The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the conservative organization that helped spread the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law that recently gained national attention after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, said Tuesday that it was abandoning the task force that developed the measure.
As reported by the Associated Press:
The group said it wants to refocus resources away from its public safety panel in order to concentrate on economic issues.
"We believe we must concentrate on initiatives that spur competitiveness and innovation and put more Americans back to work," the group's national chairman, Indiana Rep. David Frizzell, said in a prepared statement.
Liberal advocacy groups who have long targeted ALEC cheered the decision, viewing it, in part, as a victory for their campaign to get corporations and other groups to drop their support for the Washington, D.C.-based organization.
In recent weeks, several major companies, including Coca-Cola Co. and McDonald's Corp., dropped their financial support.
The practical effect of ALEC's announcement may be small. The group has already had plenty of success exporting the Florida law in recent years, and similar statutes now exist in two dozen other states.
"They've already created a lot of damage, and this step is not going to undo that damage," said Lisa Graves, a leader at the Center for Media and Democracy who has been targeting ALEC over the past year.
Graves said the announcement was unexpected but likely a public relations move.
ALEC said Tuesday it was also getting rid of its task force on elections, as they largely draws Republicans and other conservative legislators with support.