The idea that private businesses and public servants could work together voluntarily on public policy is too much for Big Labor and Big Government racketeers. Last fall, leftists from People for the American Way, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Arizona AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers, the Arizona Education Association and Progress Now (a militant group backed by billionaire George Soros) ambushed an ALEC meeting in Arizona to intimidate legislators and corporate backers. In February, the Occupy movement turned from demonizing Wall Street bankers to attacking the policy wonks of ALEC as wretched symbols of "profit and greed."
And now ALEC's race-hustling enemies are piggybacking on the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. They're shamelessly blaming ALEC for the tragedy by claiming the group wrote the state's "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law. But as ALEC points out:
"(The) law was the basis for the American Legislative Exchange Council's model legislation, not the other way around. Moreover, it is unclear whether that law could apply to this case at all. "Stand Your Ground" or the "Castle Doctrine" is designed to protect people who defend themselves from imminent death and great bodily harm. ... In the end, we will always respect people who disagree with us in matters of policy, but it is simply wrong to try to score political points by taking advantage of a great tragedy like Trayvon Martin's death."
Color of Change is ratcheting up pressure on ATT, one of ALEC's corporate board members, to abandon the group or be forever branded as racists with blood on their hands. These campaigns are of a piece with the pressure campaigns against advertisers of conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh. (Not coincidentally, many of the same groups are involved in both.) The Hush Rush mob has succeeded in finagling anti-free speech declarations from the likes of Arby's restaurant chain and Walgreens drugstores -- two companies that have never been sponsors of Limbaugh's show, but which announced last week that they won't advertise in his time slot on local station ad buys. Note: These are bit cancellations of an ad buy; there's no loss of money. It's pure, progressive gesture politics, astro-turfed by Soros-funded groups, to create the fake appearance of an anti-Rush advertising stampede -- and ultimately, to chill conservative dissent.
McDonald's, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Intuit, Kraft, Arby's and Walgreens have shown their true colors: appeasement yellow. It's time for conservatives to stand their ground and stop showing these corporate cowards their money.