ALEC Politicians Won Big On Tuesday, But Corporations Are Still Leaving

Logo of the software group at the entrance to the headquarters in Walldorf

Joni Ersnt. Scott Walker. Thom Tillis. Many of Tuesday night’s Republican winners have strong ties to ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which brings together legislators and corporate lobbyists to write corporate-friendly legislation.

But while these current and former ALEC members got a boost from their connections and affiliation with the bill mill (in the case of Tillis, the boost came in the form of record spending from dark money groups like the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity), ALEC itself is in dire straits.

The day after Tillis and others claimed victory, the German software company SAP formally cut ties with ALEC.

The [SAP] spokeswoman told Manager that the company abandoned ALEC because of its “merkwürdigen” (strange) positions—such as its support for Stand Your Ground laws, climate denial, and opposition to solar energy deployment.

SAP joins American counterparts like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Yelp in ending their affiliation with ALEC.

Ever since the secretive organization came onto the public’s radar in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin killing and the press around the “Stand Your Ground” laws they developed, an estimated 93 corporations and 19 no-profits have cut their ALEC ties.

Why is this a big deal? While a lot of information on ALEC is not public, we know that corporations pay at least $5,000 to become members and sit on the organization’s various task forces. When these companies leave–or decline to renew their membership–that means ALEC has fewer resources to recruit legislators, take them on lavish trips, or ply them with expensive steak dinners. It also means ALEC has less capacity to produce model legislation that weakens wages, attacks the rights of workers, stifles clean energy, and privatizes everything from schools to parking meters.

Tillis and his friends are in, but SAP is out. Who is next?

UPDATE. From Center for Media and Democracy’s Nick Surgey, writing in the Huffington Post:

SAP is a particularly big loss for ALEC, because its representative at ALEC, lobbyist Steve Searle, is the Chair of ALEC’s corporate board, and the former corporate chair of ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force. As a leader within ALEC, Searle would have helped drive the ALEC agenda, and would have had inside knowledge of what ALEC has planned for 2015 to continue to stonewall action to tackle climate change.

Photo by Manager-Magazin.de

Tags: , , , , ,

Alaska City Workers Were Victorious Against the Other Dan Sullivan: Punching In

Koch Brothers’ network spent $100 million on midterm elections, and they aren’t done

Freedom Partners Action Fund has already plunked down $2.1 million for the Louisiana runoff.

Begich seeks full count in Alaska, labor celebrates victory in Anchorage for workers’ rights

Voters repealed AO-37, a collective bargaining restriction for city workers, 54-46.

Big banks and bond holders fretting over student debt 

“The bond giants heard that an average of 40% of students at four-year institutions don’t graduate within six years — so they don’t benefit from the higher incomes associated with education and yet can’t extinguish debts in bankruptcy.”

Department of Education getting tough on for-profit colleges

New rules “target schools that turn out students who earn too little to justify the cost their school charged.”

On Otherwise Bleak Night, Big Ballot Wins for Workers: Punching In

California voters take a stand against mass incarceration

Proposition 47 passes easily, will reduce sentences for common drug and theft crimes.

Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. legalize marijuana

In growing industry, cannabis workers could become a new frontier for labor organizing.

Massachusetts becomes third state in the nation to guarantee paid sick days for all workers

Bay State joins Connecticut and California and growing number of cities with sick leave on the books.

Clean sweep for minimum wage increases across so-called “red states”

Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Nebraska raise wages, San Francisco increases local wage to $15.

Voters Poised to Give Raises to 68,000 Workers: Punching In

John Oliver takes on ALEC and the insane world of state legislatures

“Look, state legislatures are hilarious. There’s only one problem. Increasingly, they’re the places where most legislation is actually taking place.”

In five states, ballot initiatives raising the minimum wage are expected to pass

Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota lead on minimum wage, Illinois ready to pass non-binding referendum.

Meet the working mother taking her pregnancy discrimination to the Supreme Court

Peggy Young is taking UPS to task for denying her accommodations while pregnant.

Voter ID laws are now in 17 more states than they were in 2000

They have gotten more attention in the last few years, but stricter voting laws are part of a recent trend.

mungia-datalab-voterid-1

 

A Very Spooky Punching In: Don’t Boo, Vote!

10518321_10154792739905352_2954906916424025338_o

Why right-wing politicians fear a Scott Walker loss

The failure of the anti-union approach is a spooky prospect to big donors.

