ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council. It is a little-known conservative think tank. It is the source of the “stand your ground” laws.
It is now running for cover. Bill Gates’s foundation says it will not send money any longer. So has McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Kraft Foods.
This reveals what ALEC has concealed for decades. The Establishment Left has always written checks to ALEC, which has kept ALEC on a short leash. We read in Wikipedia:
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a 501(c)(3) American organization composed of legislators, businesses and foundations which produces model policies for state legislatures and promotes free-markets, limited government, and federalism at the state level. According to the organization’s website, members share a common belief that “government closest to the people” is “fundamentally more effective, more just, and a better guarantor of freedom than the distant, bloated federal government in Washington, D.C.” In a Dec. 2011 opinion piece critical of ALEC which appeared in The Nation magazine, John Nichols described ALEC as a “collaboration between multinational corporations and conservative state legislators.”
When any conservative organization is in any way dependent on the American Establishment for its tax-deductible donations, it has no teeth.
ALEC provides a forum for state legislator and corporate members to collaborate on “model policies”—draft legislation that members can customize for communities and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures. Approximately 200 per year become law. ALEC has produced model legislation on issues such as reducing corporate regulation and taxation, tightening voter identification rules, digital due process streamlining or minimizing environmental protections, over-criminalization and promoting gun rights.
It was behind the “stand your ground” laws. But not any more. The Left has yanked its leash.
The Left has a lot of money. It can write a few checks for what it regards as walking-around money. It can get policy changed by pulling back for a year.
When was the last time you saw any Beltway conservative think tank do an attack on Rockefeller or the Rockefeller empire? The next time will be the first.
The New York Times has described what has happened at ALEC. ALEC is getting out of the law enforcement and social policy fields. It will return to its “economic roots.”
While the group had already been discussing a narrowing of its work, the controversy generated by the Martin shooting “may have sped up the process,” Chip Rogers, a Georgia state senator who is the group’s treasurer, said in a telephone interview. The group’s legislative board voted unanimously to disband its committee that developed policies on public safety, elections and other noneconomic issues.
The Trayvon Martin case is the cause. Zimmerman was declared not guilty. But that does not matter at ALEC.
Since then, corporate supporters and philanthropic organizations, like the Gates Foundation, have withdrawn contributions to the organization that are believed to total hundreds of thousands of dollars. (It does not publicly list the amounts contributed by its members and donors.) “We hate to see any members leave,” said Kaitlyn Buss, a spokeswoman for the group, “and we hope to work with these companies that have had problems again in the future.”
If you want to know why things never change politically, despite the flow of funds into conservative organizations, follow the money. All it takes is walking-around money from the Left to de-fang the “loyal opposition” conservative movement.