The giant Internet retailer Amazon.com Thursday said it will withdraw its membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative public policy group that engineered controversial “stand your ground” gun laws and sweeping voter ID requirements that critics say threaten to disenfranchise minority voters.
The announcement was made during Amazon.com’s annual shareholders meeting in Seattle, as the hue and cry against the organization, known as ALEC, and the corporations that support it continues to rise. Outside the meeting at the Seattle Art Museum, more than 100 protesters hoisted signs and clogged the entrance. Inside, Amazon executives and lawyers took questions from shareholders, including some asking about the company’s membership in ALEC.
“This year, we’ve decided not to renew with ALEC, and it’s because of positions they’ve taken not related to our business,” Michelle Wilson, an Amazon attorney, told about 200 shareholders at the meeting, according to reports. Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for Amazon, later added: “Each year we evaluate all of our association memberships, and we decided not to renew our participation in ALEC in part because of positions that group took on issues unrelated to our business.” Read the rest of this entry →