The American Legislative Exchange Council, which produces much of the legislation addressed by Georgia and other states, announced today that it would abandon conservative social issues — a response to liberal pressure that has already cost the group several corporate sponsors.
The group had criticized for producing the “stand your ground” legislation adopted by both Georgia and Florida, and voter ID legislation that has been criticized as a means of excluding minority and elderly voters.
This from the press release, quoting David Frizzell, an Indiana state lawmaker and the current ALEC chairman:
“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.”
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola was among the corporations that announced an end to their support for ALEC earlier this month. ColorOfChange.org, which describes itself as the largest African-American online civil rights organization, was the lead organizer of the boycott.
Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange, said he’s not buying ALEC’s change of heart:
“ALEC’s latest statement is nothing more than a PR stunt aimed at diverting attention from its agenda, which has done serious damage to our communities. To simply say they are stopping non-economic work doesn’t guarantee that ALEC will not continue to push laws that endanger African Americans and trample our voting rights.
“Shutting down one task force does not provide justice to the millions of Americans whose lives are impacted by these dangerous and discriminatory laws courtesy of ALEC and its corporate backers. It’s clear that major corporations were in bed with an institution that has worked against basic American values such as the right to vote.
“Now that these companies are aware of what they’ve supported, what will they do about it?”
On Tuesday, state Sen. Nan Orrock of Atlanta, the only Georgia Democratic lawmaker with membership in ALEC, announced she was quitting. She explained that she had only been a member to “better understand the corporate-dominated organization.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider