- Jay Riestenberg firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON — Today, Common Cause, Fair Fight Action, and over 300 organizations penned a letter demanding large corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, CenturyLink, Eli Lilly, UPS, FedEx, Oracle, State Farm, Raytheon, Salesforce, Pfizer and others, cut financial ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) over its support of voter suppression legislation throughout the country.
ALEC has used its power to draft and advance Jim Crow-style voter suppression legislation throughout the country. They have partnered with extreme, dark money groups like the Heritage Foundation to try to implement the most suppressive and dangerous pieces of voting legislation that our country has ever seen.
Now, these 300 voting rights organizations representing Americans all over the country are fighting back to ensure that ALEC is held accountable by the corporate donors who fund them. This is the first step of a sustained campaign to ensure that ALEC is held accountable and no longer receives the funding to try to subvert the will of the people and upend our democracy.
Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn issued the following statement:
“Instead of funding special interest groups that are creating barriers to our freedom to vote, corporations should be joining the movement to deliver the promise of democracy to everyone. That’s why we are joining more than 300 organizations to call on all corporations to cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is working behind the scenes to restrict voting rights. ALEC has a long history of rigging the rules against everyday Americans while skirting ethics and tax laws. If corporations really believe in protecting our democracy and the right to vote, they must end their affiliation with ALEC.”
Cliff Albright, executive director and co-founder of Black Voters Matter issued the following statement:
“We have repeatedly said that corporations must stop funding the elected officials who sponsor and vote for voter suppression, and this demand is equally important in regards to conservative groups and think tanks who fuel the Jim Crow-era approach of creating and replicating racist legislation. These companies cannot hide behind the excuse that they only support ALEC because of their pro-business legislation. Companies are complicit if they are creating a pro-business environment by supporting anti-democratic organizations and policies. We will continue to hold them accountable. It will not be business as usual until they stand up for what is right.”
Scott Roberts, senior director of criminal justice and democracy campaigns at Color Of Change issued the following statement:
“These corporations are targeting Black voters with increasingly aggressive campaigns to suppress votes, disenfranchise communities, and spread dangerous misinformation. Through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), dozens of corporations — many of whom pledged solidarity with Black workers and consumers just last year — are secretly funding efforts to silence Black voters. We see right through their hypocrisy, and we are issuing this letter to demand that these businesses take a stand for racial justice. It’s time that corporations put real action behind their promises to promote racial equity and immediately cut ties with ALEC.”
The following corporations will receive this letter: 1-800-Contacts, Alibaba, Alkermes, Altria, American Electric Power, Anheuser-Busch, Arizona Public Service, Bayer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Chevron, Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated, Credit Union National Association, CTIA, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, EDP Renewables, Eli Lilly, Enova Internal, FedEx, First Solar, GlaxoSmithKline, Guarantee Trust Life Insurance, Koch Industries, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, National Automobile Dealers Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, Novartis, Oracle, Peabody Energy, Pfizer, PhRMA, Sanofi, Salt River Project, State Farm, Sunovion, UPS, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Vistra Energy.
According to the Brennan Center, over 389 bills that would suppress the right to vote have been introduced in 48 states during legislative sessions.