Rebekah Wilce's News Articles

Medtronic is 17th Corporation to Dump ALEC

A Medtronic spokesperson told CMD that Medtronic did not renew its ALEC membership in October 2010. Medtronic is the world's largest medical technology company, specializing in biomedical devices that get implanted in the body. It had almost $15 billion in sales in 2011.

ALEC documents obtained and released by Common Cause list three Medtronic representatives on ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force as of June and March 2011, as well as in October 2010. In October 2011, Medtronic posted a job opening for a Government Affairs Director that would "participate in and support corporate SGA efforts with select national bodies of state legislators, including ALEC" (emphasis added).

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Is an ALEC Member

With Fox personalities defending the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Wall Street Journal publishing editorials criticizing its detractors (including the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), by name), some have wondered whether or not Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and many broadcast licenses, is an ALEC member.

Yes, News Corp. is an ALEC member. It has funded ALEC operations. 16th Corporation to Dump ALEC General Counsel Michelle Wilson announced at a shareholder meeting in Seattle this morning that Amazon has decided not to renew its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) this year. Dave Johnson, a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, is reporting from the shareholder meeting and confirmed to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that he heard the announcement.

Members of, CREDO Mobile, People for the American Way, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, SumOfUs, and Fuse Washington carried a petition to the shareholder meeting containing over 500,000 signatures and calling on and other corporations to stop funding ALEC. According to, organizational representatives tried to deliver the petition signatures to the meeting but were turned away.

Scantron 15th Corporation to Dump ALEC

Scantron Corporation, a $200 million for-profit educational testing and online tutoring company that makes, among other things, those ubiquitous scan forms for standardized tests (please make sure you fill in the bubble completely and clearly with a #2 pencil, etc.), joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) late in 2010, but a company spokesperson told CMD that it is no longer a member. Scantron's departure makes it the 15th corporation to cut ties with ALEC.

Media Coverage of Mad Cow: USDA Calls "Misleading," Columbia Journalism Review Calls "Sane"

A downer cow at a California dairy was recently found to be infected with an "atypical" strain of "bovine spongiform encephalopathy" (BSE), or "mad cow" disease. There has been some significant media coverage of the case, and the USDA wants the media to know they are not pleased.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press secretary, Courtney Rowe, issued a memo saying there were an, "unfortunate amount of misleading articles meant for our public."

Syngenta Celebrates Earth Day by Ladling on the Pesticides

Herbicide manufacturer Syngenta had an interesting way of celebrating Earth Day this year, touting the joys of pesticides.

The multinational conglomerate sent out a press release during the approach to Earth Day exclaiming that "modern farming is grounds for Earth Day celebration" because, it continues, "conservation tillage and no-till farming are responsible for significant environmental benefits often overlooked by Earth Day observers." These "no-till" farming techniques, which reduce erosion and fuel use, depend "on the ability to control weeds, demonstrating the importance of the 50-year-old herbicide atrazine."

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Cuts Ties to ALEC

The national certifying body for teachers in the United States, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), participated in the Education Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) until April 2012. In an official statement sent to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) today, NBPTS spokesperson Brian Lewis said, "Given recent events, the new NBPTS President and CEO decided to discontinue engagement with ALEC. As a result, NBPTS terminated its membership as an Education Task Force Member of ALEC effective April 18, 2012, and also withdrew from participating in the upcoming ALEC conference. ... The decision to participate in ALEC had been made by previous NBPTS leadership."

For-Profit Education Firm Kaplan Is 14th Company to Dump ALEC

Kaplan, a for-profit education, tutoring, and testing empire that is the largest division of the $4 billion Washington Post Company, recently told the Republic Report (RR) that Kaplan's for-profit college division "was a member of ALEC for a one year period, which ended in August 2011." Kaplan's membership in ALEC's Education Task Force is documented in task force agendas and materials obtained by Common Cause and publicly released yesterday.

Procter & Gamble 13th Firm to Dump ALEC

Procter & Gamble, the $82.5 billion-a-year maker of many familiar brands of household products such as Bounty, Charmin, Pepto-Bismol, and Pantene, announced that it has decided not to renew its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Former ALEC Supporters Now Find Connection Toxic

With thousands of consumers expressing their concerns about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to corporations across America, even former supporters of ALEC are feeling the heat, and some are rushing to distance themselves from the organization. YUM! Brands (owners of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut) became the 12th corporate member of ALEC to announce it is leaving the organization yesterday.

Syndicate content