This is a BIG news story, but don’t expect to see any coverage on the alphabet channels you can receive on “the public airwaves” or the cable “news” networks. It won’t be on the front page of “The New York Times” or “The Wall Street Journal”. I’d be ecstatic to be proved wrong on that, but I’m not holding my breath. Instead, this story will probably remain an opinion piece from the left which can be read here.
Since I don’t want to spend time here telling people who ALEC is, I’ll refer you to an earlier post I did on it, here, which includes a list of the usual suspects, an important video involving voter suppression by one of their leaders and a link to a humorous interview with the national chairman of ALEC; which I’m sure he didn’t find humorous.
Voting suppression via ALEC seems to be a driving force here, but doesn’t come up in the official statement from Coke:
The Coca-Cola Company has elected to discontinue its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Our involvement with ALEC was focused on efforts to oppose discriminatory food and beverage taxes, not on issues that have no direct bearing on our business. We have a long-standing policy of only taking positions on issues that impact our Company and industry.
Interestingly, although it has not pledged to withdraw support of ALEC, voting suppression does come up in a Walmart statement:
Our membership in any organization does not affirm our agreement with each policy created by the broader group. Wal-Mart has a long history of supporting voter rights, and we continue to be a strong proponent of this issue. In fact, Wal-Mart was an active supporter in 2006 of the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of… One of Wal-Mart’s basic beliefs is respect for the individual, and Wal-Mart will continue to stand with all Americans in ensuring our right to vote.
The murder of Trayvon Martin wasn’t a turning point for democracy: it was a 180 helped along by the occupy movement in this country.
Update: Well now I can say that something called CBS News “politicalhotsheet” – on the internet – beat me to the draw on this story. That’s their job and I have another one because I don’t make any money here, so I’m not so embarrassed. It’s a good compilation too, but we’ll see if this makes it to the “public airwaves” with the importance it deserves.
Pepsi beat Coke by months, but was only reported by NPR today. Makes your head spin!
Update: Only have to say one word here…
Update: Latest high profile organizations to bolt from ALEC: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, (fundation?) and, (you heard it here), McDonalds. A big gold star on the forehead to all.