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

Updated on July 21, 2021

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.


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