More unflattering attention for ALEC | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More unflattering attention for ALEC

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 6:46 AM

The American Legislative Exchange Council is at last getting some of the unflattering attention it deserves. For decades the corporate (think Koch and ilk) lobby for regressive legislation on taxes, government regulation and now even various social issues, has primed state legislators with cookie-cutter legislation to advance the conservative Republican/plutocrat agenda. It's become so open that Sen. Missy Irvin brought down an ALEC staffer to testify for her bill they'd help cook up. Against health care reform, naturally.

Today, the New York Times piles on editorially, noting how ALEC is losing corporate sponsors and chafing in the spotlight for its luggage-carrying for the National Rifle Association. Stand Your Ground laws, an invitation to no-fault use of guns, are among the work of ALEC.

The council, known as ALEC, has since become better known, with news organizations alerting the public to the damage it has caused: voter ID laws that marginalize minorities and the elderly, antiunion bills that hurt the middle class and the dismantling of protective environmental regulations.

... The corporations abandoning ALEC aren’t explicitly citing the Stand Your Ground statutes as the reason for their decision. But many joined the group for narrower reasons, like fighting taxes on soda or snacks, and clearly have little interest in voter ID requirements or the N.R.A.’s vision of a society where anyone can fire a concealed weapon at the slightest hint of a threat.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, ALEC bemoaned the opposition it is facing and claimed it is only interested in job creation, government accountability and pro-business policies. It makes no mention of its role in pushing a law that police departments believe is increasing gun violence and deaths. That’s probably because big business is beginning to realize the Stand Your Ground laws are indefensible.

I'd say that working strenuously to prevent universal health care and to kill environmental regulation are, in the long run, more damaging to the health of more people than even the vigilantes unloosed by Stand Your Ground laws.

UPDATE: ALEC today announced it was shutting down a task force whose specialties included looser gun laws and anti-immigrant measures. It says it's going to focus on economic issues. We'll see. Common Cause comments:

Amid intense public scrutiny and the departure of at least 10 major corporate members, the American Legislative Exchange Council this morning announced the closing of a task force that helped create some of its most damaging legislation, including bills to restrict voting, “Stand Your Ground” gun laws and anti-immigrant measures.

“The American public has wised up to ALEC’s misguided and secretive attempts to co-opt state legislators for corporate profit,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “In folding its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, ALEC is abandoning under pressure the most controversial part of its agenda; that’s an important victory for the American public.”

Many Americans have learned about ALEC in recent weeks through news stories detailing its role in the proliferation of “Stand Your Ground” laws similar to the Florida statute at issue in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

But bad laws advanced by the shuttered ALEC task force remain on the books across the country, and ALEC continues to support legislation that weakens clean air and clean water regulations, undermines public schools and infringes on the bargaining rights or workers.

Last week 10 companies, including Coca Cola, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Mars, and Kraft Foods, severed ties with ALEC under increased media and public scrutiny.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (24)

Showing 1-24 of 24

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-24 of 24

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • The school crisis at 60: A light show and light cast on the lack of progress

    The 60th school crisis anniversary observance continues with a spectacular light show and some sobering thoughts on just what was accomplished and how much progress has been made in theintervening six decades.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes White House press secretary

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, is the new White House press secretary.
    • Jul 21, 2017
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation