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

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. 

More MotherJones reporting on Dark Money

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.