Walmart quits ALEC

/ 31 May 2012 / jennifer

Joan McCarter, Daily Kos staff, May 31, 2012 –

alec logo

Ouch. For the American Legislative Council (ALEC), that is.

(Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s No. 1 retailer and the biggest seller of firearms in the United States, is dropping out of a U.S. conservative advocacy group that has been a lightning rod over voting and gun laws.Wal-Mart said late Wednesday it is suspending membership in the American Legislative Council (ALEC), which the retailer joined in 1993. […]

“Previously, we expressed our concerns about ALEC’s decision to weigh in on issues that stray from its core mission ‘to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets,’” Maggie Sans, Wal-Mart vice president of public affairs and government relations, said in a May 30 letter addressed to ALEC’s national chairman and executive director.

“We feel that the divide between these activities and our purpose as a business has become too wide. To that end, we are suspending our membership in ALEC.”

That’s a big fucking deal. A statement like that, so specific and so public in condemning ALEC’s far-right efforts, coming from Walmart, will do serious damage to the organization. With a defection this big, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see ALEC have to restructure and become something else. It’s not realistic to think that these people, and the Koch funding that fuels them, will go away entirely, but ALEC as an entity might have reached the end of its tether.