Monday, April 9, 2012

Corporate sponsors quit ALEC; Keystone Progress urges PA legislators to do the same

[UPDATE: Wendy's drops ALEC]
[UPDATE: McDonald's drops ALEC]
[UPDATE: Bill and Melinda Gates foundation drops ALEC]
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit leave corporate front group over controversial stands

(Harrisburg, PA)In the past few days, major corporate sponsors of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have indicated they will not renew their memberships to the controversial conservative organization. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Intuit and Kraft Foods announced their departure amid mounting criticism over ALEC's backing of "Stand Your Ground" gun laws, which have been implicated in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Keystone Progress is now urging Pennsylvania legislators to follow suit and terminate their ALEC memberships.

These known ALEC members include: 
·         GOP House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (whose participation in ALEC is paid by state taxpayers)
·         GOP House Majority Caucus Chair Sandra Major
·         GOP House Caucus Administrator Dick Stevenson
·         GOP House Judiciary Chair Ronald Marsico
·         GOP House State Government Chair Daryl Metcalfe
·         GOP Senate Majority Caucus Secretary Robert Robbins
·         GOP Senate Judiciary Chair Stewart Greenleaf
·         And GOP Chairs of numerous committees, including Representatives Matthew Baker (Health), Stephen Barrar (Veterans Affairs), Paul Clymer (Educational), John Evans (Game & Fisheries), Robert Godshall (Consumer Affairs), Kate Harper (Ethics), Dick Hess (Commerce), Ronald Miller (Labor & Industry) and Senators Charles McIlhinney (State Government), Jeffrey Piccola (Education), John Pippy (Law & Justice)
·         Rep. John Evans (R- Crawford, Erie) currently serves as ALEC’s PA chair.
  • See below for more PA ALEC members

ALEC is behind the efforts in Pennsylvania to pass bills that strip away union rights, scale back child labor laws, attack the regulation power of environmental agencies, suppress voter rights with strict identification requirements, eliminate the social safety net, and privatize public services.

 ALEC has written many bills for PA legislators, which have been introduced verbatim into the General Assembly. They not only have written the bills, but are frequently invited to testify on behalf of those bills once they are introduced in Pennsylvania. This model of spoon feeding legislators is a corruption of representative, open government and is an abrogation of duty on the part of our elected legislators.

Last year’s expansion of the “Castle Doctrine,” also known as “Stand Your Ground,” is modeled after ALEC’s sample bill. Laws like these have been widely criticized for promoting the sort of "vigilante justice" mindset that contributed to Martin's death.

"ALEC is not just another public policy organization, it is a front group for some of the most radical and dangerous legislation,” said Michael Morrill, executive director of Keystone Progress. “With such a proven negative track record of effect on our public policy, there's no excuse for Pennsylvania legislators to continue their involvement in the organization. These legislators should take the lead of Pepsi, Coke, Kraft and Intel and quit ALEC now.

Other PA ALEC Legislators:

  • Rep. William Adolph (R, Delaware)
  • Rep. Karen Boback (R, Columbia, Luzerne, Wyoming)
  • Rep. Scott Boyd           (R, Lancaster)
  • Rep. Jim Cox (R, Berks)
  • Rep. Gary Day (R, Berks, Lehigh)
  • Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R, Cumberland)
  • Rep. Matthew Gabler (R, Clearfield, Elk)
  • Rep. Richard Geist (R, Blair)
  • Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R, Lebanon)
  • Rep. Glen Grell (R, Cumberland)
  • Rep. Seth Grove           (R, York)
  • Rep. Marcia Hahn (R, Northampton)
  • Rep. Sue Helm (R, Dauphin)
  • Rep. Scott Hutchinson (R, Butler, Venango)
  • Rep. Thomas Killion (R, Chester, Delaware)
  • Rep. Jerry Knowles (R, Berks, Schuylkill)
  • Rep. Nick Kotik (D, Allegheny)
  • Rep. Mark Mustio (R, Allegheny)
  • Rep. Tina Pickett (R, Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna)
  • Rep. Kathy Rapp (R, Forest, McKean Warren)
  • Rep. Harry Readhsaw (D, Allegheny)
  • Rep. Stan Saylor (R, York)
  • Rep. Curtis Schroder (R, Chester, Delaware)
  • Rep. William Todd Stephens (R, Montgomery)
  • Rep. Jerry Stern            (R,Blair)
  • Rep. John Taylor (R, Philadelphia)
  • Rep. Marcy Toepel (R, Montgomery)
  • Rep. Tarah Toohil (R, Luzerne)
  • Sen. Leanna Washington, (D, Montgomery, Philadelphia) (Sen. Washington denies ever having been a member of ALEC.  We could find no independent verification of her ever having been a member.)

For more information:
·  Behind Closed Doors: The American Legislative Exchange Council and Pennsylvania Legislation , Keystone Progress, August 2, 2011

Keystone Progress is Pennsylvania’s largest online progressive organization, with over 270,000 subscribers.  KP uses the internet and new media to organize online at the state and local level; and utilizes cutting-edge earned media strategies to promote a progressive agenda and counter right-wing misinformation.  

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