Uber and Lyft Leave ALEC At the Curb

Uber and Lyft Leave ALEC At the Curb

Uber and Lyft are leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council

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Two of the largest ride-share companies in the United States, Uber and Lyft, have confirmed to Common Cause that they have no interest in continuing to participate in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a secretive corporate lobbying group.

Uber and Lyft were invited to ALEC’s annual meeting in Dallas in August and spoke on a panel dealing with the ride share industry. Uber even offered ALEC convention attendees a 30% discount on all rides in Dallas during the conference. Uber also was listed on ALEC’s secret 2013 prospects, published by The Guardian in December 2013.

Despite ALEC’s efforts to recruit the two growing companies to become corporate members, Lyft spokesperson Chelsea Wilson told Common Cause that the company was “not a member” and has no plans to participate or join the organization. Lane Kasselman, a spokesperson from Uber, also told Common Cause “we attended the Dallas meeting, but are not members and have no plans to participate, fund, or join the organization.”

Uber and Lyft’s confirmation that they have no plans in joining ALEC adds another blow to the organization, as several technology corporations have announced they are cutting ties with ALEC this week. Google announced that it had left ALEC on Monday, after Chairman Eric Schmidt said the organization is “lying” about climate change and funding them was a mistake. Facebook soon announced the company was unlikely to renew its ALEC membership, and Yelp confirmed to Common Cause on Wednesday that it had left the organization months ago. Just last night, Yahoo told Common Cause that it was leaving ALEC, after the organization had confirmed its membership earlier in the week. Microsoft also left ALEC last month.

Pressure on other tech companies, such as AOL and eBay, continues as controversy surrounds ALEC’s extreme agenda, including the denial of climate change and opposition to net neutrality, and its secretive lobbying operations. Common Cause has filed a “whistleblower” complaint against ALEC with the IRS, accusing the organization of masquerading as a charity while functioning as a corporate lobby.