AOL latest to cut ties with conservative group

AOL is leaving the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the latest in a flood of tech companies to cut ties with the group.

A spokeswoman with the Internet giant, Caroline Campbell, said that the company “decided weeks ago not to renew our membership,” but declined to say if the split was the result of a policy disagreement.

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Earlier this year, Facebook, Yahoo, SAP, Yelp and other companies all announced that they were cutting ties with the organization.

The exodus started after Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in September accused the group of “literally lying” about climate change.

Google’s decisions are "based on facts,” Schmidt said at the time, "and the facts of climate change are not in question anymore.”

Other companies have declined to say whether their decision to stop participating in the organization — a coalition that prepares and shares model legislation for state lawmakers — was based on ALEC’s stance on climate change.

ALEC is a prime target for liberal activists and environmental organizations that accuse it of denying climate change. The organization opposes that characterization and accused Google of acting on “misinformation” from activist groups.

Though AOL did not clarify whether its split from ALEC was the result of a policy disagreement, the advocacy group Common Cause pointed out that the two diverged on policies for regulating Internet service providers.

“While AOL has been a corporate leader in fighting for Open Internet protections, ALEC has lobbied against those policies,” said the organization, which has urged multiple groups to leave ALEC.