April 17, 2012

ALEC Eliminates Task Force Responsible For Voter Suppression And Stand Your Ground

ALEC Eliminates Task Force Responsible For Voter Suppression And Stand Your GroundThe past few weeks have not treated the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) well. At least ten companies or major foundations have dropped out of the group after protests raged over its role in drafting voter suppression and “Stand Your Ground” laws. In apparent response to these protests, ALEC has now announced in a press release that it will eliminate the task force that created these laws:

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.

The group goes on to say that it is “refocusing [its] commitment to free-market, limited government and pro-growth principles, and [has] made changes internally to reflect this renewed focus.” Some activists are not so encouraged by the news. PCCC sent out a statement slamming the decision as simply PR spin:

“Shutting down a ‘task force’ does not mean ALEC will cease its work on voter suppression. And ALEC’s ‘economic agenda’ is code for rampant union busting and class warfare against working families and communities of color. Corporations that don’t want to be associated with ALEC’s extreme agenda must stop bankrolling ALEC immediately, and we will continue mobilizing thousands of people to make that happen.”

Meanwhile, it would be encouraging to see the companies who, through their financial support, have aided ALEC’s misadventures on Stand Your Ground and Voter ID to use some of their resources to help reduce gun violence and to strengthen voting rights and voter registration.  That would truly help the communities where they do business.