Tuesday, April 17, 2012

State Sen. Nan Orrock bids adieu to controversial conservative think tank

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 3:59 PM

State Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta

State Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, one of the Gold Dome's most liberal members, has cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the controversial think tank that's successfully pushed a conservative, free-market agenda by whispering sweet policy into the ears of state lawmakers across the country. In related news, Nan Orrock was a member of ALEC?!?

The senator's reason for tearing up her membership card is pretty awesome. Via Bryan Long of Better Georgia, the progressive organization that's been hounding Georgia lawmakers to part ways with ALEC, which has been under intense scrutiny for its role in crafting such legislation as the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law:

“As a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council for several years, having joined ALEC with the primary goal of better understanding the corporate-dominated organization, I know first-hand that ALEC is not the innocuous organization it claims to be.

ALEC is underwritten by corporate dollars to push corporate financial interests that disadvantage middle-class and working families. This group enrolls state legislators to promote its radical legislation in state after state, creating the false illusion of public support for its dangerous agenda. ALEC promotes legislation that suppresses voter participation, undermines state budgets and services, and impedes democracy.

With my departure, Georgia’s delegation to ALEC can no longer claim to be bi-partisan. Any lawmaker who cares more about Georgia residents than multi-national corporations should leave the group. We need to be focusing on real solutions for our state, not fanning the flames of wedge-issue politics.”

Some of the Gold Dome's bigwigs, including Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, have links to ALEC. The Washington, D.C.-based group today said that it'd stop pursuing social conservative issues, such as Voter ID laws, and stick to economic initiatives. The announcement comes after ALEC saw several high-profile corporate sponsors, including Coca-Cola, pull their funding.

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