Controversial conservative front-group ALEC eliminates its social issues agenda to focus on economic issues
Washington, D.C., United States (AHN) – Conservative front-group American Legislative Exchange Council announced Wednesday that it would stop pushing non-economic legislation, such as the controversial stand your ground laws and restrictions on voter registration to focus on economic issues.
ALEC is comprised of hundreds of state legislators and private companies. Critics say that the voting law changes the organization support amount to a suppression of voting rights for black people.
People who have been angered by the voting law changes and stand your ground gun laws put pressure on many corporations that supported ALEC, causing some of them to sever ties. ALEC criticized the backlash against it as an “organized intimidation” campaign.
The group, which favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions, has bowed to public pressure that intensified after the shooting death of a black high school student in Florida.
Trayvon Martin, 17, was trying to walk home from the store when he was profiled by a white neighbor who followed him, confronted him and then claimed Florida’s stand your ground law as his defense in shooting the teen to death.
It took more than a month for Florida authorities to arrest George Zimmerman, 28, on charges of murdering Martin.
That delay caused murder charges caused a public outcry that focused attention on the controversial stand your ground laws, as well as on ALEC for its part in successfully pushing them into law in more than two dozen states.
A press release on behalf of ALEC’s Legislative Board of Directors was issued by David Frizzell, Indiana State Representative and 2012 National Chairman of the ALEC.
“We are refocusing our commitment to free-market, limited government and pro-growth principles, and have made changes internally to reflect this renewed focus, Frizzell said.
“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.”