For decades ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council quietly drafted right-wing legislation, pushing it to conservative state lawmakers who only had to change a few words here or there and, viola!, become a sponsor of a bill that would further the conservative corporate agenda.
According to a 2012 Bloomberg BusinessWeek investigation (archived), about 200 of ALEC’s model bills became law every year.
While most of the bills don’t garner public attention, many Americans are familiar with the rash of so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws that effectively allow the use of deadly force in the name of self defense by people who would claim they felt threatened by another person. Trayvon Martin’s killer successfully used a “Stand Your Ground” defense to avoid conviction.
ALEC, which is supported by corporations, is now “pushing states to adopt a new law shielding all US businesses from ‘political boycotts,’” according to The Guardian, in response to what some are calling “woke capitalism.”
By drafting model legislation that states would pass which would require any government entity to include a clause in all their contracts banning any company they do business with from supporting political or economic boycotts. Those government entities could include a state government or a local police dept., school district, or perhaps a county clerk’s office.
“According to the text of the proposed law, which is written by Alec’s lawyers so that all a legislature has to do is fill in the name of its state, it is a response to banks, investment funds and corporations refusing to invest in or do business with industries that damage the environment or are aligned with oppressive laws,” The Guardian reports.
One line from the model legislation reads: “The collusion of corporations, and institutions to boycott, divest from, or sanction any industry may violate existing antitrust and fiduciary laws and harms consumers, shareholders, and states.”
The Guardian adds that “Some corporations are increasingly concerned that consumer pressure will cause other companies to boycott them over their funding of rightwing politicians and causes, or social positions.”
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