There has been a pressure campaign against corporate sponsors of the American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC) led by Color of Change and some of the same groups targeting conservative talk radio:
Here’s how it works. An issue which is neutral, such as voter i.d. laws, is portrayed as racist and hostile to minorities. The advertiser then is confronted with a flood of social media contracts threatening, sometimes implicitly and sometimes explicitly, with a boycott for supporting “racist” laws.
There are few corporations, not even ones as large as Coca-Cola, which can risk being labeled “racist” or as “supporting racism” regardless of how inaccurate and outlandish the accusations. It is toxic, and groups like Media Matters and Color of Change know it.
Faced with the accusation and thousands or tens of thousands of people who are willing to spread the lie, the corporation caves in to the pressure and withdraws the advertising or sponsorship.
It worked. ALEC just announced that it would stop addressing Voter I.D. and Stand Your Ground legislation:
“Today we are redoubling our efforts on the economic front, a priority that has been the hallmark of our organization for decades. Fostering the exchange of pro-growth, solutions-oriented ideas is precisely why ALEC exists.
“To that end, our legislative board last week unanimously agreed to further our work on policies that will help spur innovation and competitiveness across the country.
“We are refocusing our commitment to free-market, limited government and pro-growth principles, and have made changes internally to reflect this renewed focus.
“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.
There is joy in Mudville.
But, Color of Change isn’t satisfied with Victory or Retreat:
ALEC’s latest statement is nothing more than a PR stunt aimed at diverting attention from its agenda, which has done serious damage to our communities. To simply say they are stopping non-economic work doesn’t guarantee that ALEC will not continue to push laws that endanger African Americans and trample our voting rights. Shutting down one task force does not provide justice to the millions of Americans whose lives are impacted by these dangerous and discriminatory laws courtesy of ALEC and its corporate backers. It’s clear that major corporations were in bed with an institution that has worked against basic American values such as the right to vote. Now that these companies are aware of what they’ve supported, what will they do about it? If ALEC’s corporate supporters will not hold the institution accountable for the damage it has caused nationwide, then the ColorOfChange community will hold them accountable.”
Appeasement never works. This it Total Politica War. Get it?
Update: 9th Circuit en banc upholds key voter i.d. provision in Arizona law.