The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization that advocates "model legislation" for legislatures across the country, announced Tuesday that it is disbanding the task force that has promoted the "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws and voter ID and immigration bills, among others. The announcement, released as a statement by ALEC Chairman David Frizzell, said the move was an effort to "refocus" the group's efforts on free-market issues of economic growth. It made no mention of the threat of boycotts against several of its corporate sponsors by groups opposed to those legislative initiatives. A number of contributors, including McDonald's, Wendy's, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, and Kraft Foods, have in recent weeks announced they would no longer be funding the organization. The ALEC announcement follows weeks of controversy generated by a national media that is largely unsympathetic to "Stand Your Ground" laws after Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death in a gated community in Florida. The shooter, a neighborhood watch patrolman, claimed Martin attacked him. Reports soon followed of a grass roots campaign to pressure companies to stop contributing to ALEC.
"We are refocusing our commitment to free-market, limited government and pro-growth principles, and have made changes internally to reflect this renewed focus," said Frizzell, a state representative from Indiana. "We are eliminating the ALEC Public Safety and Elections task force that dealt with non-economic issues, and reinvesting these resources in the task forces that focus on the economy. The remaining budgetary and economic issues will be reassigned."
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