Progressive group pushes back at Democratic legislators
April 20th, 2012
05:11 PM ET
2 years ago

Progressive group pushes back at Democratic legislators

(CNN) – A progressive group is again taking on some Democratic state legislators, calling on Friday for them to drop their membership or association with the American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC bills itself as a think tank and research resource that brings together state legislators and private business leaders. It says it does not lobby, but holds meetings which bring together legislators and business leaders, as well as provides draft legislation and research to state policymakers.

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While the organization says it is bipartisan, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee says it would be "a sham to project that it has a bipartisan nature."

On a Friday conference call with reporters and supporters, state legislators aligned with the PCCC called on their Democratic colleagues to part way with the organization, citing its involvement in legislation with which they disagreed.

Some, including New York state assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who called the group a "sham," were critical of ALEC's role in "stand your ground" legislation, a law brought to national prominence in the February shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

"No Democrat should give aid and comfort to this organization by participating in it, to promote its alleged 'bipartisanship,'" Jeffries said. "It is very important that members of the Democratic Party, who traditionally have stood for enfranchising voters and have stood for promoting the rights to organize and for sensible gun laws should withdraw from an organization that that pushes an agenda that is exactly the opposite."

Others criticized the organization's role in education and voting legislation and accused it of helping corporations "boost their bottom line at the expense of the American people."

The PCCC's political activities include endorsing Democratic candidates and weighing in on legislative and policy debates.

CNN reached out to a spokeswoman for ALEC but received no response.

- CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

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Filed under: Democrats • PCCC
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Well, well, well... looks like the radical lefties that have taken over the Demcrat Party have lite the torches, grabbed the pitch forks and are looking to round up the non-radicals in the party and teach them a lesson! Yes, the Democrat Party, the party of diversity (but not diverse opinion), the party of inclusion (but not these non-koolaide drinkers), the party of hypocrites (BINGO!).

    Marx and Lenin would be very proud of what the Democrat Party has become....

    April 20, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Tyrone

    The Bishop says, Yo ALEC, How do we make it SEVERLY hard for the minorities, the Elderly, the Disabled , The Hispanics & the poor to vote??? Just call Rove & he will tell you whats going on. OK thanks Majic Underwear for Everybody. & remember our Marvelous Slogan, EVERYTHING SUCKS & EVERYTHING BLOWS!!!! OK Bishop Romney!!

    April 20, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Democrats need to remain flexible and able to accept a variety of viewpoints and messages. When you start limiting participation based on single hot button issues – you've become a Tea Party moron.

    April 20, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. caeser

    Oh...your a lobbyist alright.
    Livin' in "spin".

    April 20, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. poopmeister

    Oh Truth, do you jest? You guys have your crazy "tea party" and I guess us Democrats need some kind of radical group. I'm all for forming organizations to open the channels of communications and, even, reach out to the evil "big business" to come to the middle.....when are you going to come to the middle?

    April 20, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. ditdahdit

    Pre=fab legislation, no thinking required. Hold out one hand and vote with the other.

    April 20, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. fernace

    I'm not sure what ALEC is promoting or trying to accomplish, but the fact that they are supported by the NRA says it all! I don't think Democrats should back out though! I agree w/Larry L! Always keep options open to educate yourself! ALEC should be a bi-partisan effort & 1st on the agenda should be the recinding of the "Stand your Ground" law! It's outdated & doesn't work in our modern society! I think the premise of legislators working w/ business people to improve relations & address issues in their communities is positive, but only if the effort addresses the needs of All people, not just the "elite"! If ALEC has been put in place to diminish the needs of the average citizen, it should be disbanded & the only way to know it's operation is w/bi-partisan participation! Keep your friends close & your enemies closer!!

    April 20, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  8. Ron D.

    First the GOP took orders from Norquist by signing a pledge. Now they take their orders from ALEC a group of nutjobs. All these secret meeting with legislators and corporations on how they are going to run the country. Hell with what the American people want. It is all about them and power. Hilter started out with all these secret meeting and the result was the secret police.

    April 20, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. mk1

    Real truth, if you want to go that route then Hitler and Moussolini would be proud of what the Republican Party has become.... Two can play that silly game if you want.

    April 20, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth
    Well, well, well... looks like the radical lefties that have taken over the Demcrat Party have lite the torches, grabbed the pitch forks and are looking to round up the non-radicals in the party and teach them a lesson!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No different than the newly elected Rethugliban governors eschewing the National Governors Association where they would be exposed to *gasp!* Democratic governors for the much more exclusive republican governors association.

    Yes, the Rethugliban Party, the party of diversity (but not diverse opinion), the party of inclusion (but not these non-koolaide drinkers), the party of hypocrites (BINGO!).

    Marx and Lenin would be very proud of what the Rethugliban Party has become....

    April 20, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    Larry L
    Democrats need to remain flexible and able to accept a variety of viewpoints and messages. When you start limiting participation based on single hot button issues – you've become a Tea Party moron.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It's a little more complicated than that, and even major corporations such as Coca Cola & Kraft Foods have pulled their memberships. Check out their website and mission statement. Alarming to say the least.

    April 20, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Why participate in a republican organization that is backing a losing policy? republicans want to take the United States back to the stone age.

    April 20, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. LTTC

    Lets all drop this term "progressive", Just call them what they are – commies.

    April 20, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  14. jack878

    Stalin would be proup the useful idiots have returned.

    April 20, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |