These Companies Promised to Be Socially Responsible, But They Are Pushing ALEC's Right-Wing Agenda - 2019-08-27
Last week, nearly two hundred corporate executives endorsed a "statement on the purpose of a corporation" from the Business Roundtable, a trade group composed of executives of major U.S. corporations, promising to protect the environment, treat workers fairly, and respect the communities in which they do business. The statement, published on August 19, provides a new definition for the purpose of a corporation. Rather than serving only shareholders, corporations exist to "promote an economy that works for all Americans."
But just days before the statement was released, a dozen of the companies whose executives signed it sent lobbyists to the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) annual conference, a secretive meeting where the lobbyists worked with Republican lawmakers to promote policies meant to shore up the power of corporations beyond the reach of the democratic process.
At the meeting, held in Austin, Texas from August 14 to 16, lobbyists and legislators drafted and voted on model bills that the legislators will bring back to their states and introduce in their upcoming legislative sessions. The details of this year's model bills are not fully disclosed, but the public agenda indicates that attendees worked on promoting deregulation of oil and gas fracking, gutting electronic data privacy laws, freeing toxic chemical producers for liability, promoting partisan gerrymandering, busting unions, and more.