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Wal-Mart 18th Corporation to Dump ALEC, Becomes 22nd Private Sector Member to Leave

8:04 am in Uncategorized by Rebekah Wilce

This article was first published by CMD at PRWatch.org.

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.

Wake Up Walmart Banner at a protest, with Rev. Billy Tallen crouched in front.

Protesters including Rev. Billy at Walmart. Photo by Brave New Films.

“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

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National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Cuts Ties to ALEC

12:06 pm in Uncategorized by Rebekah Wilce

This article was originally published by the Center for Media and Democracy at PRWatch.org.

Teacher's CertificateThe national certifying body for teachers in the United States, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), participated in the Education Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) until April 2012. In an official statement sent to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) today, NBPTS spokesperson Brian Lewis said,

Given recent events, the new NBPTS President and CEO decided to discontinue engagement with ALEC. As a result, NBPTS terminated its membership as an Education Task Force Member of ALEC effective April 18, 2012, and also withdrew from participating in the upcoming ALEC conference. . . . The decision to participate in ALEC had been made by previous NBPTS leadership.

Although primarily a non-profit organization focusing on teacher certification, NBPTS also takes positions on pre-K through 12th grade education and higher education policy and tracks state legislation affecting certification policy.

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Mars and Arizona Public Service Dump ALEC

2:56 pm in Uncategorized by Rebekah Wilce

This article was originally published by the Center for Media and Democracy at PRWatch.org.


The seventh and eighth corporations to publicly state that they cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are candy-maker Mars and the Arizona Public Service Company (APS), Arizona’s largest electric utility. Mars had been an exhibitor at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting in New Orleans. Mars is the maker of Skittles, the snack Trayvon Martin had purchased before he was shot by George Zimmerman, whose arrest was delayed due to an NRA-backed gun law that became an ALEC “model” bill. Arizona Skittles

APS had been a member of ALEC’s Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force, which adopted such “model” bills as the “State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives Act” and the “State Data Quality Act.” News of it breaking ties with ALEC comes on the heels of a new updated report on ALEC in Arizona published by People for the American Way, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), Common Cause and ProgressNow.

Mars announced in an email to reporters, “Earlier this year, Mars, Incorporated reviewed all of its trade associations and sponsorships and decided not to renew the ALEC membership in 2012.” APS’ pledge not to renew its ALEC membership was announced today in the Arizona Capital Times. Color of Change has been urging a number of companies like Mars to leave ALEC, and today applauded the companies’ decisions to “place the integrity of their brands above association with a shadowy policy group.”

Mars and APS join Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Intuit, McDonald’s and Wendy’s in their decision to distance themselves from ALEC’s extreme agenda.

CMD has asked supporters to send letters to ALEC corporate leaders asking them to cut ties with ALEC in the wake of the tragic shooting of Martin, a Florida high school student. Concerned citizens can click here to tell ALEC companies to stand down.


This article was originally published by the Center for Media and Democracy at PRWatch.org. CMD also released the ALECexposed.org project in 2011, exposing the “model” legislation created behind closed doors by corporations working with state legislators in the American Legislative Exchange Council. This project has received the Sidney Award and the Izzy Award.

About the Author: Rebekah Wilce has a degree in writing from the University of Arizona. She is the lead writer for CMD’s Food Rights Network, with expertise in food and agriculture issues.