Amazon.com, the massive online retailer, has become the 18th company to leave the controversial legislative group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to Think Progress. In spite of pressure from right-wing websites like Michelle Malkin.com, Breitbart.com and Newsbusters, the company has joined other organizations like PepsiCo, State Farm Insurance and Yum! Brands, which have parted ways with ALEC, thanks in no small part to an awareness campaign by the advocacy group Color of Change.
Businesses associated with ALEC have decided in droves not to attempt to weather the political fallout of being identified as members of a group that backs voter suppression efforts and dubious gun laws like Florida's "Stand Your Ground" ordinance. "Stand Your Ground," a measure expanding the definition of justifiable force, is the law which has been cited by defense lawyers for George Zimmerman, Jr., the former neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in February. In spite of the controversy, the law remains popular with voters.
As members began their exodus, ALEC announced that it would be eliminating its gun law and voter ID task force. Think Progress reports, however, that "the conservative group remains committed to other priorities such as repealing minimum wage laws, eliminating capital gains and estate taxes, and blocking safeguards that protect children from eating rat poison."
Malkin's plea to "conservative consumers" to "stand their ground" can be read almost as a tribute to the success of the progressive campaign against ALEC. "Color of Change’s corporate appeasers," she wrote, "include McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars Inc., Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, Intuit, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Reed Elsevier (owner of LexisNexis), American Traffic Solutions and Arizona Public Service. This week, Robinson also claimed that Yum Brands and Procter and Gamble had dropped their memberships as a result of “hundreds” of Color of Change phone calls."
(image of Michelle Malkin via Fox News screen grab)