Wal-Mart’s recent decision to drop its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council is a milestone in the remarkable effort to drive a wedge between ALEC and the large corporations that have used the organization to promote their self-serving policy agenda at the state level.
At least 18 companies are reported to have cuts ties to ALEC in the face of a pressure campaign which has ben spearheaded by groups such as Color of Change, Common Cause, People for the American Way and the Center for Media and Democracy.
The campaign — which has also prevailed against the likes of Amazon.com, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble — is already one of the most successful corporate accountability initiatives ever undertaken, and more wins are likely to occur. Yet there are also high hurdles to overcome.
Those companies that have succumbed to the anti-ALEC pressure are pretty much all consumer products firms concerned about the possibility of boycotts by customers outraged at ALEC’s role in promoting “stand your ground” laws like the one in Florida at the center of the controversy over the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
A decisive win against ALEC will require splitting off a much larger portion of ALEC’s sizeable corporate membership, including companies that are not fazed by consumer unrest. Quite a few firms of this sort are represented on ALEC’s Private Enterprise Board, whose membership roll reads like a rogue’s gallery of corporate irresponsibility.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars has issued a "call to action" to its 2 million members, according to this Military.com article, asking them to plead with Congress to spare military and veterans benefits as a bipartisan committee looks to trim $1.2 trillion from the federal budget.
Why soldiers have to beg their own government to keep its promises is another story. One that begins and ends with its apparent takeover in a bloodless coup d'etat by business leaders with a legal obligation to maximize profits. These business interests are raiding the federal treasury every chance they get and creating regulations that help the few and hurt the many, while dodging their fair share of taxes.
The painful truth is that military service is about as pure an example of socialist activity as you're going to find anywhere in the U.S. - soldiers literally put their individual needs second to those of the many. They risk their lives for the greater good, not for the money they may never get to spend.That heroic attitude is diametrically opposed to the "greed is good" mantra of savage capitalists like the Koch Brothers, who are strictly out for themselves.