The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is holding its Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas this week from August 14-16. A list of sponsors for the event was provided to Documented, and is listed below. It features some companies, including Southwest Airlines, and the giant insurance company Chubb, not previously known to have funded ALEC.
With increased scrutiny of ALEC in recent years, with better understanding about the way that it operates, and the agenda it promotes, corporations that fund ALEC have faced a backlash from consumers. Action from consumers has been fueled by ALEC’s role in promoting climate change denial and obstruction, opposition to collective bargaining and labor unions, promotion of restrictive Voter ID legislation, and extreme gun laws. As a result, many companies have publicly disassociated themselves from ALEC.
When Google quit ALEC in 2014, its Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told NPR that: “I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake and so we’re trying to not do that in the future.”
“Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying,” Schmidt told Diane Rehm.
Other high profile companies to quit ALEC have included Facebook, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil, Walmart, Coca Cola, and McDonalds. A list of these companies – there are now at least 114 of them – is kept by The Center for Media and Democracy.
When ALEC gave a platform at its 2018 annual meeting to David Horowitz, a notorious anti-muslim activist, he gave a speech that attacked marriage equality. Civil rights and good government groups challenged ALEC corporate donors to take action. Many did, including Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, which all quit ALEC as a result.
The agenda for the ALEC meeting includes discussion of proposed model legislation opposing the Green New Deal, and presentations on redistricting by Cleta Mitchell and Hans von Spakovsky. The Trump 2020 campaign Director of Strategic Communications, Marc Lotter was an attendee, and according to a tweet from a participant, appeared to be a speaker.
Below is the list of sponsors for the ALEC Annual Meeting, taking place in Austin, TX from August 14-16, 2019, provided to Documented by a participant at the meeting.
- Energy Fairness
- First Rule
- Right on Crime
- Texas Cable Association
- American Federation for Children
- Association of Electric Companies of Texas
- Crown Cork & Seal
- Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
- Eli Lilly and Company
- Gulf States Toyota
- National Popular Vote
- Pacific Legal Foundation
- Populus Financial Group
- Save our States
- Texas Association of Business
- Texas Association of Health Plans
- Texas Bankers Association
- Texas Central Railroad
- 1-800 Contacts
- Applied Materials
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
- BNSF Railway
- Cammack & Strong, P.C.
- Independent Electrical Contractors of Texas
- Independent Insurance Agents of Texas
- Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson
- Locke and Lord
- Southwest Airlines
- Texans for Lawsuit Reform
- Texas Association of Builders
- Texas Association of Health Underwriters
- Texas Association of Realtors
- Texas Chemical Council
- Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Company
- Texas Land and Title Association
- Texas Mutual Insurance
- Texas Oil & Gas Association
- TMX Finance Family of Companies
- Wholesale Beer Distributors
Vice Chairman Level
- Americans for Prosperity
- CenterPoint Energy
- Consumer Technology Association
- Guarantee Trust Life
- The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
- U.S. Chamber – Institute for Labor Reform
- Vistra Energy
Photo of Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 by Tomás Del Coro. Used under creative commons license