ALEC——OPPONENTS SCORE PARTIAL VICTORY

I have recently posted two pieces on ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is a coalition of corporate interests and a number of state legislators, the vast majority Republican, that has been pushing an agenda in model state laws concerning voter ID, gun laws, health care, climate change and other vital issues.

Due to its controversial stands, several key corporate members have withdrawn from the group. Now comes this news.

“ALEC Retreats Under Pressure” reads the headline on the Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/alec-retreats-stand-your-ground-laws-voter-id_n_1431531.html

The story is that ALEC will no longer pursue such items of its agenda like Voter ID and “Stand Your Ground” laws.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, the controversial corporate-sponsored lobbying group whose push for “stand your ground” gun laws and voter ID legislation ignited grassroots protests, announced Tuesday that it is getting out of the social policy field to focus on core economic issues.

Corporations associated with ALEC had been under siege from public interest and civil rights groups who demanded they cut ties with ALEC, most recently because of its successful push to pass “stand your ground” legislation in multiple states. Florida’s version of that law has been cited as a reason why neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was not initially charged in the deadly shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Several companies — including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Kraft and Intuit — had already distanced themselves from ALEC before Tuesday’s surprise announcement.

“We are eliminating the ALEC Public Safety and Elections task force that dealt with non-economic issues, and reinvesting these resources in the task forces that focus on the economy,” David Frizzell, an Indiana state representative and current ALEC chairman, said in a statement.

This retreat, though significant, does not eradicate the fact that ALEC, in its co-ordinated efforts, seeks to impose its vision of what the law should be that in many ways is not healthy for the majority of American citizens and the welfare of the nation as a whole.

We must remain on the alert when bills are introduced into state legislatures that adhere to this agenda and diligently and vigorously expose and oppose them.

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