Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) began with the admirable goal of reducing drunk-driving traffic fatalities by educating the nation about the devastation caused by drunk drivers. For the first 15 years, this strategy paid off: MADD's public relations campaigns played a key role in changing the nation's attitude about drunk driving, resulting in a huge drop-off in drunk-driving deaths. But as we point out in a newly released profile of MADD at ActivistCash.com, the group has adopted a new mission, which has nothing to do with drunk driving and everything to do with attacking the responsible consumption of adult beverages. Click here to read our profile, which exposes MADD's deep-seated belief that any and all drinking before driving should be prohibited — even when it's done responsibly and legally. Here are a few highlights from our newest ActivistCash profile:
In March 2004, MADD expanded its attack on responsible adults by calling for a "mandatory provision in every separation agreement and divorce decree that prohibits either parent from drinking and driving … with minor children in the vehicle." Violating this provision, it argues, should result in penalties including license suspension, jail, or even the "termination of parental rights."
MADD founder Candy Lightner broke ties with the group in the 1980s. In 2002, she told the Washington Times: "[MADD] has become far more neo-prohibitionist than I had ever wanted or envisioned … I didn't start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving."
MADD regularly ignores its principles to keep its coffers full. In 2000, two California ballot initiatives (Propositions 30 and 31) sought to permit an automobile accident victim to sue the at-fault driver's insurance company if legitimate claims weren't paid promptly. Considering that victims of drunk drivers stood to gain an important legal tool, most Californians expected MADD to lead the charge in favor of these new measures. However, MADD aligned itself with a group of out-of-state insurance companies, which collectively ran a $1 million-per-week advertising campaign against the propositions … The organization's motive? Money, plain and simple. MADD's 1999-2000 annual report acknowledges Allstate Insurance Company donated an amount in the "$250,000 and above" category. Nationwide Mutual Insurance gave over $100,000 that year.