WASHINGTON: The American Legislative Exchange Council has brought on Edelman to help it deal with recent corporate fallout and opposition to its legislative positions, numerous sources familiar with the relationship told PRWeek.
Various corporate partners, such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, McDonald's, and Pepsi, have left ALEC after online advocacy group Color of Change called on companies to stop working with the group. ALEC's support of “Voter ID” and “Stand Your Ground” state laws have been in the media spotlight since George Zimmerman's attorneys cited Florida's Stand Your Ground law after he shot Trayvon Martin in February.
ALEC has said the client departures are the result of a “well-funded, expertly coordinated intimidation campaign.”
It is understood that the organization hired Edelman after the recommendation of one of its clients and that the group did not conduct a search process.
Edelman is also expected to help the organization following complaints filed with the Internal Revenue Service that it violated laws by lobbying state lawmakers, a source said. ALEC said last month that it would focus on economic issues going forward.
Dean Patterson, a national media specialist at the IRS, said federal law prohibited him from confirming if the IRS is pursuing a case against ALEC.
Representatives from both ALEC and Edelman did not return numerous requests seeking comment.