Microsoft Ditches ALEC In Latest Blow To Conservative Group

Microsoft said on Tuesday that it will end its involvement with the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative advocacy group, reportedly because of the group’s lobbying against renewable energy.

CNET reported that Microsoft would cease being a member of ALEC’s communications and technology task force.

“In 2014 Microsoft decided to no longer participate in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Communications and Technology Task Force, which had been our only previous involvement with ALEC,” the software company said in a statement, per CNET.

“With this decision, we no longer contribute any dues to ALEC,” it said. “We are no longer members of ALEC and do not provide the organization with financial support of any kind.”

Microsoft joins Coca-Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Proctor & Gamble as some of the major corporations that have severed their relationship with ALEC, according to CNET. Others — like Google, Facebook, eBay, Yahoo, and Yelp — remain involved with the group.

CNET linked Microsoft’s decision with ALEC’s bid to stop renewable energy projects. As The Guardian reported last year, Microsoft has begun investing in renewable energy, including an announcement that it would run one of its data centers entirely with electricity produced by a wind farm in Texas.

ALEC, which has been around since the 1970’s, gained renewed national attention after Republicans scored major gains in state governments in 2010 and the group’s signature model legislation began appearing in statehouses nationwide. “This is proof positive of the depth and scope of the corporate reach into our democratic processes,” Bob Edgar, president of the liberal advocacy group Common Cause, said in 2011 of the group’s activities.

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