The American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive alliance of big businesses and largely Republican state legislators who co-operate to push a right-wing political agenda in the American hinterland, is continuing to wield outsized influence over gun laws across the US despite its promise in the wake of the Trayvon Martin furore to stop operating in this area.
As protesters gathered outside Alec's 40th annual gathering of lawmakers and corporate interests in Chicago, a new watchdog report finds that stand-your-ground laws of the sort forwarded by the group and made infamous by the Martin killing are still proliferating around the country. Last year, Alec came under intense criticism that its model stand-your-ground law, first adopted in Florida in 2005 having been drafted by the National Rifle Association, had prevented the arrest of George Zimmerman, Martin's shooter, and made his prosecution more difficult.
In the wake of the controversy, the group disbanded its "public safety and elections" taskforce that had been lobbying for stand-your-ground laws and for the spread of voter ID laws that restrict voter registration and make it harder for black, elderly and poor voters to cast their ballots. But the new report from the Center for Media and Democracy finds that the group's hand can still be felt across the US with the ongoing creep of stand-your-ground and regressive electoral laws.