MADISON, Wis. — Titans of corporate America Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft Foods and Intuit have all recently announced they are severing their ties with the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC was founded nearly 40 years ago to create pro-corporate legislation at the expense of the middle class.
One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne called on Wisconsin state legislators to drop their memberships in ALEC too saying, “ALEC’s agenda is too radical and controversial for some of the largest corporations in the United States, organizations no one would ever accuse of being left-leaning. What does it say about the agenda of the Wisconsin legislators who insist on maintaining their ties to this extreme, right-wing organization?”
Browne added that not only are numerous Republican state legislators subscribing to ALEC’s agenda, several are doing it on Wisconsin taxpayer’s dime. In 2011, One Wisconsin Now found nine Senate Republican legislators used tax dollars to pay their ALEC membership dues, including current State Senators Lazich, Moulton, Wanggaard, Zipperer, Fitzgerald, Grothman and Lasee.
Among the “model legislation” developed by ALEC and enacted in Wisconsin under Governor Walker and Republican legislative majorities are restrictions on private citizens’ right to hold corporations accountable for causing them or loved ones serious injury, new restrictions making it more difficult for seniors, students and minorities to vote, restrictions on worker rights and more education privatization.
Browne noted ALEC’s agenda is even more extreme, and includes support for the privatization of Social Security and allowing insurance companies to deny women coverage for services like mammograms and cervical cancer screenings.
“It’s time for these legislators to show whose side are they are on, cut their ties with this extreme, right-wing organization and stand up for interests and values of the people of Wisconsin.”