ALEC caves on social conservative issues, will ‘redouble’ on economic front

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

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33 comments Add your comment

emo

April 17th, 2012
1:27 pm

‘“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.’

That is, we are abandoning social issues to return to soaking the middle class and poor for the benefit of the already-wealthy.

Progressives are starting to realize they have the power, and is a thing of beauty to see.

horse

April 17th, 2012
1:32 pm

They have been able to avoid the lobbying label for far too long.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
1:36 pm

And in other news today, ALEC said that they’re going to pretend to ignore social issues for about 2 months until people forget about the Trayvon thing and go on doing what they have always done. “We understand that the average person in America has an IQ of 100, which, when you think about it, is pretty D### stupid. It’s sad really.”

JSH

April 17th, 2012
2:22 pm

I’m going to miss those Diet Cokes.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
2:24 pm

@JSH – I’m not going to miss not shopping at Walmart.

td

April 17th, 2012
2:26 pm

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
2:24 pm

Can you please convince more people not to go to Walmart because I would sure love to be able to shop without getting hit by a buggy or wait in a checkout line for 15 minutes.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
2:27 pm

Hmm…looks like not ALL democrats are wimps or fools.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/17/1084110/-ColorOfChange-ALEC-s-Move-Is-Publicty-Stunt-

Unfortunately, the thing the companies really care about…headlines involve Trayvon, not their little boycott (or…for that matter JSH and the rest of the contards on the other side of the coin), will last about 2 more weeks at most.

America is teh stupided.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
2:27 pm

@Table, Diningroom – What do you want? I signed a PETITION to stop a wal mart from appearing near my folks home in Decatur. I mean, its a PETITION. Surely that will do all kinds of good.

td

April 17th, 2012
2:28 pm

New Gallop shock poll has Romney up 48 to 43%

http://www.gallup.com/poll/150743/Obama-Romney.aspx

“These are the results when registered voters are asked: “Suppose the presidential election were held today. If Barack Obama were the Democratic Party’s candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney were the Republican Party’s candidate, who would you vote for Barack Obama, the Democrat or Mitt Romney, the Republican?” Those who are undecided are further asked if they lean more toward Obama or Romney and their leanings are incorporated into the results. “

td

April 17th, 2012
2:31 pm

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
2:27 pm

All those people must be coming to Dallas to shop and give their tax money to the Republicans in Paulding county. We do appreciate it.

DannyX

April 17th, 2012
2:50 pm

Shock post!! td once again shows that his posts have no meaning or substance. His views can change from minute to minute. td has once again proven that his words mean nothing.

td just posted this 3 days ago! Now he is posting pol results.

td
April 14th, 2012

What have I been telling you about polls and this early in an election cycle? Man you just do not get it. They are very unreliable. At this time in the election cycle, Carter was ahead of Reagan by 20 points, Dukacus (sp) was ahead of Bush by 11, Clinton was ahead of Bush by 5, Clinton was ahead of Dole by 10, Gore was ahead of Bush by 12, Kerry was ahead of Bush by 11 and Obama was ahead of McCain by 5.

(Btw td, its Gallup)

td

April 17th, 2012
2:59 pm

DannyX

April 17th, 2012
2:50 pm

They still do not mean anything at this time but since you and other lib posters continually post pro Obama polls then I think it is only “fair and balanced” for someone to post pro Romney polls.

DannyX

April 17th, 2012
3:08 pm

“They still do not mean anything at this time but since you and other lib posters continually post pro Obama polls then I think it is only “fair and balanced” for someone to post pro Romney polls.”

What a crock. I have no problem with people posting polls that are favorable to Romney. I do have a problem with people that have posted 100 times that its too early to post polls then suddenly start posting them.

“What have I been telling you about polls and this early in an election cycle? Man you just do not get it.” You just said that!

td you claim to be a “political pundit,” well, this type of stuff makes you look dumb.

Monroe Burbank

April 17th, 2012
3:40 pm

God forbid our legislators actually formulate and propose their own legislation. If these people had half a brain they’d be dangerous.

td

April 17th, 2012
3:43 pm

DannyX

April 17th, 2012
3:08 pm

I am sorry that I have upset you but after giving the situation some careful thought and watching 5, 6 7 libs post every favorable Obama poll I thought it is about time to poll some pro Romney polls since I have not seen anyone else do it.

If you do not like this one then just wait until after the convention when I start my voter education campaign about how a Presidential vote is really counted.

td

April 17th, 2012
3:44 pm

Monroe Burbank

April 17th, 2012
3:40 pm

God forbid our legislators actually formulate and propose their own legislation. If these people had half a brain they’d be dangerous.

Just means Ga. lobbyist will be writing bills instead of national lobbyist. No big deal.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
3:46 pm

@Table, Diningroom – So how about those poll numbers in Swing States? Intrade still has Obama favored 60:40 to Romney.

National polls mean nothing. electoralvote.com is a much better reflection and they haven’t even started counting yet.

And as far as walmart goes…you can have them. Especially since, if you don’t believe in government, you can’t make it work for you and the quality of any governmental office or function up there pretty much shows.

td

April 17th, 2012
3:55 pm

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
3:46 pm

Who said I did not believe in government? Government has a place in society. The difference is I believe in a limited Federal government and a stronger state and local government.

Polls are going to fluctuate between now and the election in all states. The number one polling data that you need to realize at this point and will tell you more then any poll will is that Obama told the House, Senate congressional committees and all the Red state democratic parties to not expect any of the $1 billion he is going to raise because he will need every penny to get re elected.

That tells anyone with any intelligence that this is going to be one close election.

Mary Elizabeth

April 17th, 2012
3:55 pm

ALEC has been about its stealthy mission to transform America to its ultraconservative ideological agenda for over 30 years and, during that same time period, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Income Gaps Between Very Rich and Everyone Else More Than Trippled In Last Three Decades, New Data Show.” Link: http://www.cbpp.org/files/6-25-10inc.pdf

One has to question why ALEC found it necessary to conduct its so-called “free market” agenda for America in relative secrecy for over 30 years? For that reason alone, I would not trust whatever ALEC now has to say about its future agenda and motives.

One of ALEC’s social and free market agendas (sometimes difficult to separate) has been to target state legislatures to dismantle a traditional not-for-profit public school educational approach for a public/private school market approach to educating the masses of children, which may ultimately involve educational profit-making. Georgia’s Legislature has attempted to transform traditional public schools to a more free market approach to educational offerings, using “school choice” as the generalized motto. (Sen. Chip Rogers and Rep. Calvin Hill are Georgia’s state chairmen within ALEC.)

My comments, which I posted on the AJC’s Atlanta Forward blog regarding this year’s Legislative Session (4/15/12 thread), address, in part, the so-called “school choice”/ traditional public school debate in Georgia.

I will attempt to repost those remarks, on this blog, in my subsequent post here.

Mary Elizabeth

April 17th, 2012
3:56 pm

From the book, “Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America” by Russ Baker (Bloomsbury Press, New York, 2009), Chapter 17, page 365:

“As New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston discovered, the Texas Republican Party had already expressed official disapproval of such activity, having stipulated: ‘Public money (including taxes or bond guarantees) or public powers (such as eminent domain) should not be used to fund or implement so-called private enterprise projects.’ 16″

Reference source for Footnote 16, from Chapter 17, of “Family of Secrets” (page 544):

“16. David Cay Johnston, “Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) (New York: Portfolio, 2007), p. 79.”
=================================================

Evidently, Georgia’s Legislature would be well to question not only the legitimacy (moral and legal) of using government established teacher retirement pension funds for private business venture capital risky investment endeavors, but also to question the legitimacy of using public tax funds – which were meant for public “government” schools – as funds for educational vouchers which could be distributed to private for-profit schools, to home schooling parents, or to online private for-profit educational companies for the education of the general public’s children in Georgia.

The Limbaugh Dialectic

April 17th, 2012
4:04 pm

If a woman votes for a democrat because she favors choice and the availability of birth control, doesn’t that mean she is condoning promiscuous behavior?

And if a man does it, does that mean he is a thoughtful, caring individual who believes that women have a right to choose? Or does it mean he is a hound-dog who doesn’t want to accept the responsibility of fatherhood for his actions?

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
4:08 pm

@TD – Of course it is going to be a close election. November 2010 told us that most of this country is fundamentally brain dead. They hated Bush. So they elected Bush but Crazier.

Republicans might be annoying but strategically they are entirely correct to run as far to the right as they can. America reward them. And America is going to reward most of them again. That is because Moderate Cows have no morals and no stand…they just pick the center of everything.

They are the most easily manipulated demographic in the country, which is why they deserve everything that has happened to them for the last 30 years and everything else that will happen.

