Common Cause Joins Over 80 Organizations Asking eBay to Leave ALEC

Posted by Jay Riestenberg on October 7, 2014


Thumbnail for ALEC campaign

Common Cause joined over 80 organizations on Tuesday in asking eBay to drop its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive corporate lobbying group.

In a letter to eBay executives, the coalition partners cited ALEC’s extreme agenda, including its denial of the impact of climate change and its opposition to net neutrality. They also complained that ALEC hides its role in writing state laws. A Common Cause complaint to the IRS challenges ALEC’s status as a nonprofit, charitable organization and asserts the group functions as a lobby for its corporate members.

“ALEC is a corporate lobby that masquerades as a charity and uses its non-profit tax status to evade lobbying disclosure laws,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “It supports a radical policy agenda that would have government ignore climate change, block localities from guaranteeing workers a living wage, and dismantle programs that offer a helping hand to victims of racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination. Ebay should join the dozens of companies that have severed ties with ALEC.”

The letter urges eBay to follow the example set by Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, International Paper, Occidental Petroleum, News Corporation, and Overstock.com, all companies that recently have announced that they have left ALEC or plan to depart soon. Additionally, Uber and Lyft, two prospective ALEC members whose representatives attended ALEC’s most recent annual meeting, told Common Cause they have no plans to join, participate, or fund ALEC.

ALEC brings state legislators and corporate lobbyists together in private, often at lavish resort hotels, to fashion legislative proposals that advance the interests of its corporate members, frequently at the expense of the general public.

Since 2011, more than 90 corporations and at least 400 state legislators have dropped their memberships in ALEC.

Organizations signing the letter to eBay include environmental, labor, religious, citizen action, and public interest groups.

The list of organizations who have signed the letter is below:

Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA)
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
American Family Voices
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Americans United for Change
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice
Boston Common Asset Management
Campaign for America's Future (CAF)
Campaign to Unload
Catholics United
Center for Effective Government
Center for Media & Democracy/ALEC Exposed
Christopher Reynolds Foundation
Climate Parents
ColorofChange.org
Common Cause
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Corporate Accountability International
CourageCampaign.org
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
CREDO Action
Democracy for America
Demos
Dignity Health
Energy Action Coalition
Environmental Defense Fund
Families USA
Forecast The Facts
Friends Fiduciary Corporation
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Global Exchange
Green Century Capital Management
Greenpeace
In The Public Interest
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Jobs With Justice
League of Conservation Voters
Midwest Coalition for Responsible investment
Money Out Voters In
Montana Environmental Information Center
MoveOn.org
National Council of Churches USA
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
National Education Association (NEA)
National Employment Law Project (NELP)
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment
PAX World Management
People For the American Way
Progress Arizona
Progress Florida
Progress Iowa
Progress Missouri
Progress Now
Progress Ohio
Progress Virginia
Public Campaign
Public Citizen
Responsible Endowments Coalition
RootsAction
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sierra Club
Sierra Student Coalition
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Social Security Works
Stand Up To ALEC
SumofUs
SustainUS
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)
United Steelworkers (USW)
US Action
We Act Radio
Wisconsin Iowa Minnesota Coalition for Responsible Investment
Working America
Zevin Asset Management

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: More Democracy Reforms

Tags: ALEC

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