Corporate Power Has Pushed “Stand Your Ground” Laws Nationwide

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  • Dale Eisman

Laws like the Florida statute that so far has protected Trayvon Martin’s killer from prosecution are the progeny of a corporate-backed lobbying shop that puts private profit ahead of the public interest, Common Cause said today.

“ALEC did not write Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar, referring to the American Legislative Exchange Council. “But it collaborated with the National Rifle Association, its member corporations including Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Koch Industries, and spread this tragic mistake into nearly two dozen states.

“ALEC also is the force behind state laws that are eroding workers’ rights, suppressing the votes of hundreds of thousands of students, minorities, disabled and elderly Americans, undercutting clean air and clean water regulations, and weakening public education,” Edgar said. “Its lobbyists and executives work as equals with state legislators to draft legislation that benefits their companies’ bottom lines, but all too often comes at a cost to American families.”

Common Cause activists joined allies from progressive organizations including the NAACP, People for the American Way, the National Council of Churches and the Center for Media and Democracy at mid-day Thursday for a rally outside ALEC’s Washington headquarters. The demonstrators demanded that ALEC and its member firms end their advocacy on behalf of “Stand Your Ground” legislation and that ALEC fully disclose its financial support from the NRA.