-By Andy Kroll
April 11 2012- McDonald's, it turns out, isn't the only fast-food giant to have cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate-funded organization that writes up model bills for thousands of state lawmakers nationwide. Wendy's said on its official Twitter feed on Tuesday night that it, too, had left ALEC. "We decided late 2011 and never renewed this year. It didn't fit our business needs," the company tweeted. Wendy's is currently not a member of ALEC, it stressed.
Bob Bertini, a spokesman for Wendy's, confirmed the move. "The tweet is correct. Wendy's is not a member of ALEC. Last year, we made the decision not to renew for 2012," he wrote in an email to Mother Jones.
Wendy's departure is arguably more significant than McDonald's given Wendy's past support for conservative and staunchly pro-industry causes. For instance, Wendy's International has funded the Center for Consumer Freedom, a phony grassroots group that fights regulation of the food and beverage industries. And Wendy's political action committee has given significantly more of its money in recent election cycles to Republican lawmakers than Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Wendy's joins a handful of other major food and beverage companies—McDonald's, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Kraft—in ditching ALEC. Intuit, which makes the Quicken personal finance software, has also ended its ALEC membership.
The departures come as a coalition of liberal groups presses high-profile ALEC to members to leave group over what the coalition calls the "discriminatory" voter identification legislation peddled by ALEC. The coalition, which includes Common Cause and ColorofChange.org, has also bashed ALEC for supporting Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law at the center of the Trayvon Martin shooting in central Florida.