McDonalds said Tuesday that it would not renew its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council, making it the fifth major sponsor to drop its support this month.
"While [we] were a member of ALEC in 2011, we evaluate all professional memberships annually and made the business decision not to renew in 2012," Ashlee Yingling, a McDonald's spokeswoman, told Mother Jones.
The conservative organization, better known simply as ALEC, drafts model bills for legislators and has been a driving force behind voter ID laws, business-friendly tort reforms, Arizona’s controversial immigration law, and efforts to privatize public education.
Despite its influence, the group received little scrutiny until recently, when organizations like Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Color of Change, Common Cause and others began a campaign to publicly expose companies who supported ALEC.
"Good corporate citizens like McDonald's should be commended for putting the needs of their consumers ahead of a secretive, corporate-backed organization that works in every state house in the nation to advance legislation that puts corporate profit ahead of the public interest,” Common Cause President Bob Edgar said, calling for other companies to follow suit.
Last week, Kraft Foods Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and Intuit Inc. announced they would no longer support the organization. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation vowed to withdraw financial support on Monday. Pepsi dropped out of ALEC in January.
The large coalition of groups has since turned its attention to ALEC members State Farm, Johnson & Johnson, and AT&T.