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Comedian Lee Camp on ALEC
In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting—which many linked to Florida's "Kill At Will" or "Stand Your Ground" law—a number of corporations have pulled their support for the American Legislative Exchange Council, the pro-corporate, right-wing organization responsible for pushing the law in two dozen states. ALEC responded by backing off of issues such as guns and voter identification laws and refocusing its efforts on economic issues. This strategy shift may not actually be that big of a deal, though, as they heavily focused on economic issues in the past and, instead, it may help undercut opposition to ALEC as grassroots opponents have focused on the organization because of those social issues. ALEC has done the most damage in the past, however, on economic issues and the decline in opposition to the group could boost their chances at further success.
In the Public Interest released a memo Thursday detailing successes that ALEC has already had in this area.
Last month Citizens for Tax Justice released a report, “Corporate Tax Dodging in the Fifty States, 2008 – 2010.” The report identified sixty-eight large corporations that paid no state income taxes in at least one of those three years despite booking billions in profits in those years. Of those sixty-eight corporations, thirty-three have a history of supporting ALEC either as members or financial contributors.
Over the last four years state governments have had to close budget gaps totaling more than a half trillion dollars, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. More than 600,000 jobs have been cut in the public sector as a result, and programs that keep our economy moving and ensure a better future like transportation, public safety, education and environmental protection have been cut. During that time, these corporations have made profits and rather than pay taxes have put their money to work in an organization dedicated to advancing their own power. ALEC advocacy in state capitols is dedicated to protecting corporate interests, including lower taxation, fewer protections for consumers and the environment, and privatizing public services.
The corporations that definitely had ALEC ties were identified as:
Several other corporations appeared to have ties to ALEC, but couldn't be fully confirmed: