Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, has become the latest tech firm to sever ties with Alec, the rightwing lobby group with a history of fighting against climate change legislation and other progressive causes.
The company had previously been a sponsor of Alec (American Legislative Exchange Council), a lobby group that promotes conservative legislation at state level across the US. But in an email to advocacy group Common Cause this week the travel firm, which also owns Hotels.com, Hotwire.com and trivago among others, confirmed it had severed ties.
It becomes the latest of a series of large corporations to cut ties with Alec. In February Ford ended its relationship with Alec. Other corporations that have severed their connections include the technology companies eBay, Facebook and Google as well as the energy giants BP and Shell.
Scott Swenson, vice-president of communications at Common Cause, said: “Alec is bad for business and democracy. It’s great that Expedia has joined more than 100 companies that decided to leave Alec. Alec skirts tax and ethics laws, while lobbying for extreme policies. Other companies should follow Expedia and travel as far from Alec as possible. When customers realize the companies they patronize are funding such an extreme agenda they recoil and they make their voices heard.”
Expedia’s decision follows another blow for Alec this month. Last week the retirees organization AARP announced it would no longer be making donations to Alec.
The ties between the two organisations were first exposed by the Center for Media and Democracy and led to an online backlash from AARP members. Alec has consistently lobbied to cut government spending on programs that benefit seniors and has close ties to pharmaceutical companies.
“After hearing from many of you, we’ve decided not to renew our membership to Alec. We would never work against the interests of older Americans and our engagement with Alec was NOT an endorsement of the organization’s policies, but an opportunity to engage with state legislators and advance our members’ priorities,” AARP said in a statement.
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