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Thursday was a bad day for the American Legislative Exchange Council. The conservative corporate front group, which has been a target of protests in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting -- which many connect to the ALEC-inspired "Shoot First" or "Stand Your Ground" laws -- continues to be exposed and pushed back against for its legislative agenda.
Nationally, Mars -- the candy maker -- joined the rush of companies abandoning ALEC in recent days, joining McDonald's, Wendy's, the Gates Foundation, Intuit and others:
Earlier this year, Mars, Incorporated reviewed all of its trade associations and sponsorships and decided not to renew the ALEC membership in 2012. In the past, we attended the ALEC annual meeting to create awareness of our positive economic impact and job creation in the communities where we operate. At no point was Mars ever involved in ALEC’s policymaking or Private Enterprise Board.
In Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed an ALEC-written bill that would've limited liability for asbestos-using companies (or the current companies that own them). The Orwellian name for the bill was "The Innocent Successor Asbestos-Related Liability Fairness Act."
In Arizona, after multiple groups put pressure on Arizona Public Service, the state's largest energy company is leaving ALEC.
In Missouri, Democratic State Representative Mike Colona calls out ALEC:
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is not the innocuous, bipartisan organization it purports to be. Their agenda is radical and wrong for Missouri. I was a member and saw firsthand the sort of extreme legislation they push on state legislators around the country.
I disagree with ALEC's extremist agenda and encourage my colleagues in the Missouri General Assembly to end their affiliations with the group. If ALEC is too extreme for Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's, Kraft, Wendy's, Intuit and the Gates Foundation, it's too extreme for me and the people of Missouri.
In Texas, the Associated Press picks up on a call from Progress Texas for 83 of the state's elected officials, including nearly half of the state legislature, to abandon ALEC. As of Thursday, 10 had quit. Democratic State Representative Alma Allen said:
As a legislator, I value the input that non-partisan organizations contribute to various issues. However, I do not believe that the American Legislative Exchange Council is a non-partisan organization. Due to the legislation that ALEC has been involved in forming and promoting, I will not be renewing my membership. I value and listen to all opinions, but ALEC's agenda has become harmful to my constituents, and the people of the State of Texas.
As reported earlier, Virginia House speaker and former national ALEC chair William Howell insulted Progress Virginia Executive Director Anna Scholl, by suggesting that she couldn't understand his 'complicated' words, and went on to blame the organization for false reports about ALEC (that were accurate) and to claim that there was a liberal assault on the organization.