The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been under fire in recent weeks after at least 15 major corporations pulled their support from the conservative organization, after the group's tie's to controversial Stand Your Ground laws became nationally publicized.
The previously shadowy group has been criticized for its involvement in the creation of so-called model laws involving a handful of contentious issues, such as voter Identification restrictions and legislation aimed at banning gay marriage. Although ALEC identifies itself as non-partisan, the organization partners corporations with state lawmakers to draft what is typically right-leaning, pro-business legislation in state governments across the nation.
ALEC's involvement in crafting Stand Your Ground self-defense legislation became a matter of public scrutiny following the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in February. Since then, 15 of its major corporate sponsors have bowed out of the group, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and McDonalds. After being met with growing pressure from watchdog groups and civil rights organizations, ALEC disbanded its Stand Your Ground task force in mid-April.
Now, the watchdog advocacy group Common Cause has released a complete list of corporations who are members of ALEC task forces. The extensive list includes four of the five major oil companies -- BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell Oil -- all of whom sit on the group's Energy, Environmental and Agriculture task force. Other major corporations joined with ALEC task forces include AOL (Tax and Fiscal Policy; Communications and Technology), General Electric (Tax and Fiscal Policy), Johnson & Johnson (Civil Justice; Health and Human Services) and Philip Morris International (Tax and Fiscal Policy).
For a full list of corporations who are members of ALEC task forces, click here.
Ashley covers U.S. politics for the International Business Times, with a focus on civil liberties, women's issues and campaign finance. Her work has also appeared in The...