AT&T, the world’s largest telecom company with assets of $446 billion, is no longer a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
AT&T’s exit from the corporate bill mill follows Verizon’s decision to leave in mid-September, based on ALEC’s choice of hatemonger and anti-Muslim David Horowitz to headline a session at its annual meeting in New Orleans promoting the corporate lobby group’s radical plan to rewrite the U.S. Constitution.
Now AT&T is cutting ties for the same reason. “We have ended our membership with ALEC and their convention speaker was a key factor in the decision,” Jim Greer, AT&T’s spokesperson, said in a statement to The Intercept. The Intercept also reports that Dow Chemical and Honeywell have left ALEC.
The Center for Media and Democracy’s report of Horowitz’s bigoted remarks at the ALEC meeting inspired a coalition of 79 democracy reform, civil rights, and advocacy organizations to send a letter of protest to ALEC’s largest corporate backers, including AT&T, urging them to “make it clear that [they] will not stand for the sort of toxic, inflammatory claims ALEC has embraced” and depart ALEC.
AT&T has long held a seat on ALEC’s Private Enterprise Advisory Council, and was a regular high-level sponsor of its meetings.
The back-to-back departures suggest that telecom giants are concerned about the impact ALEC’s extremist policies and associations will have on their brand-sensitive customer base. Sprint left ALEC in 2012 after public uproar over ALEC’s promotion of controversial voter ID and “Stand Your Ground” legislation, and T-Mobile departed in 2015 amid a backlash against ALEC’s climate denial stance. That leaves Comcast, Charter Communications, CenturyLink, and Cox Communications as the last major telecom companies sticking with the corporate bill mill.
Comcast and Charter are Director Level sponsors, and CenturyLink a Trustee Level sponsor, of the 2018 States & Nation Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. this week.
“AT&T’s exit just further proves that ALEC is becoming too toxic for mainstream corporations to be affiliated with. Other telecom companies, like Charter and Comcast, must follow AT&T and Verizon’s lead and cut ties with ALEC,” said Jay Riestenberg, Deputy Communications Director at Common Cause.
More than 110 corporations and 19 nonprofits have severed their ties with ALEC in recent years. If ALEC continues to embrace extremists like Horowitz, it will likely see more companies head for the exits.
We must unite & speak up in force to counter the organized right coordinated attack on democracy. The Wisconsin & Michigan legislatures & our current President are there in opposition of overwhelming popular votes. Our constitutional fathers never intended this .
Certain organizations are dead set on taking us back to the good ol’ 1890s when corporate barons did whatever the hell they wanted, and politicians were all-in on the game. Those good ol’ days are gone forever if people are willing to stop it dead. However one must fight on equal terms – organized, well managed, incremental winning front, backed up with immense financial/Human Resources but an equally scorched earth mentality. Fight the scurge of hater goals – slave labor, no medical insurance, no social security, bad public schools, little opportunity, crushed American Dream, environmental disaster, and now even rewriting the US Constitution to eliminate all those pesky things like rights, etc. Truly the devil’s work shall go on even after they are dead. It’s all in their strategic corporate plan. So we will fight them on the beach, in the mountains, on the plains, in Congress, in the Supreme Court…hit them in the POTUS…to the death of hate…defeated by the power of love for US – We The People.