ALEC drops its campaigns for 'Stand Your Ground' & Voter ID laws

In response to pressure from several progressive organizations – and an exodus of corporate members – the American Legislative Exchange Council announced on Tuesday it’s dismantling its non-economic taskforces responsible for writing radical legislation like “Shoot First” laws and “Voter ID” laws.

While this is a small progressive victory – ALEC promises to continue writing economic legislation that repeals environmental regulations, busts up unions, and gives massive tax breaks to the Romney-rich in America. Not only that – even though ALEC is ending its non-economic task forces – the damage has already been done. Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin is dead in Florida thanks to ALEC’s Shoot First law – and millions of Democratic voters will be disenfranchised this election because of ALEC’s Voter ID laws.

So let’s not celebrate ALEC’s decision yesterday – let’s take it as a sign that we need to work even harder to expose the American corporatocracy that’s been working in the shadows for the last 30 years.


diatonicman 11 years 6 weeks ago

I will admit to being a bit ignorant on this subject. I ask this not to start a flame war but because I really don't understand. What is so bad about having to show ID to vote? Before my county went all paperless ballots I had to show ID in order to vote? How are they suppose to identify you are who you say you are without ID? Don't most states require everyone to carry picture ID? Can someone enlighten me here?

SteveS's picture
SteveS 11 years 6 weeks ago

As long as ALEC wants to gut environmental regulations and to support giving huge tax breaks to big banks and corporations, it is a dangerous organization. The phone-calling and letter-writing efforts sponsored by several great organizations (the Center for Media and Democracy, People for the American Way, and others) have had a positive effect, but we can't let up. I hope these efforts are sustained until all ALEC members are tired of hearing from us--the 99%--and are willing to drop out.

Dewpoint 11 years 6 weeks ago

I knew beyond question that there was a background organization operating that enabled R Reagan to win the White House because within the first 3 mo of his administration the entire social service network was practically dismantled and Reagan could not have achieved this on his own. It was like a hit list that had been planned for years. (Also it became apparent when the Iranians released the hostages within minutes after his swearing in). However I am firmly convinced that our federal congressional members had to know about ALEC as well - it would be virtually impossible for them to be in the dark since even dem congresspeople attended the meetings. For 30 years this was a secret! So what that says, on the state as well as the federal level, our "representatives" have colluded to keep this from the voting public. ALEC dismantles the right of voters to have their choices heard and moves the privilege for representation almost exclusively to the corporate members. This is one more black mark against Congress and everyone who has accepted and introduced legislation coming from that organization should lose their seat. The names of every concressperson who has engaged in this sleazy overthrow of our elective system should be published and targeted.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 11 years 6 weeks ago

The celebration of the demise of ALEC is premature. I listened to Mike Pappantonio, host of Ring of Fire radio program, filling in for the Ed Schultz radiio program the other day, and Mike Pappantonio said that ALEC will just change their name and their agenda will continue.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 6 weeks ago

Look on the bright side, thanks to ALEC we might get to see Nugent try to "stand-his-ground" against the Secret Service!

By the way, it should be noted that Koch money has done much to promote this carcinogen known as ALEC, which has played a role in putting democracy on life support........ Tea-baggers like Nugent think unelected guys like the Kochs, as the "deciders," somehow equates to freedom! I wonder if he's willing to fill his canteen near some of their industrial sites? Now that's FREEDOM!

Pat Prachter's picture
Pat Prachter 11 years 6 weeks ago

Mr. Hartmann: I've been following the political and economic situation in the U.S. for some time, and it occurred to me the other day that despite no formal announcements being made, the U.S. is pretty much under austerity measures. When politicians no longer act as politicians should in similar circumstances, one has to question what's really going on. The signs of austerity are all here, in plain view. Cuts to social programs, increased surveillance and private police, influx of foreign ownership, selling stuff off cheap, privatizing every level of society, draining of citizen wealth, voter and citizen suppression, union busting, wage reductions, concessions only for the rich..........

Has the U.S. been IMF'D and the arrangements all made behind closed doors? There are just too many symptoms to ignore. Anyways, thanks for the great programs. I learn something every time I watch your show.

No Fraud's picture
No Fraud 11 years 6 weeks ago

ALEC is an evil organization and is NOT a representative of those of us that stand & die for "Equality...Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".

ALEC, Koch, the Ayn Rands, etc. are all representatives of the selfish intrest of the UBER rich and those who violently dispose of humanity and equality. In Daniel Quinn's book "Ishmael"...They would be known as "The Takers"; those who denounce the ways of the "Leavers"; whoes healthy social diverse ways are time proven rather than money motivated or politically popular.
"The world of the Takers is one vast prison..." D. Quinn; Ishmael p251

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 5 weeks ago

Okay, I'll explain it to you: Even in New York upstate you won't get an ID card for free -- and the state NY is pretty much progressive. People who are actually starving can't afford paying 14 bucks for a non-driver photo-ID-card. You can have a short-term ID card as well, which will cost between $9.00 and $10.00 -- which would mean paying 10 bucks just for the vote. People who are on food stamps cannot afford that!

We never had this ID-card nonsense in the U.S. -- the Republicans just wanna keep Democratic voters from voting.

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 11 years 5 weeks ago

Hi Clarissa,

Isn't NY pretty much run by Democrats? So it seems to me, that it's Democrats keeping folks from voting.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 5 weeks ago

Voter registration is NOT restricted to driver licenses and non-driver ID cards in the state New York!

You can use various kinds of other documents, that document your name and adress. If you've been a resident for some time, you have documents like that anyway. As we always say : restriction to ID cards is not necessary and just to keep people from voting in Republican states.

It's fairly easy to vote in the state New York. I call this liberal liberty.

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 11 years 5 weeks ago

Hi Clarissa,

If this is the case, why are you complaining (like a good liberal/progressive) in your orginal post, about New York charging a fee for voter ID cards?

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 5 weeks ago

I had answered the question in comment #2:

Quote diatonicman:"What is so bad about having to show ID to vote?....... Can someone enlighten me here?"
I was leaving conclusions out, because anybody should be able to make them: To restrict voting to ID cards makes voting unaffordable to the very poor, because you pay for ID cards even in blue states.

The problem is not the fact that we have to pay for ID cards in all states, the problem is voter restriction in red states.

I am concentrated/specialized on social policy, and this is the reason why I felt in charge and answered the question in #2. But I expect people to think themselves and make their own conclusions.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen
From Cracking the Code:
"Thom Hartmann ought to be bronzed. His new book sets off from the same high plane as the last and offers explicit tools and how-to advice that will allow you to see, hear, and feel propaganda when it's directed at you and use the same techniques to refute it. His book would make a deaf-mute a better communicator. I want him on my reading table every day, and if you try one of his books, so will you."
Peter Coyote, actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While