The American Legislative Exchange Council will disband the task force that tackled non-economic issues like election fraud. From ALEC’s official statement:
“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.”
It’s hard to dispute ThinkProgress’ gleeful claim that this announcement by the American Legislative Exchange Council signifies that progressive groups successfully pressured ALEC out of its support for Voter ID laws and other relatively conservative measures.
The group apparently couldn’t quite withstand the withdrawal of support by many of its sponsors in response to a boycott threat by the progressive group Color of Change.
ALEC’s decision was an unfortunate one, but, under the circumstances, it does make sense. They have a vested interest in keeping their focus narrow so as to retain support on both sides of the aisle and to continue to be effective at influencing legislation at the state level. At no time, though, did their support for Voter ID laws actually amount to an attempt to disenfranchise minority voters. ALEC’s support for such laws amounted to a deep and abiding concern that illegitimate votes not water down the effect of legitimate votes — a concern that leaders of minority and progressive groups should share, but apparently don’t.
Most importantly, ALEC’s decision to sharpen its focus on economic issues doesn’t exonerate the corporations who succumbed to outside special interest groups to go against their own interests. As Michelle Malkin and Ed noted at the time, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Intuit, Kraft, Arby’s and Walgreens showed their true colors when they quickly abandoned ALEC. Apparently, they prioritize political correctness above all — even above free and fair elections, not to mention the free markets that enabled the success of such corporations in the first place.