Big corporations are continuing to cut ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Last week, Bristol-Myers Squibb and WellPoint announced they were ending their partnership with the controversial organization.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, a pharmaceutical company, earns $17.6 billion in annual revenue. The company says it did not renew its membership at the end of 2012.
WellPoint, a health insurance company, earns $61.7 billion in annual revenue. Earlier this month, WellPoint announced that it had not attended an ALEC meeting or financially supported the organization since the summer of 2011.
The total number of companies that have left ALEC over the past year stands at 44 and includes some of the biggest corporations in the United States, including: Bank of America, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), General Electric, Western Union, Sprint Nextel, Symantec, Reckitt Benckise, Amgen, General Motors, Walgreens, Hewlett-Packard, CVS Caremark, Deere & Co., Miller, Coors, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Kaplan, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mars, Inc., Intuit, Proctor & Gamble, Reed Elsevier, America Traffic Solutions, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Amgen Inc. , Entergy Corporation, Arizona Public Services and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
ALEC, a Washington, DC-based politically ultra-conservative non-profit, thrives on operating in the shadows of American government to push anti-worker, anti-union legislation in statehouses across the country.
ALEC sponsors private meetings allowing state lawmakers and corporate executives to frame legislation that is later introduced in state legislatures. The laws tilt in the favor of big business. ALEC has pushed legislation that has been harmful to fire fighters’ right to collectively bargain and has also proposed other anti-union policies.
Founded in 1973, ALEC supports free market principles and courts financial support from various foundations, including those controlled by the billionaire Koch Brothers.