Coalition Letter to EBay regarding ALEC membership

October 7, 2014

eBay Inc.
2065 Hamilton Avenue
San Jose, California 95125


John Donahoe, President and CEO, eBay Inc.
Pierre M. Omidyar, Chairman and Founder, eBay Inc.
Michael Jacobson, Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs, General Council, and Secretary, eBay Inc.
Alan Marks, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, eBay Inc.
Robert Swan, Senior Vice President, Finance and CFO, eBay Inc.
Tod Cohen, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel - Government Relations, eBay Inc.

We are writing to ask you to end your affiliation with the American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC.

Over the last few weeks, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Yahoo! have ended their ALEC membership because of their concerns about the harmful role ALEC has played in our democratic process. This includes concerns with ALEC’s policy stands, its secretive practices, and its effort to treat what most people consider a lobbying operation as “charitable” activity. This last concern has generated at least three separate complaints to the Internal Revenue Service that contributions to ALEC should not in fact be treated as tax deductible.

The public knows that the ALEC operation—which brings state legislators and corporate lobbyists behind closed doors to discuss proposed legislation and share lavish dinners—threatens our democracy. The public is asking eBay to stop participating in this scheme.

In August, Microsoft Corporation ended its affiliation with ALEC. Google followed shortly after, with Google Chairman Eric Schmidt stating on The Diane Rehm Show regarding ALEC’s views on climate change, “We should not be aligned with such people – they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”  Just days later, Facebook announced that the corporation would likely end their affiliation with ALEC, and Yelp announced it had ended its ALEC membership months ago. The recent exodus of technology corporations was in part due to concerns over ALEC’s extreme views; that extreme agenda includes denying the science of climate change, defunding public services, curtailing workers’ rights and opposing net neutrality.

During their recent meetings in Dallas, ALEC officers and corporate lobbyists held training seminars to teach legislators how to block legislation that encourages clean energy solutions. Just last month, ALEC wrote a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in support of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger in which they signal their opposition to net neutrality.

The undersigned organizations have varying opinions on these issues, but we all know that eBay has been a leader in the fight to protect net neutrality and investing in clean energy alternatives. Yet eBay has not heeded requests to reevaluate your membership in ALEC, despite the fact that ALEC’s agenda is severely out of step with your corporate culture.

We, the undersigned organizations, believe that in the spirit of your organization’s priorities and in the spirit of what is best for the American public: it is time for eBay to end its membership in ALEC.


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
Common Cause
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Corporate Accountability International
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
CREDO Action
Democracy for America
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
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
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
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
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

READ: Coalition Letter to EBay regarding ALEC membership

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