As soon as Europe starts banning American Venture Capitalists from selling their banks junk American bonds, the sooner they can let America drive itself down the ditch it set down when it elected Ronnie Reagan. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw! Social Stratification is KEEEEEEEEEWEL.

honested

April 17th, 2012
4:15 pm

ALEC has lost the only real weapon they had, which was secrecy.
Ten years ago whenever I would attempt to explain a particular piece of legislation was an ‘ALEC Specimen’ people would roll their eyes in disbelief that such a nefarious organization could actually exist in America.
Now, with the facts published and the damage obvious, it is more substantially more difficult for them to scurry about in the shadows while defiling the public’s business.

A pox on them all! I cannot wait to read of their complete demise.

td

April 17th, 2012
4:18 pm

honested

April 17th, 2012
4:15 pm

They will just do the same thing as Acorn did and reform into multiple named groups at the state level but still from DC.

honested

April 17th, 2012
4:21 pm

td,

Comparing ALEC to ACORN is absurd.
Acorn was about protecting rights and suffrage of Citizens.
ALEC is (and always has been about) infusing rights into wealth that were not conferred by the Constitution.

There is a glaring difference.

Grassroots

April 17th, 2012
4:32 pm

Wow amazing how bitter uniformed and needy the anti ALEC crowd is. Do many of the policies challenge collective bargaining, sure but what is collective bargaining? If you look at it it is the forced membership into an organization that at its core is a socialist group. No one advances due to excellence only due to longevity and loyalty to the party. So if being a right to work state like Georgia is came from ALEC then good for them.

Grassroots

April 17th, 2012
4:36 pm

I am also amazed that any articulate half intelligent thinking person who can read would for a minute find the historical state of education in Georgia acceptable. The system has failed generations of Georgians and yet there are those like Mary Mary quite contrary or whatever who insist that the solution is more money (then why does APS suffer so) more bureaucracy and less accountability are the solutions that will one day fix Georgia’s failing education establishment. Admit the failures of the system stop blaming those outside of it that only strive to add solution options and begin to clean your own houses, then your argument will get some respect but until then it is just whining and gnashing of teeth by those unable to take responsibility for their failings. OUr kids deserve better

Aaron Burr V Mexico

April 17th, 2012
4:47 pm

Wow, its amazing at how Grassroots got training on how to adjust his writing style from a coarse taught at the think tank, and write in longer flowing sentances and paragraphs and vary up the words that I use and use NLP by hiding a nursery rhyme in the middle of what I’m typing but that actually means that I’m (meaning you) are probably a troubleshooting agent because folks are catching on to the fact that your agents are here, so you think you’re being clever by changing up the style enough. God knows you can afford to have several agents assigned to the same media outlet. Our kids deserve better

Mary Elizabeth

April 17th, 2012
5:03 pm

Grassroots, a transformation of educational delivery from public service to private enterprise could easily mean that your children, and those of others, will be used as pawns for profit. Educational delivery can be improved, but it should remain a public service and not a for-profit enterprise.

You have voiced many untrue assumptions regarding my educational opinions, and your remarks appear to be simply generalized talking points.

Regarding ALEC, that organization has functioned in relative secrecy for more than 30 years. That fact, alone, should give you pause for concern as to its purposes, whichever end of the political spectrum you support.

honested

April 17th, 2012
5:22 pm

grassroots (of corporate astro-turf),

Georgia has been a ‘right to work state’ since shortly after the Confederacy (right to work whether you want to or not) was ended.
Want to solve the educational problem? Fund the schools properly to reduce class sizes. The idea has been written into law but rescinded when the real costs became apparent. Pay for dumbed-down schools and what sort of students do you expect?
The ‘for profit’ school model is still all smoke and no improvement of results. No reason to confiscate taxpayer funds to throw at it when the funds legally required for existing schools are already being withheld.

Slip

April 17th, 2012
10:49 pm

Honested
“Ten years ago whenever I would attempt to explain a particular piece of legislation was an ‘ALEC Specimen’ people would roll their eyes in disbelief that such a nefarious organization could actually exist in America.”
I had the same experience 10 years ago when i learned of ALEC from a giddy legislator whose party had just elected a governor and had no ideawhat to do with their good fortune. And now, this year’s ALEC agenda pushed by it’s GA reps will emperil the pensions of state employees to the benefit of BIG financial concerns.

Compajuan049

April 18th, 2012
12:54 am

I thought ALEC was a purely financial consultant group, I did not know that they where hard core social theocrat style conservatives, they should’ve stuck with Wall Street consulting, it doesn’t look good for them to play “Torquemada”,

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April 18th, 2012
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