Verizon Leaves Lobbying Group ALEC Over Ties to Anti-Muslim Activist

The telecom company had been a major donor for three decades.

Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire/AP

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Telecom giant Verizon has decided to leave the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful corporate lobbying group, over its connections to David Horowitz, an anti-Muslim activist, according to a report from the Intercept. The group had hosted Horowitz as a featured speaker at its annual meeting in August. Horowitz and his think tank, the Freedom Center, have repeatedly espoused anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views, including spreading false claims that former President Barack Obama was Muslim.

“Our company has no tolerance for racist, white supremacist or sexist comment or ideals,” a Verizon spokesperson told the Intercept. Verizon has been a major donor to ALEC for three decades. 

This is not the first time companies have ended their affiliation with ALEC. In 2012, civil rights advocacy group Color of Change launched a national campaign against ALEC’s push for voting ID and “stand your ground” laws, after which Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, Kraft, and other companies chose to drop their ties. Following public outcry, ALEC said it would no longer push bills on “non-economic” issues.

ALEC, which has historical ties to the Koch brothers and other conservative groups and foundations, works with businesses to draft legislation focused on their key interests. It then hands out these pre-drafted bills to state legislators all over the country. Over the years, the group’s work has influenced state policies on everything from criminal justice to municipal broadband

Since Horowitz’s appearance at ALEC’s summit in August, numerous civil rights groups have pressured companies like Verizon to withdraw their support. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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