Earlier today, McDonald’s revealed that it has broken ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that was recently ditched by Kraft, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Intuit, and the Gates Foundation:
The fast food giant tells Mother Jones that it recently decided to cut ties with ALEC, the corporate-backed group that drafts pro-free-market legislation for state lawmakers around the country. “While [we] were a member of ALEC in 2011, we evaluate all professional memberships annually and made the business decision not to renew in 2012,” Ashlee Yingling, a McDonald’s spokeswoman, wrote in an email. Yingling didn’t mention any specific campaign or outside pressure as playing a role in the company’s decision to leave ALEC. . . .
McDonald’s sought to clarify its relationship with ALEC after a coalition of progressive groups with members in all 50 states, including Common Cause and Color of Change, announced plans on Tuesday to target McDonald’s for its ongoing membership in ALEC. Rashad Robinson, Color of Change’s executive director, said groups in the coalition were “flooding” McDonald’s, Johnson and Johnson, and State Farm with phone calls demanding they stop backing ALEC.
It’s worth noting that McDonald’s most recent statement is a sharp break from their position just over a month ago. In a February 29 letter to Robinson, McDonald’s said that it remained a member of ALEC — although it disclaimed involvement with ALEC’s model Voter ID legislation which disenfranchises thousands of poor, minority and elderly voters.
Nevertheless, McDonald’s apparent withdraw from ALEC is welcome, even if it is a very recent development. Beyond working to strip the franchise from many Americans, ALEC is also a leading backer of the kind of “stand your ground” laws that may enable Trayvon Martin’s shooter to escape justice. McDonald’s recent claim that it is the sixth ALEC backer to withdraw its support shows that the organization is fast becoming too toxic for companies that want to do business with the very kind of people ALEC harms.