A kinder, gentler political climate? Update: ALEC surrenders
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Last week (4/14) I wrote an article, based on several developments that had occurred in recent days, raising the possibility that our overheated politics might be making a turn to the mild side. I mentioned the backlash against Rush Limbaugh for his attack on Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke; also Mike Huckabee’s decision to take on Limbaugh, head-to-head, with a lower-decibel talk show in the noon to three slot that has belonged to Limbaugh; and about Cumulus Media’s concern that talk radio, including the long-running Mark Davis show on WBAP, may have run its course after 18 years. (D Magazine reported “Davis out at WBAP,” but the issue seems to be a protracted contract dispute rather than a final splitting of the sheets.) Of all the developments that suggest a possible change in the political climate, the most important was a Time magazine story about the activities of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has made a name for itself by disseminating pre-drafted conservative legislation to state legislatures, including, presumably, ours, since former speaker Tom Craddick is a bigwig in ALEC. One of ALEC’s pet laws is the stand-your-ground legislation that was a factor in the killing of Trayvon Martin. The Quorum Report’s “Daily Buzz” section today carries the news that ALEC–faced with the loss of corporate support from the likes of Coca Cola, Kraft, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Intuit, and having the stain of Trayvon Martin’s blood on its hands–has thrown in the towel on pushing social issues like Voter I.D and sanctuary cities. (Wal-Mart and the Kochs remain supporters). Kronberg writes that, in the future, ALEC will turn its attention to jobs, the free market, and economic growth. Kinder, gentler indeed.