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Coca Cola Has No Business Writing Our State Laws! Why Is Coca-Cola On the Board Of ALEC?

Updated on June 11, 2011

The Magic Of Coke On College Campuses!

I Can't Buy Coca-Cola Products Anymore! Neither Should College Students!

Why is Coca-Cola sitting on the board of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council? Why is a beverage company helping ALEC write laws that disenfranchises voters? Especially college students? When did Coca-Cola decide to branch out and assist ALEC to author legislation that attempts to destroy environmental protections? How could Coca-Cola think that America would idly sit by and allow them to partner with a 'shadow' conservative think tank that seeks to strip workers of collective bargaining rights? Coca-Cola showed a conscience when they pulled their ads supporting the Glenn Beck Show. Is that where their conscience ends? I hope not.

I like Diet Coke and Dasani water, but I can no longer buy anything sold by Coca-Cola, until they renounce their affiliation and partnership with ALEC. Coca-Cola contributes to many political candidates on both sides of the political aisle, but after a review of their most recent chart, I find that their listed contributions to conservative candidates far outweighs their contributions to the other party. That is their right. They can support any candidates they desire. But, I contend that they should not be a sitting board member on the ALEC Private Enterprise Board. ALEC writes the laws that appear in state legislatures throughout the country. When I drink a Diet Coke, I don't want any company's lobbyists writing my laws.

Why Coca-Cola? Most times, we do not have an opportunity to even know who sponsors these laws, much less take action to punish the offenders. While there are many corporations sitting on the Board at ALEC, I use Coca-Cola products, so I have the power to use my dollars to speak for me. Let's start with them and branch out from there. Show them that we have some 'magic'!

As I pointed out in a recent article, "ALEC is responsible for writing the following legislation that is either pending or passed in state houses across the country:

  • Voter ID bills being passed that tighten registration requirements and disenfranchise up to 20 million voters. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, over 20 million will be disenfranchised by the new laws. They are mainly students, the elderly, the poor and the disabled.
  • The bills that have assaulted and destroyed collective bargaining rights in states such as Wisconsin and Michigan. ALEC stands behind laws that would roll-back employee protections, worker's compensation and even do away with the minimum wage.
  • The bills that eliminate pension plans and turn them into 401K's.
  • The bills designed to overturn the Affordable Care Act. ALEC offers each state a "Guide to Repealing Obamacare".
  • The bills that eliminate environmental protections. Not only are the bills already written(ALEC says they have 15 model bills), the state legislators can work with ALEC's task force to launch an all out assault on EPA rules and regulations.
  • The bills that lower corporate tax rates. In fact, to assist in this effort, ALEC has written the "State Budget Reform Tool Kit". It is a must have for states that want to lower taxes for the wealthy and raise taxes for the middle class and poor.
  • The bills that strip education of funding and decimate local control of schools.

This list could go on and on. It includes prison reform legislation, legislation designed to "protect innocent corporations from liability for asbestos poisoning", how states can effectively market pharmaceuticals, as well as "how to privatize" almost every sector of government, along with instructions on how to frame the bills to make them sound as advantageous as possible."

I am opposed to every piece of legislation pointed out above, so my dollars will not go to support a company that has values that appear to be diametrically opposed to mine.

Why would Coca-Cola partner with ALEC to make voting by students more difficult? Coca-Cola sells their products on virtually every college campus in this country. Does Coca-Cola really think that if students knew this, that they would support these efforts? Would students continue to buy their products? I think not! In fact, I challenge college students affected by these new laws to join in a boycott of all Coca-Cola products!

As of February, 2011, 43 colleges and universities in the United States were boycotting Coca-Cola products because of their anti-union stance. It is becoming common knowledge on many college campuses that Coca-Cola has become a partner in the legislation that restricts voting.

ALEC has also been responsible for providing model legislation that tightens immigration requirements, similar to Arizona's 'Papers Please' Law. Arizona Hispanic Republicans has called for a boycott of Coca-Cola products because of their involvement with ALEC. They point out that Hispanics buy millions of dollars in Coca-Cola products annually.

ALEC Wrote The Laws Restricting Voting! Why Is Coca-Cola Helping Them?


Coca-Cola Going To School And Helping To Restrict Student Voting At The Same Time?

Coca-Cola contributes alot of money to local school board elections nationwide. Why? Because they want exclusive marketing contracts to provide their products in colleges, high schools and middle schools. Right now, according to Mary Furness, they are seeking an exclusive contract in Springfield, Missouri schools. Link to the article: . These stories are replayed daily throughout the country. Schools are big business for Coca-Cola. They know that schools are all clamoring for funds, and there, like Johnny-on-the-Spot, the Coca-Cola Company comes running to the rescue.

