Tech industry giant Microsoft has cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and is no longer funding the organization.
Microsoft was a member of ALEC’s Communications and Technology Task Force. It has been reported that Microsoft left because of ALEC’s effort to block the development of renewable energy.
Other big technology companies such as Google, eBay, Facebook and Yahoo still belong to ALEC.
Founded in 1973, ALEC supports free market principles and courts financial support from various foundations, including those controlled by the billionaire Koch Brothers.
A Washington, DC-based politically ultra-conservative non-profit, ALEC thrives on operating in the shadows of American government to push anti-worker, anti-union legislation in statehouses across the country.
ALEC has been advocating policies that hurt fire fighters and other public workers, including encouraging more states to consider shifting to defined contribution plans such as 401(k)-style plans and away from traditional “defined benefit plans.”
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.
Other companies that recently parted ways with ALEC include:
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
These groups join a growing a list of businesses that have ended their membership in ALEC over the past year and a half: Sallie Mae, Bristol-Myers Squibb, WellPoint, 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, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, YUM! Brands, Amazon.com, Medtronic, John and Johnson, Dell Computers, Express Scripts/Medco, Energy Solutions, Connections Academy, Well Fargo, Merck, Brown-Forman Company, Conoco Phillips, Walgreens, Unilever, Lumina Foundation for Education and National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).