Today, ALEC issues a press release saying Uncle. A presser is a presser. They crafted it to look like they were saying “Okay guys, you win” but no one is winning because the Public Safety and Elections Task Force they are disbanding has already changed many laws in several states already. A lot of their work is done.
Here is what the presser said:
“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.
“While we recognize 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.
Let’s break it down. GOP Word Soup can be tricky. The organization is “reinvesting these resources.” Then they say a key word and that word is “reassigned.” You can eliminate the task force but in shadow organizations what does the word reassigned exactly mean? The questions that I have include the purpose of what they are actually going to do? When corporate sponsors started backing up, that mean the financial empire that ALEC runs was threatened but it’s by no means gone because they have a ton of money. And that means that they are still going to be funding candidates that they think will continue their message. Even the headline was suspect, ALEC Sharpens Focus on Jobs … yada, yada, yada.
There are battles fought where one side or the other wins but the war can still rage on. It’s about strategies being changed and what ALEC did today was change their strategy.
Let’s be clear, this was a PR stunt. Strategies change but missions don’t.
The corporations that backed away from ALEC are the ones that ALEC is talking to not average people who have been effected by their extreme stances on social issues. They didn’t mention Stand Your Ground laws. They didn’t mention Voter ID bills. They gave a vanilla ice cream cone to corporations and said Uncle to them, not regular folks. They can say in a presser they are going to focus on jobs and that is fine and dandy. I can also send out a presser and tell you that I’m going to focus on cheetos and unicorns living in harmony in houses made of styrofoam but that doesn’t mean anything either.
A presser is just that: a presser.
Will their model bills still be presented to state legislatures? I don’t see that going away in the least it’s just going to have a different name.
People stay in the shadows for a reason and that’s simple: they don’t want to be seen. Watching ALEC is going to remain a bit tricky as I said earlier because they know now that folks are watching.