09/24/2014 11:56 pm ET Updated Sep 25, 2014

Yahoo Parts Ways With ALEC

Another tech giant is parting ways with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Yahoo's withdrawal from the group was confirmed in a statement to Common Cause late Wednesday.

"We've decided to discontinue our membership in ALEC. We periodically review our membership in organizations and, at this time, we will no longer participate in the ALEC Task Force on Communications and Technology,” the company stated.

The controversial conservative policy group has come under fire in recent years for promoting pro-business legislation that rolls back protections on civil rights, environmental, labor and public health laws, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. ALEC also generated or disseminated voter suppression legislation and helped craft the “stand your ground” laws that were adopted in 31 states, including Florida, where teenager Trayvon Martin was shot to death.

Microsoft, Facebook and Google recently distanced themselves from ALEC.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company was unlikely to renew its membership in 2015 because of disagreements on "some key issues," National Journal reported.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt even went so far as to call its affiliation with ALEC "a mistake."

“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,” Schmidt said on Diane Rehm’s syndicated call-in radio show. “And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”

ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling disagrees with Schmidt's assessment.

"We are not climate-change deniers, we’re not anything of the sort,” Meierling said, according to the Washington Post. “We do have serious reservations about how implementation is being done by the government.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Yelp announced that it parted ways with ALEC several months ago after receiving backlash from the public. Luther Lowe, Yelp's director of public policy, also cited ALEC's lack of transparency.

"We suggested ALEC invite C-SPAN to fully cover their meetings," Lowe stated. "Such sunlight on the organization would exert important pressure on ALEC to steer clear of controversial issues it has taken up in the past, while revealing to the broader public that providing a forum for policy makers and industry leaders to collaborate can result in consumer benefit (as was our experience)."

To date, more than 90 companies have left ALEC over its positions and actions. However, AOL (the parent company of The Huffington Post) and eBay are still members.



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