Five more major companies will no longer fund ALEC

John Deere, CVS Caremark, MillerCoors, HP, and Best Buy will no longer fund American Legislative Exchange Council

July 10, 2012

CONTACTS:
Timothy Rusch: (917) 399-0236, tim@fitzgibbonmedia.com
Rachel Tardiff: (202) 746-1407, Rachel@fitzgibbonmedia.com

ColorOfChange.org announced today that it has received word from five new companies that say they will no longer fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC): John Deere, CVS Caremark, MillerCoors, HP, and Best Buy.

"We want to thank these companies for making the right decision, and we continue to call on all major corporations to stop funding ALEC given its involvement in voter suppression and its work pushing policies designed to benefit rich and powerful corporations at the expense of people of color, workers, and the environment," said Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org.

"We're continuing to reach out to corporations directly to tell them that now is the time to leave ALEC, and that our members are prepared to hold them publicly accountable if they refuse," Robinson said.

More than 100,000 ColorOfChange members have signed a petition calling on companies to stop funding ALEC. ColorOfChange members have made thousands of calls to companies supporting ALEC, and funded radio ads highlighting companies that continue to fund the group.

"This is to notify you that Deere & Company, also known as John Deere, is leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council," said James R. Jenkins, John Deere Senior Vice President and General Counsel, in a letter to ColorOfChange.

"Over the last few weeks, we have closely followed the issues surrounding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and have heard from numerous stakeholders expressing their views," said Larry Burton, CVS Caremark Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, in an email to ColorOfChange. "As a result, after careful consideration of the available information, CVS Caremark has discontinued its membership in ALEC."

"We've not contributed to ALEC this year, nor do we intend to," said Tim Scully, MillerCoors VP of Government Affairs in a phone conversation with ColorOfChange staff. "We've not renewed our membership nor do we have any plans to renew our membership."

"I write to confirm that, although HP appears to have worked with ALEC in the past, HP is not currently a member of that organization," said Gregg R. Melinson, VP of Government Relations and Deputy General Counsel for HP, in an email to ColorOfChange.

"[W]e are no longer a member of ALEC. Best Buy was a member of ALEC in 2011 and did not renew its membership in 2012," said Susan Busch, Best Buy Senior Director of External Relations, in an email to ColorOfChange.

In total, at least 25 companies have now ended their memberships in ALEC. John Deere, MillerCoors, HP, CVS Caremark and Best Buy join Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Yum! Brands, McDonald's, Wendy's, Mars Inc., Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Reed Elsevier (owner of LexisNexis and publisher of science and health information), Kaplan, Scantron, Medtronic, American Traffic Solutions and Arizona Public Service.

In December of last year, ColorOfChange members began signing a petition targeting ALEC’s corporate partners for their role in suppressing Black votes. The petition can be found here: http://www.colorofchange.org/campaign/alec

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With more than 800,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation's largest online Black civil rights organization.

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