Phone company faces off against ALEC

The advocacy arm of liberal telecom company Credo Mobile is refusing to honor a cease and desist order from the right-leaning American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

In its letter to ALEC, Credo Action has said that all of its statements about the coalition “are true” and not defamatory.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Accordingly, Credo declines to comply with any of your demands,” political director Becky Bond wrote. 

ALEC has long been criticized by liberal activists who accuse it of trying to push a conservative agenda in state legislatures around the nation.  

Last month, ALEC demanded that Credo halt its campaign against its activities, which it said “misrepresent ALEC’s positions and activities.”

webpage Credo had launched to oppose state efforts to block city governments from expanding their own municipally-owned Internet services specifically criticized ALEC for pushing legislation that would help telecom giants like Verizon and Comcast. 

But that was false, ALEC claimed.

“ALEC does not lobby state legislatures nor is it registered in any state as a lobbyist employer,” lawyers wrote in the March 5 letter. “ALEC is a think-tank for state-based public policy issues and potential solutions.” 

“We demand that you cease making inaccurate statements regarding ALEC, and immediately remove all false or misleading material from the Working Assets and Credo Action or related websites and action pages within five business days,” they concluded. If Credo refused, ALEC pledged to consider “any and all necessary legal action.”

Credo pushed back against ALEC's denial that it is an advocacy group.

“That ALEC has (arguably) not been required to register as a lobbyist in certain states does not in any way render untrue what ALEC’s own actions and statements clearly indicate: ALEC attempts to influence legislative outcomes,” Bond wrote.

“Not only does ALEC attempt to influence legislative outcomes, it clearly succeeds in doing so,” she added, while pointing to a 2011 news story claiming that a model bill produced by ALEC was important in blocking an effort in Lafeyette, La.

ALEC has been under fire from the tech industry over the last year, as multiple companies have pulled their membership from the group. Some — like Google — have objected to its apparent opposition to climate change legislation. 

Last week, T-Mobile was the latest company to leave the organization.