On Wednesday David Frizzell, Indiana State Representative and 2012 National Chairman of the American Legislative Council (ALEC) announced it was eliminating the portion of the group responsible for divisive and destructive voter ID and stand your ground bills.
“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.
“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.
“Our free-market, limited government, pro-growth policies are the reason ALEC enjoys the support of legislators on both sides of the aisle and in all 50 states. ALEC members are interested in solutions that put the American economy back on track. This is our mission, and it is what distinguishes us.”
It’s good news, but ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson cautioned about reading too much into the announcement.
“ALEC’s latest statement is nothing more than a PR stunt aimed at diverting attention from its agenda, which has done serious damage to our communities. To simply say they are stopping non-economic work does not provide justice to the millions of Americas whose lives are impacted by these dangerous and discriminatory laws courtesy of ALEC and its corporate backers. It’s clear that major corporations were in bed with an institution that has worked against basic American values such as the right to vote. Now that these companies are aware of what they’ve supported, what will they do about it?
“If ALEC’s corporate supporters will not hold the institution accountable for the damage it has caused nationwide, then the ColorOfChange community will hold them accountable.”
Like with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, it is important to keep the pressure on those remaining groups affiliating with ALEC. Their economic agenda includes disastrous union busting measures, privatizing public utilities and lands and the creation of anti-democratic emergency managers like in Michigan. Until that agenda is finished there’s no reason to think ALEC won’t still be a force to deal with for a while.
Photo from fibonacciblue via flickr.