ALEC Ends Push for Stand Your Ground and Voter ID Laws

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The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, announced today that it will disband its Public Safety and Elections task force, the arm of the pro-corporate organization responsible for pushing the controversial Stand Your Ground and Voter ID laws.

At a rally to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, an unarmed young black teen who was fatally shot by a volunteer neighborhood watchman, at Freedom Plaza in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2012. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

The group has come under scrutiny from public interest groups and the media since Florida’s Stand Your Ground law — which ALEC was promoting as “model legislation” in states across the country — was cited as the reason that George Zimmerman avoided arrest after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Several major companies — including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft and McDonalds — had already cut their ties to the group in response to boycotts and campaigns by organizations such as ColorofChangeThe Center for Media and and Common Cause.

“In folding its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, ALEC is abandoning under pressure the most controversial part of its agenda; that’s an important victory for the American public,” Common Cause President Bob Edgar said in a statement.

Still, the statement continues, “bad laws the shuttered ALEC task force advanced remain on the books across the country, and ALEC continues to support legislation that weakens clean air and clean water regulations, undermines public schools and infringes on the bargaining rights of workers.”

Going forward, ALEC promises to focus its energy on economic priorities. “Our free-market, limited government, pro-growth policies are the reason ALEC enjoys the support of legislators on both sides of the aisle and in all 50 states,” they said in a statement released earlier today.

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  • Vipmotorcars

    People stood up for what was right. It cannot be assumed to be an endorsement of the extreme leftist agenda. Nice try though. Nice folks on the left who would try to cash in on a tragedy such as this.

  • Mitch Cartwright

    Wrong. Your endorsement of a rightist agenda does make it right.

    ALEC has been and still is cashing in on corporate plutocracy.

    That said, all and all not a very good try on your part to spin ALEC/GOP talking points.

  • Juston

     Nice response – I love how they twist stuff so that anything not to the right of their far right agenda is “the extreme leftist agenda!” Lol…

  • Kgretsky

    ALEC enjoys the support of legislators on both sides of the aisle?  What aisle would that be?  Of the many names I’ve seen associated with ALEC, all had an ‘R’ after them.

  • Anonymous

    It’s great that we’re going after ALEC, but I would love to see a national conversation about the entire “think tank,” front group phenomenon; a conversation about covert, corporate propaganda. All of them together are the gravest threat to democracy and to the planet. The Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Cato, Competitive Enterprise Institutions, etc. There are literally hundreds of these groups, often with spectacularly Orwellian names like the Water Environment Federation…not about clean water, but a lobbying and PR group for sewage sludge. The industry funding, and thus the financial interests of the wealthy and their corporations, is deliberately hidden. Lies are spoken, and the public is critically deceived for private profit. PR operatives with titles like “senior fellow” from these groups appear all over the media, spreading industry talking points and deluding the voting public. And guess what? These groups position themselves as non-partisan non-profits, and are tax exempt and free from disclosing their donors. That just adds insult to injury.

  • Berniecouming

    Congrats to ALEC for withdrawing from its previous outrageous behavior. Could it be that that behavior was olny the tip of the iceberg, and the truly dangerous part of the iceberg has fallen out of view?
    Ouch. my tongue seems to have gotten caught in my cheek.