Groups Support Durbin, Senate ALEC Hearings
In a coalition letter just mailed to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Greenpeace partnered with six other organizations to applaud today’s Senate Judiciary hearing on Stand Your Ground laws, which complicated the prosecution of George Zimmerman after he murdered unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida last year.
In particular, Greenpeace encourages the Senate’s examination of the secretive role played by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC helped disseminate Stand Your Ground laws in states across the country as part of its “model bill” lobbying work on behalf of private sector interests like the National Rifle Association (NRA). Stand Your Ground laws are linked to increased rates of homicide.
See this handy flowchart from the Center for Media and Democracy explaining how the NRA and ALEC pushed Shoot First laws in states across the country.
While ALEC has attempted to distance itself from Stand Your Ground laws, the damage is already done. Lost lives cannot be taken back. ALEC has made no attempt to support any repeal of its Shoot First laws that have protect killers like George Zimmerman. Using a lobbying process that undermines democracy, ALEC has also undermined criminal justice in this country. Despite helping pass model state laws crafted by the NRA and other companies like Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, AT&T, and Pfizer, donations to ALEC are tax deductible.
Greenpeace signed the letter to Senator Durbin in cooperation with AFSCME, Progress Now, ColorOfChange, American Federation of Teachers, CREDO Action and the Center for Media and Democracy, whose executive director Lisa Graves submitted testimony for today’s hearing. Graves points out how there are currently three separate complaints to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) alleging ALEC has long been engaged in tax fraud in providing its lobbying services to the NRA and its other members.
Senator Durbin has spoken about ALEC before–last year when groups including Greenpeace, Energy Action Coalition and others worked on behalf of 150,000 people asking Duke Energy to dump ALEC for pushing bills that suppress voters, deny climate change and attack clean energy incentives. In the video below, Senator Durbin makes a statement to ALEC member companies like the NRA and Duke, “If you believe in ALEC’s agenda as a corporation, then have the decency to stand up to the American people and say ‘we embrace this.’ If you’re embarrassed by it, then have the decency to distance yourself from it.”
The NRA has taken no responsibility for its role in the deaths facilitated by ALEC’s Shoot First laws, while Duke Energy has attempted to publicly disassociate from ALEC’s dirty agenda yet continued to fund ALEC’s secretive lobbying operations.
The full text of our letter to Senator Durbin is as follows:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This article is written by and is posted at http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2013/10/29/greenpeace-applauds-senate-examination-of-alecs-role-in-stand-your-ground-laws/