As early as 1999, Coca-Cola has gone to school more than most students. Coke is there everyday, while even the best of students sometimes miss a day or two. In a 1999 article by Anna White, from the Multinational Monitor, she quotes Scott Jabobson, Coca-Cola spokesperson, " Kids and teachers who spend hour after hour in school get thirsty. Everytime they consume a beverage brought from home, it's a lost revenue opportunity for the school. So it's kind of a 'win win win'. It's good for us. Good for people who are thirsty who want our products. Good for schools." Link to the entire article at: Yes, there are newer articles, but this clearly demonstrates that the marketing approach of Coca-Cola has remained constant all of these years.

So, Coca-Cola wants American students to consume their products, but works with and sits on the Private Enterprise Board of ALEC; the same organization that is responsible for the restrictive Voter ID laws that disproportionately affect those same Coca-Cola drinking students.

Coca-Cola supports the Freedom Project, the Center For Consumer Freedom, the Illinois Beverage Association, The Every Republican Is Crucial PAC and many, many more organizations that refuse to state their members. According to SourceWatch, Coca-Cola spends $5 Million dollars per year on lobbying efforts.

Per SourceWatch, the company owns:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Diet Coke
  • Fanta
  • Sprite
  • Minute Maid
  • Powerade
  • Dasani

If Coca-Cola Cares About The Environment, Why Work With ALEC To Destroy It?

Coca-Cola's own website states that they promote environmental protections, yet ALEC promotes deregulation in regards to environmental protections. In fact, ALEC has a task force designed to circumvent the EPA and its regulations. This would seem to be a contradiciton. Publicly stating that you support, clean air, safe food and beverages, while at the same time, working behind the scenes with 'shadow' organizations that promote the exact opposite is terrific, if you can get away with it. The corporate face of America is a face that can lie without showing any expression of guilt.

At Present, Coca-Cola Has No Response!

I have submitted a query to Coca-Cola. They as, of yet, have been unresponsive with answers. Part of the email is as follows:

"I would like to know why Coca-Cola sits on the board of ALEC? ALEC is responsible for the current glut of Voter ID laws that are being passed by GOP controlled states. These laws stand to disenfranchise up to as many as 20 million voters, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, especially college students. Millions of college students buy Coca-Cola products.

Almost all of ALEC's legislation with regards to environmental protections are designed to destroy the EPA. Why would Coca-Cola sponsor legislation like this?

I am writing a second article that will highlight Coca-Cola's membership in ALEC. Hopefully, you will comment regarding the questions I have posed."

If they respond, I will offer space in a revision.

I also offered the link to my first article.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Anne Fountain 

    6 years ago

    Only consumer backlash will make them change. Some creative student should post a YouTube about this.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    7 years ago from California, USA


    You may do whatever you like! Coca-Cola is in bed with all the states through their schools, concession stands at public sporting fields, etc. I think it is unacceptable to have corporations writing our state laws!

    Why even have 'elected lawmakers'? Let the corporations take over the entire govt...Sounds like that is what you would prefer, so have fun with that!

  • American Romance profile image

    American Romance 

    7 years ago from America

    Soooo as a conservative I should stop purchasing microsoft? Not purchase stock from George Zoros? Or not watch Hollywood movies any longer? Coca Cola announced huge earnings just today! due their earnings the stock market is up 179 points! They are opening two new plants in Puerto Rico due to a new conservative governor that is helping the entire state to get back to work! Maybe if Coke got in bed with the failing state of California you would be happy! hahahhehehehohhohohoohoh! voted DOWN!

  • Joe Bricky profile image

    Joe Bricky 

    7 years ago from Northern Nevada

    Very informative. Thank you.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    7 years ago from California, USA

    Thank you, Random Thoughts,

    I just finished reading your article on mental illness. Very enlightening!

    As for Coca-Cola, they are like Monsanto, in a way. They want to own the beverage industry. Statistics say they are number one, and now they are attempting to influence laws. I think it is outrageous!

  • RandomThoughts... profile image


    7 years ago from Washington

    Add to the list of reasons Coke should be banned. I did not realize this company was highly involved. I must say, I am not surprised. I have researched a few big corps that have their hands all over government( Monsanto, for instance). Big corp, big money and power. I wrote a hub on Monsanto who wants to patent and own all the food in the world...they are on their way. Thanks for the info...Up, Useful, Awesome. Keep it up

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    7 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Phoebe,

    I went to college long ago, but your profile says that you attend now. If you are in one of the affected states, please make sure that you know of any new laws that may affect your ability to vote. Regardless of political beliefs, we should never be blocked access from our right to make our voices heard.

  • profile image

    Phoebe Pike 

    7 years ago

    Another reason to never drink Coke.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    7 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Richard,

    What a way with words! Urinate against the wind? Sounds pretty bad! I have a feeling that is exactly what I may be doing, but I have to try!

    November 22, 1963 was a day I will never forget! I was a 5th grader and in school, at the time. I cried for a week. Just months before, I had seen President Kennedy, and I swear, he waved at me!

    This country seems to have lost any compass, much less a moral one. People voting against their own interests? Voting against each is incomprehensible to me.

    Thank you, Richard. Please consider writing an article re: this subject. Maybe if we all urinate against the wind, we can change its course...

  • profile image

    Richard Sirota 

    7 years ago

    I am only marginally surprised by these facts although greatly bothered. Students these days seem less concerned with the future; theirs or anyone elses so I don't think they would necessarily give up drinking their beverage of choice especially if it's a soft drink. Now if Budweiser were to be pulling these atrocities theymight join in a boycott.

    The elderly, while representing a major voting block in this country, are a perishable commodity. Corporations and government tend to write them off in favor of the new, the young, and the fresh. Youth culture in America is a major force in business and advertising.

    The voters in this country are pretty well evenly divided but as long as there are potential "enemies to the throne" any attempt to keep the usurpers from the polls is a good one. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to these tactics as, with age, it becomes harder to get to the polls in the first place. Seniors usually vote Democrat and such must be prevented, wherever possible, form participation.

    Collective bargaining, long seen as an evil and a roadblock to the unbridled avarice of the Carnegies, the Rockerfellers, DuPonts and the like. It is always in the interest of business to have and maintain the upper hand, not necessarily the higher ground.

    I could go on but that would be a blog unto itself. Suffice it to say I began to lose my faith in this country's "moral compass begining on November 22nd 1963.

    Very good article, very good points, and well written. I admire anyone with the courage to urinate against the wind. Give 'em hell Sister.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    7 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Peter,

    I always thought I was in the game. I read, watched the news, etc, but was too busy raising 3 kids, I guess! Now I am actually doing in depth research and it is amazing! The research takes me from one corrupr corporation to the next. They are all so interconnected, it is like incest.

    As for Sarah? She makes me sick! She msy hsve hated corporate 'monsters' when she was poor and unknown, but she has a love for money, and a penchant for revenge! Folksy, my ass! She is as fake as a three dollar bill! And she knows nothing! As you said before, "Stupid is as stupid does!"

    Dear Phoebe Pike,

    Good Sunday Morning! I just read your article titled, My Crude Solution For America!

    I am happy to meet you! It is scary and it is all true!

  • profile image

    Phoebe Pike 

    7 years ago

    Wow. That's really scary stuff

  • PETER LUMETTA profile image


    7 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

    Jillian, Jillian, Jillian, You just got in the game late, we can't win we're without power. The Congress and the Supreme Court gave it all to the Corporations a while a go. Maybe Sarah will save us, she is so downhome and folksy she won't let those corporate monsters take our country from us will she? HA! LOL, Peter

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    7 years ago from California, USA

    Dear junko,

    And they will not be happy until they have it all--what will they do once they have ALL the money? Then we will see them fight each other...

    The older I get, the more I am convinced that it is all a game. We just happen to be the losers. Who knew, that at the beginning of this real life game of Monopoly, it was inevitable that we, the people, were destined to be the losers?

    Wall Street and big business are dealing to us from the bottom of a stacked deck! Everyone knows that the dealer always wins!

  • junko profile image


    7 years ago

    I'm not surprise about Coke either, they are one of many corporations who buy stock in the control of America. For years most of us was too busy working and struggling to make a living, and didn't have time to pay attention. Now a lot of people are unemployed and idle, they now wonder , what happened? They now wonder who took away America and the Americans Dream? The answer is Big Business and Wall Street.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    7 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Neil,

    Isn't it a shame that it has been able to get this far!

    I have been around for awhile, and I feel like my ignorance has contributed. Think they bank on us being to busy, struggling to make a living, raising our families, etc. to pay attemtion...

    Thanks, Neil!

  • Neil Sperling profile image

    Neil Sperling 

    7 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

    Real Simple - the few world billionaires up till now control all governments every country all over the globe.... but change is taking place.... inch by inch we will get back to zero and start again.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    7 years ago from California, USA

    Thanks, Fay!

    Just can't understand why they would take part in this effort to disenfranchise their customer base?

    Well, I understand, but can't tolerate it.

    You are right. We have a government that is owned, operated and controlled by corporations...Is that what a democracy really is?

  • profile image

    Fay Paxton 

    7 years ago

    This is just disgusting, but doesn't at all surprise me. Corporations run the Congress and the country. It makes me feel good that I don't use any of the Coca-Cola products you mentioned. I'm a Pepsi girl. Though, I'm sure they have their fingers in some dike somewhere too.


    up and awesome


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