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To date, at least four 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, Kraft Foods and Intuit made the announcements in recent days amid mounting criticism over ALEC's backing of voter suppression and "Stand Your Ground" gun laws, which have been implicated in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
Progress Missouri is urging legislators to terminate their ALEC affiliations as well. Known ALEC members and supporters in the Missouri Capitol have included:
Progress Missouri’s research has shown the effect of ALEC -- which allows large corporations to write big-business friendly bills and helps legislators advance this legislation on the state level -- on Missouri’s political system. Numerous bills introduced in the General Assembly are directly traceable to ALEC and thousands of dollars of taxpayer money have been spent sending legislators to ALEC junkets.
"The more we learn about ALEC and its detrimental effect on Missouri’s public policy, the more obvious it becomes that there's no excuse for Missouri lawmakers and taxpayer dollars continued involvement in the organization," said Sean Soendker Nicholson, Progress Missouri’s Executive Director. "The fact that Coke, Pepsi, Kraft and Intuit have left ALEC speaks volumes to how toxic the group has become. It's time for Missouri's ALEC members to follow suit."