ALEC Announces It Will No Longer Focus on Social IssuesPosted: April 17, 2012 Filed under: American Gun Fetish, Breaking News, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, fundamentalist Christians, Human Rights, legislation, U.S. Politics | Tags: "stand your ground" laws, ALEC, Heritage Foundation, Koch Brothers, Moral Majority, Paul Weyrich, prisons, Voter ID laws 27 Comments
ALEC has sent out a press release announcing a very significant change in its organizational structure and goals. The headline: ALEC Sharpens Focus on Jobs, Free Markets and Growth — Announces the End of the Task Force that Dealt with Non-Economic Issues. Here’s the gist:
“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….
“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.”
Except those really aren’t the reasons ALEC was founded. The brains behind ALEC were Paul Weyrich, who also founded the Heritage Foundation and joined with Jerry Falwell to found Moral Majority, and other right wing legislators focused on social issues like Henry Hyde.
One of the first to envision fusing the conservative movement with evangelicals, he and the Rev. Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority as well. In fact, Weyrich coined the phrase the “moral majority”. No believer in majority rule, he said: “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” His statement was a harbinger to ALEC’s later very dogged voter suppression activities. “Recently Voter ID legislation based on ALEC’s template was introduced in states across the country and passed in at least fourteen states,” under the guise of preventing election fraud.
So voter suppression was part of the organization’s charter, apparently.
ALEC’s model legislation has been instrumental in the explosive growth of the prison population. It helped pioneer “three strikes” laws, mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and “truth in sentencing” laws, which serve to abolish or curb parole so converts are made to serve the entire length of their sentence. “Because of truth-in-sentencing and other tough sentencing measures, state prison populations grew by half a million inmates in the 1990s even while crime rates fell dramatically.” In fact, one of ALEC’s benefactors, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), made an offer to cash- strapped states to buy up their prison populations at a cost savings as long as the state kept their prisons 90 percent filled to capacity.
And of course ALEC was behind the Stand Your Ground laws that have become such a big issue since the Trayvon Martin shooting.
And now ALEC is dropping this part of their agenda. This is a huge victory for anyone who care about human rights.
This is huge! It shows that we CAN have an impact if we join together to fight the right wing nuts!
There are some other areas I hope they get out of too .. so far it looks like the voter id laws and stand your ground laws. What about reproductive rights and climate change?
That’s interesting about Jerry Farwell’s contributions. That was news to me.
I don’t know if Jerry Falwell did anything, but Weyrich helped Falwell’s organization get started.
They say they are only focusing on economic issues from now on. Do we know for sure they were behind the anti-abortion laws? It seems like they had to be, but I don’t know for sure.
They’re behind the anti union laws, the anti climate change stuff, and also the voucher and teacher union busting … that’s still a nasty agenda.
Their so-called “cousins” are Americans United for Life which is where all the anti women stuff is coming from
No one is sure where all these funds are coming and going
From Think Progress link in my post:
From Color of Change:
Bait and Switch? A time tested marketing ploy. Alec is comprised of multi million and billion corporately paid PR groups. This is a stand back and retrench = bait and switch. Any company who remains in this group is not to be trusted – ever. JMHO of course, but over the life of me, I’ve seen this so many times before – they regroup, change their tactics and re-engage – all of which is done in secret.
Yep, HT, exactly. They will keep doing what they have been – just morph into new and improved. This is an election year.
I refuse to announce everything is hopeless and then give up, as so many people seem to want to do.
BB, I’m not suggesting that people give up, just that they be constantly vigilant because these people are like a virus, they mutate when attacked. Constant vigilance is what is needed. While there is a victory today, there may well be defeat tomorrow without constant surveillance.
Of course, but I think it’s counterproductive to just pooh pooh every success. It’s a big deal that giant corporations like Blue Cross/BlueShield, McDonalds, and Coke are dropping out of ALEC.
6 Rigged Rules Corporations Use to Dodge Taxes
AT&T, Boeing, Citigroup, Duke Energy and Ford reported more than $20 billion of US pre-tax income last year, but didn’t pay any federal income taxes. Here’s why.
And to compliment that article Dak:
So true. But rich little kids pick their noses too.
According to this article, “Americans United for Life” is behind the anti-abortion laws passed by state legislatures.
State Lawmakers abandoning ALEC. Better late than never.
I agree that on the surface this appears to be a victory. However, I agree with the statement from ColorofChange – it is merely PR. There is no way ALEC is going to give up so easily. They are vampires & sunshine kills them. So maybe a few of the vampire members either got burned or were afraid of being burned and bolted. This just allows the remaining ones – nearly all of the members – to retreat back into the darkness and continue sucking the blood of America. The surest way to kill a vampire? Cut off their heads. ALEC will only be defeated by the empowerment of the citizens – the majority of the citizens.
Joss Whedon & Buffy taught me well.
Yes, but it’s a mistake to dismiss it as nothing. This should just cause us to fght harder.
It’s not nothing. It shows that ALEC has been spooked, which is a good thing. It means the pressure must continue and spread. I’m heartened that ColorofChange took the stance that they did. Unfortunately their focus isn’t wide enough. More social justice groups need to step up as well, along with every union, environmental group and health care advocacy group.
So glad you picked this up & posted it.
I read somewhere that the Urban League was also involved with going after ALEC so it’s not only ColorofChange. Though every social justice group should be part of it.
and Common Cause too.
Quite a few groups have been fighting ALEC besides Color of Change. Check that article at The Nation that Dak posted. People for the American Way, Alec Exposed, Common Cause, and more.
The sneaky creeps will propably just spawn other evil under the radar tax exempt organizations. Kormen sure made themselves look like a real charity — turns out Kormen is just another front for crooks & liars.
Then there’s 0bowma who is the best Republican money can buy. The sneaky creeps managed to get their guy in — and the Dems can’t complain because he is one of theirs.
This seems to be the way the elite 1% works. Put a benign name on a group — pay for some image shape shifting PR then convince the public that yellow is purple.
Breaking news from Color of Change: Blue Cross Blue Shield quits ALEC.
Who isn’t a member of ALEC…Geez!
Blue Cross isn’t anymore.