By Kirsten Bokenkamp
Senior Communications Strategist
Reacting to backlash against voter suppression efforts promulgated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), two of the organization’s giant corporate members – Coca Cola and PepsiCo – have succumbed to pressure from public interest groups and severed their ties to the group.
According to a National Public Radio report, ALEC promotes business-friendly legislation in state capitols and drafts model bills for state legislatures to adopt. They range from little-noticed pro-business bills to more controversial measures, including photo voter identification laws. These laws directly benefit the corporations’ bottom line regardless of the societal cost.
Thankfully, the truth is starting to come out about how ALEC is an affront to our democracy. A few days ago the Huffington Post published an article titled How Are ALEC Laws Undermining Our Democracy?
So what kind of bills does ALEC draft and spread state to state? According to the article:
– Democracy-undermining Voter ID legislation that has been passed in at least 14 states – under the guise of preventing election fraud (which no one can actually find).
– Voucher programs that privatize public education.
– Anti-immigrant laws like Arizona’s SB 1070.
– Anti-worker legislation.
– Laws that undermine smart-on-crime reforms, such as “three strikes,” mandatory minimum sentencing, and “truth in sentencing.”
As the list above shows, ALEC’s model legislation has a real world negative impact on the civil liberties of all Americans, puts more people needlessly behind bars, undermines our democracy, and makes communities across the country less safe.
The ACLU of Texas works to protect the civil liberties of all Texans, but we need your help. Follow our work and join our Community Action Network – together we can ensure that civil liberties, not corporate profits, prevail at the Texas Capitol.