Coke, Kraft, Pepsi, and a handful of other big-name companies have quit the American Legislative Exchange Council in recent months, and the corporate pressure appears to have had an effect. The Washington Post reports that ALEC today announced that it is doing away with its Public Safety and Elections Committee, which has pushed "stand your ground" laws like the one at the center of the Trayvon Martin case around the country.
Its chair explained that rather than back non-economic issues, ALEC is "redoubling our efforts on the economic front, a priority that has been the hallmark of our organization for decades." And while some reacted skeptically—the director of the Center for Media and Democracy called the move a "PR maneuver"—others were slightly more impressed. "ALEC is abandoning under pressure the most controversial part of its agenda," says the president of Common Cause. "That’s an important victory for the American public." (Read more ALEC stories.)