ALEC Announces End of Voter Suppression Task Force
The organization that has been exposed for pushing voter ID legislation across the country has announced today that they will eliminate their elections task force and instead focus on “jobs, free markets, and growth.”
“We are eliminating the [American Legislative Exchange Counsel] 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,” said Rep. David Frizzell (R-Indianapolis), 2012 National Chairman of ALEC, in a statement. “While we recognize there are other critical, non-economic issues that are vitally important to millions of Americans, we believe we must concentrate on initiatives that spur competitiveness and innovation and put more Americans back to work.”
Stephanie Condon at CBSNews.com has more on the story:
“ALEC, an association comprised of 2,000 state legislators from all 50 states and representatives of corporations, drafts templates of legislation for any state to adopt. For instance, the organization in recent years helped lawmakers from a handful of states introduce and pass similar voter ID laws.
Liberal groups have assailed ALEC for pushing a conservative agenda, and pressure mounted against the group in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, when Florida’s “stand your ground” law — a self-defense law pushed by ALEC – received increased scrutiny nationwide. After progressive groups called for a boycott of companies associated with ALEC, companies like Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, Kraft and Intuit dropped their ties to the organization. ALEC’s statement today does not mention the loss of support and there is no immediate response from those companies that severed ties.”
Voting rights and citizens’ advocates are characterizing this change at ALEC as a small victory and are maintaining pressure to stop ALEC’s suppressive laws.
The Center for Media and Democracy’s Executive Director Lisa Graves said, “ALEC’s announcement is a partial victory for the power of grassroots citizen action, but for Americans concerned about brand-name corporations underwriting ALEC’s extreme agenda to make it more difficult for American citizens to vote and to protect armed vigilantes, ALEC’s PR maneuver to try to distance itself from its record of extremism is an empty gesture unless it and the corporations that have bankrolled its operations work to repeal ALEC-backed laws that have advanced the NRA’s agenda and that will impede citizens from voting in the coming elections.”