retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports that Kraft Foods has cut ties with an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), described as “a conservative lobbying group that has recently backed controversial voter ID and so-called ‘stand your ground’ laws.”

According to the story, Kraft followed Coca-Cola in making the movie, saying that it would not renew its membership because of “limited resources,” and saying that its ALEC membership was “strictly limited to discussions about economic growth and development, transportation and tax policy."

Coke’s move, however, was a little more definitive. For one thing, it discontinued its membership. For another, it said that ALEC was focusing on issues that had nothing to do with its business.

According to the story, “The withdrawals pleased ALEC detractors, which includes the Center for Media and Democracy. The liberal-leaning nonprofit said it had launched a protest campaign in tandem with Color of Change opposing what it said were ALEC's efforts to deny climate change, undermine public schools and encourage laws that would require voters to present various forms of identification before voting.”

ALEC says that its mission is "to advance the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty."

Current members of its board include executives from Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and AT&T, among other major corporations. PepsiCo is reported to have stepped down from its board membership earlier this year.
KC's View:
Sometimes, in the face of political pressure, you fold. Sometimes, you quote Woody Allen at the end of “The Front.”

If you decide to take the latter route, you risk alienating 45 percent of the electorate. In this case, especially in view of events that have transpired in Florida, sticking it out did not seem like a good bet.