BREAKING: ALEC To End Task Force Advancing Voter Suppression, Pro-Gun Legislation
The right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council is ending its focus on non-economic issues—including public safety and election-related legislation—after intense scrutiny.
ALEC officials announced on Tuesday that they were ending the group’s Public Safety & Elections Task Force, which was the driving force behind non-economic issues. In recent weeks, ALEC has faced intense scrutiny over its efforts to help state legislators advance voter suppression efforts, including Voter ID legislation, and public safety bills, including Stand Your Ground laws.
David Frizzell, the group’s national chairman and an Indiana state representative, said in the release ALEC's “legislative board … unanimously agreed to further our work on policies that will help spur innovation and competitiveness across the country” and end the group’s focus on non-economic policies.
At least 10 companies or groups have severed their ties with ALEC recently, following a campaign by progressive groups like Color of Change asking major supports to pull out. Recently, Campus Progress and the Center for American Progress released a report on ALEC’s role in voter suppression efforts.
As Campus Progress discovered in an investigation last year, ALEC has heavily influenced the wave of Voter ID laws across the country. ALEC has also been criticized recently for touting Stand Your Ground laws similar to the one on the books in Florida, which has been credited as helping keep George Zimmerman from being arrested. Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin earlier this year, but has told officers it was in self-defense.
Think Progress, our sister website, notes that the announcement "does not change the fact that ALEC will continue to push corporate-friendly conservative economic legislation." ALEC has previously helped advance efforts to repeal minimum-wage laws, eliminate paid sick days, and pass anti-union laws.
Brian Stewart is the communications manager at Campus Progress.
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