Corporations dump membership in organisation that promotes "Stand Your Ground" laws

By Dara Kam

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer – Updated: 7:56 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012 – Posted: 7:49 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012


— A regressive advocacy organisation that promotes processed bills for like-minded lawmakers around a nation — a chronicle of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, among them — has come underneath glow given a sharpened genocide of Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

At slightest 4 vital companies have forsaken appropriation commitments to a regressive American Legislative Exchange Council, that also promotes voter registration laws that need print identification.

A polite rights advocacy group, ColorOfChange, has been pressuring companies inhabitant by online petitions to dump ties to ALEC and is claiming success, nonetheless those that leave have not attributed a departures to a group’s domestic leanings.

“On one palm these companies have multimillion-dollar budgets geared towards black consumers,” ColorOfChange debate and media executive Dani McClain said. “So a review with a companies has been, ‘you can’t on one palm strech out to us for a dollars and on a other palm be subsidizing and ancillary legislation that targets a communities in really disastrous ways, either it be a voter ID bills or a ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws.'”

Since Martin’s killing, ColorOfChange has let a companies know that ALEC was behind a pull for states to adopt legislation modeled after Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. The law has come underneath critique after a Feb. 26 sharpened genocide of Martin.

Neighborhood watch proffer George Zimmerman claimed he shot a unarmed teen in self-defense. The law allows people to use lethal force when they feel threatened and gives them shield from prosecution.

Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods Inc. final week announced they were not renewing their memberships in a classification and ColorOfChange is pursuit on ATT to follow suit. Hundreds of ColorOfChange supporters called a communication giant’s executives and asked them to mangle with ALEC, McClain said.

Coca-Cola done a proclamation within hours of receiving adult to 400 phone calls from ColorOfChange supporters. Kraft Foods Inc. pronounced it was not renewing a membership for financial and other reasons. Neither association cited a Martin killing.

Coca-Cola and other ALEC member companies, including Pepsico and Kraft, were targeted final year by a organisation for their support of ALEC, that promotes voter registration bills that ColorOfChange leaders call “voter termination laws,” that need registrants to uncover print identification. Pepsico pulled a appropriation in January.

ATT has not nonetheless responded a polite rights group’s request. Intuit, a builder of Quicken, this year did not replenish a membership though was not a ColorOfChange target.

In 2005 Florida became a initial state to approve a “Stand Your Ground” law. The National Rifle Association’s Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, a former boss of a NRA, a subsequent year done a display about a law during ALEC’s inhabitant assembly of lawmakers and business leaders, Hammer said. The organisation afterwards used Florida’s law as indication legislation for other states and during slightest 20 other states have given upheld identical laws.

ALEC brings together state and sovereign lawmakers, who compensate $100 for a two-year membership, and corporations, that compensate between $2,500 and $25,000 for annual membership.

The legislators and corporate member breeze processed bills that can be used by lawmakers and lobbyists as models for state or sovereign legislation. Many Florida Republican lawmakers frequently attend a Washington-based organization’s annual meetings.

Koch Industries, led by regressive domestic contributors Charles and David Koch, is one of ALEC’s largest corporate members. The group’s house of corporate advisers also includes executives from companies including Pfizer Inc. and Reynolds American, which, along with Proctor Gamble Inc., are adhering with ALEC.

ALEC mouthpiece Kaitlyn Buss pronounced a group’s categorical concentration is on pursuit origination and mercantile growth.

“Our private members and legislators are eccentric thinkers and don’t indispensably determine on all process initiatives from ALEC,” Buss pronounced in an email. “ALEC’s members are joined by a common seductiveness in giveaway marketplace craving and singular government.”

Florida Rep. Jimmy Patronis, ALEC’s state chairman, sponsored Florida’s argumentative choosing law now being challenged in sovereign justice by a Obama Administration. Patronis, R-Panama City, pronounced he values a regressive organisation since it allows him to share good ideas with other lawmakers from Southern states.

He called a ColorOfChange debate unfortunate. “It’s critical to me to see what works in other states and what works in Florida and pity that with other legislators,” he said.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this story.