[UPDATED July 9, 2015]
A member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) said last week that the group – which collaborated with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to orchestrate stand your ground laws and ease restrictions on guns across America – presently has no plans to create any new policy or be involved in gun legislation. He also sidestepped a question on an ALEC-led push to repeal stand your ground laws. Perhaps they realize that they shot themselves in the foot on this controversial issue.
ALEC is one of the most vilified organizations in the history of American politics. It has members who mingle in closed quarters around conservative policies affecting all of us, devising schemes called “model policies” designed to control state legislation, while exchanging clout and money in the process.
Every state in America has politicians affiliated with ALEC, a group which denies involvement in some controversial issues, and won’t admit it has anything to do with problems that arise from any policy. Yet, ALEC has everything to do with state policies, problems, and legislation. Issues like climate change and stand your ground law have caused many leading corporations to cut ties with ALEC.
In a blog piece titled “A Clear And Present Danger: The United State Of ALEC“, renowned journalist Michael Maynard compares ALEC to drug cartels.
In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post Apple CEO Tim Cook implicated ALEC when he wrote that a “wave of legislation” in the form of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) across dozens of states would allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens.
When asked whether the organization was involved in supporting the RFRA, ALEC spokesperson recently told Christian Science Monitor: “We do not work on firearms, marriage equality, immigration, any of those things people frequently say are ours.” Yet, legislation that spreads across multiple states – as was the case after the success of stand your ground in Florida – is usually modeled by ALEC, and this template legislation causes problems, partly because what works in one state may not work in another.
In light of recent intense public debate on gun laws, ALEC claims to be taking a back seat, although they, along with their bedfellows over at the NRA, own the very policies at the center of the gun debate.
In a series of tweets Thursday (July 2nd), research analyst William Freeland, a member listed on ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, engaged in a lively conversation with ALECExposed and myself. He avoided a direct answer to a question on any plans to repeal stand your ground laws, and denied that the organization is directly involved in gun policy this year, though he was not speaking on behalf of ALEC.
[CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION: Mr. Freeland has informed me that he is not a ‘senior staff member’, as described when this post was first published, nor was he speaking on behalf of ALEC on twitter. He is, however, listed as a member of the group’s Tax and Fiscal Ploicy Task Force. Also, there is no ALEC model policy on the RFRA listed on the ALEC website. However, the implications stand as quoted in this post.]
So, what do you think? Do you think ALEC is still working behind the scenes to influence gun laws across the country? Do you believe ALEC?
Leave your comments below.
- ALEC Politicians In Your State (endstandyourground)
- Investigating ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council (tribuneofthepeople.com)
- A Clear and Present Danger – The United State of ALEC (mmaynard119.wordpress.com)
- For ALEC Money Talks with Gun Laws [Infographic] (blogs.lawyers.com)