I retweeted this out yesterday—that Microsoft has severed ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—but was surprised to see that the story wasn’t picked up by our local media:
Microsoft announced Tuesday that it’s cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative public-policy lobbying group. It appears this decision was made due to ALEC’s lobbing efforts to block the development of renewable energy.
Microsoft had previously been a member of ALEC’s Communications and Technology Task Force. In a statement, the company said it has halted all participation in this group.
“In 2014 Microsoft decided to no longer participate in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Communications and Technology Task Force, which had been our only previous involvement with ALEC,” the company said. “With this decision, we no longer contribute any dues to ALEC…we are no longer members of ALEC and do not provide the organization with financial support of any kind.”
Microsoft’s decision comes on the heels of other major corporations dropping membership with ALEC, including Coca-Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Proctor & Gamble. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates stopped financially supporting ALEC in 2012.
Weird. Microsoft farts, and it tends to garner front page headlines around here, but local media crickets. Yet this is actually pretty big news.
ALEC is the corporate-backed lobbying group behind such far-right-wing public policy gems as Stand Your Ground, Voter ID, and the ironically-named Freedom Foundation’s recent round of union-busting local initiatives. So it should’ve been a bit of a scandal here in progressive Microsoft country that the company was ever involved in ALEC at all. Amazon quit ALEC two years ago in the midst of shareholder protests. So you’d think Microsoft quitting ALEC would be a local news story too. Huh.
In any case, good on Microsoft for finally leaving the Koch-suckers at ALEC behind. And boo on our local media for largely ignoring the story.