noun, plural ol·i·gar·chies.
1. a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
2. a state or organization so ruled.
3. the persons or class so ruling.
Now that you’re familiar with ALEC (and if you’re not, read this), you might be curious as to its corporate members. When organizing to change legislation, to influence policy decisions, or even simply to build cadre, it’s important to be specific. Yes, ALEC is a giant octopus that we may never have comprehensive knowledge of, some things can be deduced by simple internet searches. A trip to the library also awaits. In the meantime, here are some sources for lists of corporate members of ALEC, just to get started:
- Task Force members as of July 2011, from Common Cause
- Wikipedia list of members (scroll down)
- List of Task Forces on ALEC website
- ALEC’s IRS audit
Granted, the full list of current corporate members is unknown (listing them would violate their Constitutional rights of speech and free association, say Conservatives*), but we can assume with some degree of certainty that any openly Right-wing company is in some way involved. Cracker Barrel, for example, is included in the first list linked above. They are also included in Alternet’s short list of 5 food companies run by radical right-wingers. No surprise there.
And then, of course, there are a bunch of oil companies and banks, who we know run everything in this country anyway, ALEC or no ALEC. But ALEC is of particular importance because they draft the bills like the one passed by the Texas legislature this summer. As we continue building a feminist movement, we might want to entertain the time-honored tradition of hitting people in the pocket book. Could calling out, boycotting, or pressuring corporate members of ALEC be a viable strategy as we move forward?
* Linda Upmeyer asks in the Chicago Tribune: “Are we upholding the ideals of the Constitution if we tolerate the liberal senator using his position to stifle the speech of a free-market nonprofit he disagrees with?” HA.