Sign On Letter to Google Regarding ALEC Membership

September 3, 2014



Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

To:

Larry Page, CEO and Co-Founder
Eric E. Schmidt, Executive Chairman
Sergey Brin, Co-Founder and Board Member
David C. Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
Patrick Pichette, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Craig Barratt, Senior Vice President, Access and Energy
Kent Walker, Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Rachel Whetstone, Senior Vice President, Communications and Policy

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

Over the last year, hundreds of thousands of Americans have signed petitions asking Google to end its 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 Google to stop participating in this scheme.

Just a few weeks ago, Microsoft Corporation ended its affiliation with ALEC. This extraordinary measure was due to concerns over ALEC’s extreme views; that extreme agenda include denying climate change, defunding public services, curtailing labor 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 this past week, 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 Google has been a leader in the fight to protect net neutrality and investing in clean energy alternatives. Yet Google has not heeded requests—even at the company’s shareholder meetings this year— to reevaluate your membership in ALEC, despite the fact that ALEC’s agenda is severely out of step with your corporate culture.

Google’s corporate motto is “Don’t Be Evil.” We, the undersigned organizations, believe that in the spirit of that motto, in the spirit of what Google purports to be, and in the spirit of what is best for the American public: it is time for Google to end its membership in ALEC.

Sincerely,

American Family Voices
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Americans United for Change
Alliance for Retired Americans
Center for Effective Government
Center for Media and Democracy/ALECExposed
Christopher Reynolds Foundation
Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Climate Parents
ColorofChange.org
Common Cause
Communication Workers of America (CWA)
Courage Campaign
CREDO Action
Democracy for America
Demos
Energy Action Coalition
Forecast the Facts
Free Press
Friends Fiduciary Corporation
Good Jobs First
Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, U.S.A.
In the Public Interest
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
Jobs With Justice
League of Conservation Voters
Money Out Voters In (MOVI)
Montana Environmental Information Center
MoveOn
New Energy Economy
Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment
People For the American Way
Progress Now
Progress Florida
Progress Missouri
Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order Milwaukee
Public Campaign
Public Citizen
RootsAction
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sierra Club
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Share Action
Social Security Works
Stand Up to ALEC
SumOfUs
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)
United Steelworkers (USW)
USAction
We Act Radio
Working America
Zevin Asset Management

READ: Sign On Letter to Google Regarding ALEC Membership


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