The conservative lobbying outfit the American Legislative Council (ALEC) may have been ill-prepared for the pressure campaign launched against its support of stand your ground and voter ID laws, but they learn quickly. At the height of public outrage over these issues ALEC announced it was dropping voter ID laws from its agenda. This is a win for progressives, right?
Not quite. As TPM reports, ALEC may be out of the voter ID game but another conservative group has stepped up to take its place: the National Center for Public Policy Research. The self-described “conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank” the group was established in 1982 and just announced it has formed a “Voter Identification Task Force” to continue ALEC’s “excellent work” in “promoting measures to enhance integrity in voting.”
“We’re putting the left on notice: you take out a conservative program operating in one area, we’ll kick it up a notch somewhere else,” Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a statement. “You will not win. We outnumber you and we outthink you, and when you kick up a fuss you inspire us to victory.”
Corporate CEOs who “cower in the face of liberal boycott threats need to understand that the left never gives up,” Ridenour said. “If these corporations do not reverse course and immediately grow enough of a backbone to say no when the left tells them what to do, conservatives may as well consider them part of the organized left. It doesn’t matter if corporate executives have free-market sentiments hidden deep inside them if they continually surrender to the left’s Trotskyite strategy of making relentless demand after demand in public.”
What is interesting is how neither ALEC nor the NCPPR actually tie voter ID measures to any impact on the market, with the exception of taking offense at citizens speaking out and organizing against business practices they find repugnant. The only tie to voter ID bills and these “free-market” groups like ALEC and the NCPPR is a constituency that overwhelmingly benefits when as few people as possible have a say in our public policy.
The benefit of Ridenour’s statement is its honesty: conservatives disdain for open elections stems back to their history disenfranchising minorities and women and to that end the only common economic thread they share is the historical ties to slavery and Jim Crow.
Photo from khawkins04 via flickr.