New Group Emerges From ALEC’s Shadow On Voter ID

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.

Related Stories:

How Voter ID Laws Impact Transgender People

Voter ID Bills Bad News For Women Voters

Photo from khawkins04 via flickr.


Debra Griffin
Missy G.4 years ago


Kevin W.
Kevin W.4 years ago

I'm opposed to requiring photo ID's for voting purposes for a number of reasons. I won't go into the details as I'm sure they have been covered in other comments. But here is a simple argument that I think even tea partiers can understand. As Americans we have always held to the rallying cry of "no taxation without representation". Why then, must I show a photo ID in order to vote for representation but I don't need to show a photo ID to pay any kind of tax? Not federal income tax, state income tax, sales tax - no photo ID necesary. The government will happily take my money without a photo ID but note my vote? I'm not liking that.

Philip Amos
Past Member 4 years ago


knowing that they can't, not yet at least, rescind the right to vote wholesale, are nibbling away at the electorate with their state legislation, passed or proposed, and with the likely assistance of the Supreme Court if necessary, starting with the most vulnerable. If anyone thinks acceptable photo ID is not a problem, they must live in a private bubble. All you have to do is specify that one such piece of ID must be a driver's license or a passport, and there goes one or two nice little parcels of voters out the window. As I said, they're clever in a feral sort of way, holding their tea parties in back alleys.

Tony C.
Tony C.4 years ago

Just watched Romney's first salvo against President Obama and the Democrats. All the president has to do is watch it and then make a bullet point presentation where it shows that Romney's assertions are false by using his own words against him. Show him to be the flip-flop man who votes yes for one thing and then turns around and votes no for the same thing. There are many examples to choose from. Health Care, He started it, Abortions He was pro-choice in 2002. and many others.

Philip Amos
Past Member 4 years ago

I am still waiting for Steve R. to redeem one or two of the 77 345 butterfly credits he has amassed. He says on his page that he is getting younger all the time, and as his mind seems to have now reached the age of about seven, time is running out. Buy a pencil for an African kid, Steve. After all, you say on your page that you speak Afrikaans...oh.

I think if just a couple of things are brought together, we have the basis for what is happening to the right to vote in the US, a basis for sheer evil which we see in the superstructure of legislation passed or proposed by the Republicans. The US is already a plutocracy, of course. The power of the 1%, the financial grip of just a handful of billionaires on the election process, lobbyists, legislators who act as lobbyists, financial tentacles squeezing and squirming their way into every nook and cranny of government. But I'm sure some readers will recall the astounding document sent to the wealthiest clients of one of the biggest financial institutions, a document that explained how the distribution of wealth in the US made plutocracy (they actually used the word) appear imminent, and that the wealthiest should prepare for the mantle of power to fall upon their shoulders. EXCEPT, the document did say, for one obstacle: the constitutional right to vote. The Republicans may not be intelligent -- most aren't -- but they are ferally very clever at times (which is not the same thing), and I have no doubt that they, knowing that, a

Anne A.
Anne Armstrong4 years ago

The voter ID laws don't allow college student IDs. Why do they have to get another picture ID if the law isn't about making it harder for certain people to vote?

Lynn Squance
Lynn Squance4 years ago

Continuation . . .

In my opinion, the biggest threat to voter and election fraud, which by the way are not the same thing, is the Republican/Teabagger Party, that same party that has declared war on women, the poor, the LGBT community, on minorities etc. They are the same party that seems to think that God has ordained that they should rule the US first and then the world after their illegal wars of agression. They are the same party that is committed to making the US a permanent bastion of Republican/Teabagger power.

Everybody, get out there and vote Democrat. They are not perfect, but the alternative is being a slave in your own country if you don't happen to be in the 1%. Obama/Biden in 2012!!!

Lynn Squance
Lynn Squance4 years ago

from the article --- ...formed a “Voter Identification Task Force” to continue ALEC’s “excellent work” in “promoting measures to enhance integrity in voting.”

Enhance integrity in voting? Integrity in voting and Republicans is an oxymoron.

Where are all these DMV offices that will issue picture ID for voting purposes in many states? Nowhere near the people that need them and who more often than not, don't drive.

Where is the credible evidence of wide spread voter fraud in these states that have passed laws that disenfranchise so many? There is very little. I believe in South Carolina a person participated in an advance poll and thereafter died. These idiots keep bringing up this same incident as evidence of fraud.

The DOJ investigated voter fraud and despite a heavy influence of Republican employees, the DOJ said voter fraud was negligible.

The Republican/Teabaggers are trying to deflect attention away from their own complicity in or outright fixing of voting machines. There was, probably 6-12 months ago, a series of Congressional hearings in which a computer programmer admitted that he wrote a programme for Florida Republicans that would in essence alter the vote and was difficult to detect. Since the 2000 Florida debacle that resulted in Bush being declared the winner, evidence has come up that shows that Gore actually won, but SCOTUS had already declared Bush the winner by the time the evidence was in.

In my opin

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Steve R.-You are an example of everything that is wrong with the right wing. You have your opinion and no amount of facts or evidence matters to you. Or perhaps you are just another right-winger who knows that these laws disenfranchise people but want that because it would help Republicans.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown4 years ago

Steve R-legitimate voters are individuals that have registered to vote and yes 10-15% of them (the poor, elderly, diabled, students, and women) would have trouble getting the sort of ID these idiot laws require. As for me being "naive" about voter fraud, do you have any facts to back up such a claim? No you don't? Well I do.