BREAKING: Taco Bell/KFC/Pizza Hut Owner Drops ALEC, Becoming 12th Company
Yum! Brands—which owns fast food chains Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut—has severed its ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), becoming the 12th company to end its involvement with the right-wing group.
ALEC, which provides cookie-cutter legislation to state officials and relies heavily on corporate funding, has pushed voter suppression efforts and Stand Your Ground laws across the country. Recently, ALEC officials announced they were ending its “Public Safety and Elections task force” after intense backlash.
Color of Change, which led a massive effort among progressive groups to ask companies to drop ALEC, said Yum! Brands confirmed they ended their membership:
Today, employees in Yum! Brands' corporate headquarters have told our members and ColorOfChange staff that the company has in fact dropped ALEC. In doing so, the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell has restored our belief that it stands in favor of crafting legislation in view of the public, rather than behind closed doors.
We want to thank these companies for making the right decision, and we want to thank ColorOfChange members and our partners. We continue to call on all major corporations to stop funding ALEC given its involvement in voter suppression. Our members and allied groups are prepared to hold accountable companies that continue to associate themselves with an organization that has attacked voting rights, causing irreparable damage nationwide.
Other companies that pulled from ALEC in recent weeks include McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Kraft Foods. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also announced it would stop giving funding to the group.
Think Progress’ Ian Millhiser writes:
Yum!’s decision to remove ALEC from the Colonel’s Special Recipe is particularly significant because it shows that the group remains toxic even after it announced earlier this week that it would shut down its “Public Safety and Elections task force.” … Even without a task force devoted to promoting firearms and hindering democracy, ALEC remains committed to a regressive economic agenda that includes union-busting, repealing the minimum wage, and, of course, cutting taxes on the very rich.
ALEC has been criticized recently for touting Stand Your Ground laws similar to the one on the books in Florida, which has been credited as helping keep George Zimmerman from being arrested. Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin earlier this year, but has told officers it was in self-defense.
Brian Stewart is the communications manager at Campus Progress.