Today on The Diane Rehm Show, Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed that the internet giant was leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC, a front group for corporate interests, puts out business-friendly model legislation for its legislative members to use to create laws in their own states. There has been massive pressure on Google to leave, especially after Microsoft pulled out of ALEC last month.
Here’s how it went down:
DIANE REHM: Ok, and I think we have time for one last caller. Let’s go to Kristin in Syracuse, NY. Quick question, Kristin.
KRISTIN: Hi, yes, thank you so much for taking my call, Diane.
KRISTIN: Um, I’m curious to know if Google is still supporting ALEC which is that fund, they’re, um, lobbyists in DC that are funding climate change deniers.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Um, we funded them as part of a political [campaign—somewhat unintelligible] of something unrelated. I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake and so we’re trying to not do that in the future.
REHM: And how did you get involved with them in the first place and were you, then, disappointed in what you saw?
SCHMIDT: Well, the company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts — what a shock. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.
ALEC responded with an uncharacteristic press release that acknowledged Google’s move:
It is unfortunate to learn Google has ended its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council as a result of public pressure from left-leaning individuals and organizations who intentionally confuse free market policy perspectives for climate change denial.
Ah, yes. They just got bullied by all those mean-spirited tree huggers who have been duped by nearly every climate scientist on the planet who has done research on the issue. It’s all just free market love at ALEC. Won’t someone think of the poor massively wealthy corporations profiting from enterprises that are rapidly changing our planet’s climate???
The flight of major corporate sponsors is very important to bringing about the end of ALEC. And the end of ALEC is a blow for true democracy where corporate America isn’t calling the shots, creating policy, and writing our laws.
Well done, Google. ::applause::