After their exodus of corporate sweethearts, ALEC has decided maybe it wasn't a very good idea to reach beyond their mission. On Tuesday morning they announced they were disbanding their VoterID and Stand Your Ground task forces.
David Frizzell, Indiana State Representative and 2012 National Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), issued the following statement today on behalf of ALEC’s Legislative Board of Directors:
“Today we are redoubling our efforts on the economic front, a priority that has been the hallmark of our organization for decades. Fostering the exchange of pro-growth, solutions-oriented ideas is precisely why ALEC exists.
“To that end, our legislative board last week unanimously agreed to further our work on policies that will help spur innovation and competitiveness across the country.
“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.
Yes, this is a victory for progressive voices, and yet, not a victory. After all, ALEC is only one tentacle of the right wing legislative network. They are the corporate arm, but let's not forget the State Policy Network, which works closely with ALEC to "educate" legislators.
Like ALEC, the SPN is a network of state-based policy think tanks that spew forth right wing studies and proposed legislation to further right wing goals. The full list of affiliated organizations is quite long, and includes organizations like the Goldwater Institute, the John William Pope Civitas Institute, and the Mackinac Institute for Public Policy.
So while I consider it a victory to have ALEC recognize the risk in overstepping their stated mission, I am by no means comforted by it, knowing that these other groups have equal clout in the lawmaking process.
I'm convinced this is only a tactical victory in a far bigger war. Right after they sent out their press release, the tweet below was blased from ALEC's Twitter account. I guess their plan is to distract and deflect with personal attacks.
— ALEC (@ALEC_states) April 17, 2012
I expect more like this.