In the last two months, sixteen companies and other institutional supporters of the American Legislative Exchange Council announced that they would part ways with the organization — likely costing the conservative group hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual funding. Similarly, several dozen lawmakers broke ties with ALEC due to a progressive campaign highlighting the organization’s harmful impact on state lawmaking. ALEC drafts and promotes “model” conservative legislation, including bills disenfranchising thousands of student, low-income and minority voters, and the so-called “stand your ground” laws that may shield Trayvon Martin’s killer George Zimmerman from justice.
Today, eleven more state lawmakers announced that they would no longer associate with ALEC. According to an email from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, the ex-ALEC lawmakers are:
- 8 Pennsylvannia legislators (Sen. Lisa Boscola, Sen. Leanna Washington, Sen. Anthony Williams, Rep. Nick Kotik, Rep. Ted Harhai, Rep. William Keller, Rep. Joseph Markosek, Rep. Joseph Petrarca)
- 2 Illinois legislators (Rep. Mary Flowers, Rep. Brendan Phelps)
- 1 Iowa legislator (Rep. Brian Quirk)
All eleven of these lawmakers are Democrats. In total, 39 Democratic lawmakers have dropped ALEC.
The campaign against ALEC already pressured the conservative group to eliminate its Public Safety and Elections task force, which was responsible for both voter suppression and many gun-related laws. Nevertheless, the group redoubled its focus on bills sacrificing the environment and the middle class in order to funnel even more wealth to the very wealthy. A short list of ALEC-sponsored initiatives includes state union-busting measures, bills repealing minimum wage laws, attempts to privatize public lands, bills to repeal capital gains taxes and estate taxes, fighting any efforts to address manmade climate change while touting “the many benefits of atmospheric CO2 enrichment,” repealing paid sick day laws, requiring a super-majority to raise taxes and pushing rules deeming that kids eating rat poison is an “acceptable risk.”