ALEC drops push for 'Stand Your Ground,' Voter-ID laws - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

ALEC stops pushing 'Stand Your Ground' laws

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At a rally for Trayvon Martin in Minneapolis on March 29, a protestor holds up a sign reading, "ALEC's stand your ground encourages use of deadly force." (Source: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr) At a rally for Trayvon Martin in Minneapolis on March 29, a protestor holds up a sign reading, "ALEC's stand your ground encourages use of deadly force." (Source: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)

WASHINGTON (RNN) - The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will no longer promote so-called "social policy" after controversy erupted over the group's push for "Stand Your Ground" and Voter-ID laws across the country.

Instead, it will focus on pushing economic policy, the group announced Tuesday.

"While we recognize that there are other critical, non-economic issues that are vitally important to millions of Americans, we believe we must concentrate on initiatives that spur competitiveness and innovation and put more Americans back to work," said ALEC's Legislative Board of Directors in a statement.

The group announced it would eliminate its Public Safety and Elections task force after losing 11 corporate backers, including McDonald's and Wendy's.

ALEC and Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law came under public scrutiny after an unarmed black teenager was shot to death by a neighborhood watch captain. Police in Sanford, FL, used the law as justification for not arresting or charging George Zimmerman, 28, who admitted to shooting Trayvon Martin, 17, to death on Feb. 26.

The law states that Floridians have no obligation to back down before using deadly force when a person feels his or her life is in danger.

The NAACP hailed the move as a victory for civil rights advocates who have put pressure on corporate members of the legislative group, although it says the damage has already been done.

"We may never know how many families will be denied justice because of the 'Stand Your Ground' laws that continue to put communities in danger," NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous said.

The group has also been pressured for its support of Voter-ID laws, which civil rights organizations say wrongfully deny some citizens the right to vote.

"To simply say they are stopping non-economic work doesn't guarantee that ALEC will not continue to push laws that endanger African-Americans and trample our voting rights," said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson.

On Tuesday, Blue Cross Blue Shield became the 11th company to part with ALEC. Other companies who dropped their association with ALEC include Mars, Inc., the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Wendy's International, Kraft Foods, Intuit, McDonald's, American Traffic Solutions, Arizona Public Service and LexisNexis.

With more than 2,000 members across the country, ALEC is a legislative association that aims to promote free-market, limited government, pro-growth policies.

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