Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ALEC Ends Push for “Stand Your Ground” and Voter ID Laws

Ken O’Brien

ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), responding to its desertion by numerous high profile corporate sponsors, announced today that it was eliminating its arm that dealt with social policy issues. Without acknowledging the recent exodus of such high profile sponsors as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s and Kraft, ALEC said it was refocusing its efforts on economic policy.

The organization’s press release follows:

Contact: Kaitlyn Buss
Phone: 202-742-8526
Email: kbuss@alec.org

ALEC Sharpens Focus on Jobs, Free Markets and Growth — Announces the End of the Task Force that Dealt with Non-Economic Issues

(Washington, D.C.) April 17, 2012—David Frizzell, Indiana State Representative and 2012 National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), issued the following statement today on behalf of ALEC’s Legislative Board of Directors:

“Today we are redoubling our efforts on the economic front, a priority that has been the hallmark of our organization for decades. Fostering the exchange of pro-growth, solutions-oriented ideas is precisely why ALEC exists.

“To that end, our legislative board last week unanimously agreed to further our work on policies that will help spur innovation and competitiveness across the country.

“We are refocusing our commitment to free-market, limited government and pro-growth principles, and have made changes internally to reflect this renewed focus.

“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. The remaining budgetary and economic issues will be reassigned.

“While we recognize there are other critical, non-economic issues that are vitally important to millions of Americans, we believe we must concentrate on initiatives that spur competitiveness and innovation and put more Americans back to work.

“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. ALEC members are interested in solutions that put the American economy back on track. This is our mission, and it is what distinguishes us.”

Quoted in The Huffington Post, Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which published an exposé of ALEC this past fall said, “"This is good news in the sense that they have recognized that those ["stand your ground" and voter ID] bills represent an extreme agenda. Corporate members were obviously telling them they weren't interested in underwriting that extreme agenda," Graves said. She called ALEC's announcement "a positive sign of the power of the grassroots campaign to hold ALEC and its corporate funders to account for these extreme bills."

Think Progress elaborated on the activities that remain in ALEC's hopper:

Yet, while today’s announcement is an important victory, it does not change the fact that ALEC will continue to push corporate-friendly conservative economic legislation. Here is a short list of ostensibly economic measures ALEC has supported in the past:

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