Amazon Drops ALEC
Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. is dropping its affiliation with a conservative political group, in part because of some of the positions the American Legislative Exchange Council has taken, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
Amazon’s decision follows that of several major companies around the country who have announced in recent months that they are leaving ALEC. Liberal activists have led a coordinated campaign to highlight how ALEC operates and some of the controversial pieces of legislation the organization endorsed.
“Each year we evaluate all of our association memberships and we’ve decided not to renew our participation in ALEC, in part because of positions that group took on issues unrelated to our business,” said Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako. She did not have specifics on those positions.
Over in The Corner, Ian Murray is furious over Amazon dumping ALEC:
The American Legislative Exchange Council has been under a vicious, all-out assault from notorious truther Van Jones and his cadre of leftists for daring to promote the free-enterprise system and other conservative ideas. Most recently, they have targeted ALEC’s member companies through shareholder activism. Apparently they succeeded in making enough fuss at Amazon’s shareholder meeting today that that brilliant innovator has cut off its modest funding to ALEC.
This is appeasement, pure and simple. Why do they think that these attacks on free enterprise will stop with ALEC? Eventually Amazon itself will be the target. I’ve been a loyal Amazon customer for years — I have a Prime account, movies in its cloud and no fewer than four (count ’em) Kindles in my household. No more. I’m boycotting Amazon and I urge others to do the same until they restore funding for ALEC. Let them know on Twitter!
So what exactly is ALEC? Mario Loyola fills us in:
ALEC is referred to as “shady,” though it gathers in conferences that can number 1,000 attendees. It is called a lobbying group because some of the presentations are by representatives of industry. Well, I attend ALEC conferences in the hopes of propagating my own model legislation, which I write myself. It’s a bonus to be able to offer my opinion and recommend improvements to other people’s proposals. At ALEC, I represent the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and I am far more focused on what state legislators and other think tanks are doing than on what the industry groups are trying to push. But I have to admit that the presentations by some of those industry groups, for example explaining the impact of new EPA regulations, are among the most informative and sophisticated policy discussions I have ever seen anywhere. But I look at industry’s support as charitable, and I’m grateful for it — we get a lot more out of it than they do.
The Left’s inordinate susceptibility to conspiracy theory and moral indignation makes for a dangerous combination, and sometimes they do real damage to a worthy cause, a real injustice in the service of imaginary justice.
More in Loyola’s post here.
I might not personally completely stop shopping at Amazon, but I’ll probably take my business elsewhere when I find good alternatives.
(Thanks to @mtgrove for the tip)