Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., Occidental Petroleum, International Paper, and Overstock.com are the latest corporations to say they have left the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) after a wave of technology companies led by Google and Facebook announced their departures last week.
News Corp., the $8 billion-a-year global media company run by media mogul " style="line-height: 20.7999992370605px; Rupert Murdoch that owns the Wall Street Journal, had been a member of ALEC's Education Task Force and Communications and Technology Task Force. A spokesperson told Media Matters in response to an article published Friday that the company is no longer a member of ALEC. Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Ashley Huston told the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that News Corp. has not been a member of ALEC since its split from 21st Century Fox in July 2013.
Occidental Petroleum, at $24.5 billion in annual revenue, is one of the largest global oil and gas exploration and production companies based in the United States. It had been a member of ALEC's Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force. Linda Peterson, Associate General Counsel at Occidental, said in a letter to Timothy Smith of Walden Asset Management, who is involved in leadership of shareholder campaigns, that "there are no plans to continue Occidental's membership in, or make further payments to ALEC." She said the company had paid $12,500 to ALEC in 2014. She also referenced the concern that the company could be "presumed to share the positions" on climate change and air pollution regulations held by ALEC, as National Journal reported.
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We suspected it all along, but now we have the goods that prove that Charles Koch was a member of the John Birch Society at the height of their attacks on the civil rights movement and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King.
In the early 1960s Charles moved back to Wichita and followed in the footsteps of his dad Fred Koch who helped found the John Birch Society in 1958. We broke the story on DemocracyNow!, provided detailed excerpts of the anti-civil rights agenda, and launched a new wiki resource called Koch Exposed (of course). You can see our full special report in the new "Robber Barons" edition of The Progressive magazine.