In response to public outrage, the American Legislative Exchange Council has announced that it is disbanding the “Public Safety and Elections Task Force,” the working group responsible for advancing model legislation like the controversial Voter ID and “Shoot First” gun laws that have proliferated around the country.
“ALEC’s latest move is a transparent effort to stem the recent hemorrhaging they’re facing after the outpouring of grassroots anger over their role pushing extreme legislation that endangers the safety and lives of Americans.” said People For the American Way president Michael Keegan. “They’re right to be worried about public outrage of their support of laws that promote vigilantism, suppress citizens’ right to vote and criminalize immigrants, but this is an empty gesture unless ALEC and its members work to overturn the draconian measures that have caused so much harm to the American people. Their claim that in the future they will only focus on legislation that will ‘put the economy back to work,’ begs the question of how they can use a ‘jobs agenda’ to justify laws that undermine workers’ rights, privatize public education, and make it harder to hold corporations accountable for poisoning our air and water or selling us dangerous and defective products. We will continue to work with our friends to shine a light on ALEC’s agenda and hold members accountable for supporting that agenda.”
Eleven companies, including McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods severed ties with ALEC under increasing public scrutiny from a number of organizations including People For the American Way, Color of Change, Center for Media and Democracy, Common Cause, and Progress Now. Just this afternoon, Color of Change announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield had also severed its ties with ALEC.