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 ColorofChange, The Center for Media and Democracy, 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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