- Combating climate change legislation.
- Promoting climate change denial.
- Opposing clean air & water regulation.
- Supporting budgets that include government employee layoffs, reduction/elimination of social program funding while reducing corporate taxes.
- Opposing Net Neutrality.
- Opposition to caps on banking, credit card, and ATM fees.
- Opposing any and all minimum wage increases.
- Voter right suppression legislation.
Pepsi pulled its support for ALEC in lieu of the unpopularity of Stand Your Ground legislation which ALEC ardently supports (and is currently promoting in multiple states and on the federal level). The pressure of Pepsi’s pullout forced Coke to follow suit.
This type of defection typically engenders right-wing retaliation. We need to support Pepsi (and Coke) for making a bold and somewhat courageous decision.
But it does serve as proof that we can make a difference.
So drink a Pepsi today! 🙂