Why is Google funding ALEC?For decades, one shadowy right-wing group has helped powerful corporations introduce and pass legislation quietly in nearly every state. They write entire bills from start to finish in a massive coordinated effort to push their conservative agenda at the state level. Their bills attack voting rights, weaken gun control laws, undermine unions, privatize education, block efforts to raise the minimum wage, deregulate major industries, allow unrestricted damage to the environment, and much more.

#googleALEC, it’s evil.

It’s not a conspiracy. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, brings corporate lobbyists together with state legislators. Multinational corporations like ExxonMobil vote on “model bills” designed to increase their profits, then distribute the legislation to mostly conservative lawmakers in state houses across the country. These laws allow employers to skimp on fair wages and health benefits; protect corporations that poison our air and water; and weaken consumers’ ability to have recourse against corporate malfeasance in the courtroom. The oil and pharmaceutical industries have spent millions and made billions.

These are some of the laws ALEC has introduced, just regarding fair wages for workers:

Incredible activists have been dragging ALEC’s operation into the sunlight. Over the past few years, 72 corporations have cut all ties with ALEC under public pressure, including: Walmart, McDonald’s, Visa, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, and Johnson & Johnson.

Quietly, though, Google has become a corporate member of ALEC. Even though their slogan is “Don’t be evil,” the Internet giant is headed firmly in the other direction.

“Google has widely mythologized itself as some kind of humanistic techno-pioneer. Obscured in a fog of digital legend is the agenda that more than ever is transfixed with maximizing profits while capitalizing on anti-democratic leverage of corporate power. Google’s involvement in ALEC is consistent with the company’s mega-business model that relentlessly exploits rigorous data-mining of emails, online searches and so much more.”  -Norman Solomon, Huffington Post.

Google can’t have it both ways. They cannot say “don’t be evil” in public then fund ALEC in private. Voter suppression laws. Union-busting “right to work” laws. Stand your ground. Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB1070. They all come from the same place, and Google is helping pay the bills.