Business groups have lost all hope for fast-track trade authority in the lame-duck session

But labor groups are still vigilant for the ghost of a dead bill.

Giant monster rat used in union protests found constitutional

Expect to see Scabby for a long time to come.

The evil secret of the Michigan “right to work” law

ACLU and others allege that “there was a concerted effort to prevent the public from witnessing the laws’ passage.”

Video Game Retailer GameStop Joins Movement to Boycott Black Thursday: Punching In

Colleges’ shift on four-year scholarships reflects players’ growing power

“These scholarship terms are about power and control, and what schools are willing to give up.”

Running on progressive values paying dividends for both parties in midterm campaign’s final days

Working America’s Matt Morrison: “[Mark Begich] gets that running on expanding Social Security has real value to his constituents. Being for something matters, giving people a clear choice when they’re voting.”

Video game retailer GameStop joins growing movement boycotting Black Thursday

“At GameStop we often use the phrase ‘protect the family’ in reference to our business. A large part of what that means to us is to not open any of our GameStop, SimplyMac, Spring Mobile or Cricket Wireless U.S. locations on Thanksgiving Day out of respect for our store associates and their families and friends.

Time Magazine cover was a “sucker punch to all teachers” says AFT President Weingarten

Randi Weingarten went on Morning Joe to talk about Time’s hit job on professional educators.

It’s A Referendum Alright…But Not On Obama: Punching In

It’s the ultraconservative state agenda, not Obama, that voters will consider on Tuesday

“You cannot shrink the size and scope of government to a point where you starve your public school system. We don’t want to become Kansas.”

After long legal drama, minimum wage increase will stay on Arkansas ballot

An effort to deprive voters of the chance to raise the wage was finally killed by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Working Alaska’s ground game featured on public radio

“What we’re doing I believe when we come to folks’ doors with somebody who really cares, like myself is we’re cutting through a lot of that red tape, a lot of that misinformation that’s Spewed on radio, spewed on television, spewed blatantly on the Internet.”

Why 5.9 million voting-age Americans won’t be able to vote on Tuesday

Nearly 6 million people, many of them African-American, have been disenfranchised due to felony convictions.

 

While Christie Was Making Ebola Headlines, NJ Advanced A Statewide Paid Leave Law: Punching In

Scott Brown gets support of by deceased politician in New Hampshire

Newspaper runs anti-Jeanne Shaheen opinion piece from Marshall Cobleigh, who passed away in 2009.

Alaska Federation of Natives formally endorse Mark Begich is tight Senate race

The group, which rarely makes political endorsements, highlighted Senator Begich’s extensive travel in rural Alaska.

How ‘flexible’ schedules have become a trap for working parents

Not knowing your schedule ahead of time is the “new normal” in retail and service sectors.

Statewide paid sick days law advances in New Jersey

In the midst of Gov. Christie’s ebola theatrics, an Assembly committee passed a sick leave ordinance 6-3.

50,000 Voter Registrations in Georgia Disappeared, Secretary of State Not Giving Answers: Punching In

The 11 lies of Mitch “Myth” McConnell

In his reelection bid, the Kentucky Senator has stretched the truth on everything from coal to Kynect.

The 9 closest races for governor

Vox gives the rundown on the nation’s top bids for state executive, from Kansas to Massachusetts.

Nearly 50,000 voter registrations have vanished in Georgia

“We asked the Secretary of State to meet with us. We wanted to understand if we were doing something wrong, or if there was another database we didn’t have access to. But he refused to meet with us.”

Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski increasingly vocal on need to raise the minimum wage

“It is a joke that people have to work three jobs just to barely get by. This shouldn’t be what this country stands for.”

While Midterm Campaigns Rage, 1,000 Texas Technicians Vote Union: Punching In

The Teamsters of the 21st century: how Uber, Lyft, and Facebook drivers are organizing

Welcome to unionization in the digital economy.

Rick Scott on how high the minimum wage should be: “How should I know?”

Governor Scott is still locked in a tie with former Governor Charlie Crist.

Analysis: Midterm election will cost nearly $4 billion

The 2014 election will be the nation’s most expensive midterm ever, according to a new projection by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Army depot workers in Texas vote to unionize

1,000 technicians at the Red River Army Depot near Texakarna have voted to join the Machinists.