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S.C. Democrats Target ALEC, Statehouse Members

Legislators call for others to abandon controversial group, and some are doing so.

S.C. legislators are calling for their co-workers in the state's General Assembly to distance themselves from the American Legislative Exchange Council as national pressure increases on the little-known policy organization. 

The detractors include state Rep. Ted Vick, a Chesterfield Democrat and 7th Congressional District candidate who resigned his membership from ALEC on Tuesday, calling it "part of the problem."

The conservative organization has pushed legislation in statehouses across the country, including the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law that was used as an initial defense in the Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Through hundreds of legislative members across the county, ALEC has promoted conservative bills like the "Stand Your Ground" laws. Last week, the group bowed to public criticsim and the defection of corporate finances, saying it would stop working on gun laws, as well as other controversial legislation.

In a statement, Vick said he joined ALEC in 2004, but that the group had drifited from its nonpartisan goal of limited, but effective government.

"ALEC has become too partisan and too extreme," he said. "I believe we need more bipartisanship, statesmanship, and less divisive political rhetoric."

On Monday, Rep. Boyd Brown (D-Fairfield) called for his fellow legislators in both parties to abandon their association with ALEC. In a letter, Brown cited ALEC's corporate funding and its influence in crafting legislation.

"Your support for this organization is harmful to your constituents and folks all across the United States," Brown wrote. "And I urge you to withdraw your membership today."

ALEC has been losing more than just members and clout in the past few weeks. Corporate sponsors that have financed the organization are also heading for the door, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble.

Also making news in Columbia today:

stanley seigler April 27, 2012 at 02:19 PM
@Jane Smith: "...Over 300+ ALEC "model" laws shoved down our throat...company called Diebold (large contributor to the Republican party) has been exposed in California. The Voting machines made by Diebold and the software (which NO ONE is allowed to scrutinize) has been fined for failures in the machines security." diff in MI and SC is, MI felt ALEX laws were shoved down their throats...SC legs/citizens bought ALEX/koch bro laws hook, line and sinker... useless voterID laws (written by ALEX/koch b) do nothing to correct real fraud and technical issues...eg, diebold.
stanley seigler May 08, 2012 at 05:38 PM
FYI "ALEC Gets a Break From State Lobbying Laws...The American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEX] says it's not a lobbying group. Then why have three states [SC, IN, CO] specifically exempted it from their rules for lobbyists? http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/05/alec-lobbyist-exemption How ALEC Ghostwrites the Law...eg, voterID law [CLIP] "These exemptions are just now coming to light. In South Carolina, Democratic Rep. Boyd Brown recently discovered a 2003 state law that exempts ALEC from registering or disclosing its lobbying expenditures. One of the South Carolina bill's sponsors was ALEC member Rep. James Harrison, a Republican from Richland County." james harrison and who else...WHO ARE THE OTHER SPONSERs...and which SC legs are members of ALEX...
stanley seigler May 09, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Lawmakers Exempted ALEC in S.C. Lobbying Law http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=1992209084141467&act=post&pid=11862604123541405 [CLIPS] at a legislative workshop for the media, Orangeburg Democratic Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter raised concerns about her colleagues cowing to the whims of ALEC and warned of its deep influence at the State House...Republican and Democratic legislative leaders in South Carolina are “very involved” in ALEC, Cobb-Hunter said. Funded largely by the libertarian Koch brothers, ALEC creates model legislation for state legislatures to adopt, such as Voter ID laws and other controversial bills like the Stand Your Ground self-defense law. It deals with everything from health care to immigration to energy policy. ALEC bills are drawn up on behalf of corporate interests and introduced in states where lawmakers are members. The group holds conferences and treats its lawmaker members to vacations. It has 2,000 legislative members and 300 corporate members, according to a report on the group in The Nation. It is such retreats where ALEC is exempt in the state’s lobbying laws. While other special interest groups would have to extend convention invitations to a discernable group from the Legislative Manual for lawmakers to accept them, ALEC does not -- the group is specifcally exempted by name. “If you’re there (at an ALEC conference) then you don’t have adhere to the group invitation rule,” says State Ethics Commission general counsel.
Donald Bailey May 24, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Gore lost but got rich telling a lie about the climate!
stanley seigler May 31, 2012 at 05:48 PM
UPDATE Walmart said late Wednesday it is suspending membership in the American Legislative Council (ALEC), which the retailer joined in 1993. FYI [REPEAT] "ALEC Gets a Break From State Lobbying Laws...The American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEX] says it's not a lobbying group. Then why have three states [SC, IN, CO] specifically exempted it from their rules for lobbyists? http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/05/alec-lobbyist-exemption BTW, ALEC Ghostwrote the voterID law...and; as mentioned and asked previously...who are the SC legs that are ALEX members who provided ALEX a break from lobbying laws...perhaps legs should follow walmart's example...

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