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ALEC Cries Uncle!

April 17, 2012

It unfortunately took the tragic death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin to finally get the public to pay attention to ALEC and the its nefarious legislative doings on behalf of the NRA and the like. Still, that attention did come, and with it came several thousand tons of pressure on corporations associated with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). Over the past few weeks, they’ve been dropping like flies. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, McDonald’s, Kraft, Intuit, Mars, Wendy’s, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others have fled the group, pleading that they were only in it for the issues that effected them – not because they support laws like the NRA’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

I’m very happy to report today that this pressure has brought some change to ALEC. In a statement released this morning, ALEC has this to say:

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.

This does not mean that ALEC won’t still be hard at work behind the scenes drafting legislation aimed at destroying workers, unions, equal pay laws, etc…but it does indicate a retreat from the NRA’s radical agenda of more guns/more killing and the extreme voter ID laws they’ve been pushing throughout the country. And that is a partial victory, at least.

Unfortunately, ALEC has by this point already achieved much of what it had intended. Still, the grassroots have accomplished something to crow about — as long as we then set about the hard work of repairing the damage already inflicted.

A great big shout out to Lisa Graves, of the Center for Media and Democracy, which has worked tirelessly on the subject. Great work!

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