Word has just arrive that corporate behemoth Wal-Mart has ended financial support for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This comes as welcome news to progressives and other people who care about Democracy as it represents perhaps the most symbolic corporate departure from the unscrupulous group to date. Sure, other massive companies have left ALEC (including Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble and Amazon), but none can match the ubiquity of Wal-Mart in terms of corporate disdain. From the afore-linked Think Progress post:
The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, has become the nineteenth group to leave the American Legislative Exchange Council. Walmart’s departure from the right-wing legislation-crafting group is particularly salient because the big box chain is also the largest purveyor of firearms in the country.
That second sentence refers to ALEC’s authoring of the “Stand Your Grand” law that has been a factor in the Trayvon Martin shooting debacle which jump-started the mass exodus from ALEC.
It’s getting to the point where this isn’t even surprising, though it is relieving. Once people find out exactly what ALEC is all about (crafting model legislation that skews heavily in favor of the mega-rich on behalf of its corporate sponsors) and has been all about for over three decades, it’s a no-brainer to abandon them. Here’s to hoping Wal-Mart’s departure will send ALEC floundering into the same kind of isolation that the group attempts to impose on the middle class.