In a statement, Wal-Mart representative Maggie Sans wrote, “Previously, we expressed our concerns about ALEC’s decision to weigh in on issues that stray from its core mission ‘to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets…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 claimed that ALEC was no longer as interested in Jeffersonian free market principles as they were other partisan political issues. Two of those unnamed political issues are most certainly voter ID and stand your ground laws.
When even Wal-Mart complains that ALEC isn’t “free market” enough, Wal-Mart, which
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With all due respect to Mr. Rhynes, who I consider a friend, no one knows all the facts in this hanging death of an inmate and yes all prisoners should be protected even against themselves for liability and ethical reasons. However, if I had just committed and confessed a murder I personally might prefer suicide, probably because I would think I did not deserve to live if the shooting was not in self defense. Perhaps Mr. Rizer was of that opinion, and if so he should have the freedom to make his own choices. Yes, I know about the Baker Act, know all the correct answers to pass suicide prevention training, and I have the Wingman card with rules for suicide prevention in my wallet. However, I am still a believer in free will including suicide. If there were any circumstances that contributed to his ending of his life against his will then surely a thorough investigation should be conducted to determine the facts.
Got caught promoting laws that encourage people to kill people? Double down on laws to kill people through pollution! That’s what ALEC is doing. And look who’s apparently a member of ALEC: the Southern Company, parent of Georgia Power, and proprieter of several of the largest and dirtiest coal plants in the country.
After major corporations like Pepsi, Kraft, Proctor & Gamble, and Coke all ditched the rightwing group, ALEC announced that it would abandon its drive to enact gun and voter ID laws. The group’s decision came after a couple high profile campaigns were launched decrying ALEC’s involvement in passing the ‘stand your ground’ laws.
But the group is actually stepping up its efforts in other arenas, as I noted last week. And two new reports, one from ProPublica, the other from DeSmogBlog, outline its new aims: dismantle legislation that incentivizes renewable energy generation, and preserve loopholes that allow natural gas companies to keep the chemical cocktails in their fracking fluids secret from the public.
“Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business,” Coke spokeswoman Diana Garza Ciarlante said.
…opposes all efforts — federally and on the state level — to impose discriminatory taxes on food and/or beverages.
Now I don’t like food taxes, either: they’re the very model of regressive taxes that affect the poor more than the rich. But beverage taxes? As in taxes on the sugar water Coca-Cola sells? Those might improve public health and increase state revenue.
So how much has Coke supported ALEC in this?
Ciarlante said the company would not disclose its financial support of ALEC but said it was restricted to yearly dues. She said it had been a member for approximately 10 years. The company had received some phone calls protesting its relationship with ALEC, she said, but declined to comment on the decision beyond the company’s statement.
I wonder how much other support Coke provided, as in for example introductions to power-brokers around Atlanta.
Coke’s rival Pepsi also declined to renew its ALEC membership when it expired at the end of 2011, spokeswoman Heather Gleason said. The company’s 10-year membership focused exclusively on tax issues related to the beverage industry, she said.
And Pepsi probably also didn’t want to talk about lobbying for tax breaks for sugar water while legislatures are cutting education budgets.