ALEC Companies and Politicians Must Be Held Accountable for Vigilante Laws and Bills Making It Harder for Citizens to Vote, plus other Extreme Measures Dressed Up as "Job" Bills
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, April 17, 2012.
Contact: Nikolina Lazic at (608) 260-9713 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON, WISCONSIN -- The Center for Media and Democracy's Executive Director Lisa Graves issued this statement today in response to ALEC's announcement that it is disbanding its "Public Safety and Elections Task Force":
ALEC's announcement is a partial victory for the power of grassroots citizen action, but for Americans concerned about brand-name corporations underwriting ALEC's extreme agenda to make it more difficult for American citizens to vote and to protect armed vigilantes, ALEC's PR maneuver to try to distance itself from its record of extremism is an empty gesture unless it and the corporations that have bankrolled its operations work to repeal ALEC-backed laws that have advanced the NRA's agenda and that will impede citizens from voting in the coming elections.
Moreover, ALEC's so-called "jobs" agenda is a thinly disguised effort to make it more difficult for American families to hold corporations accountable when their drugs or other products kill or injure their loved ones, to strip workers of their rights to organize or even get sick pay to help care for their children when they are ill, limit the ability of the government to protect the health and safety of American families and to fight climate changes underway, funnel tax dollars from public institutions like schools into private coffers, and to continue a reckless agenda of tax loopholes and giveaways to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the world, like Koch Industries and the Koch family.
Beyond its extreme agenda, ALEC's operating procedures undermine the democratic process by giving corporate lobbyists and special interest groups an equal voice and vote on "model" legislation alongside elected officials at closed-door meetings of ALEC task forces at fancy resorts where the press and public are excluded. ALEC's members must be held accountable for these procedures that distort the democratic process and that have produced its extreme agenda.