Friday, August 9, 2013

THUGOCRACY: Dick Durbin’s Staff Sending Out Intimidating Letters About ALEC And Stand Your Ground

The Hayride

"Two different conservative organizations with whom we’ve got contacts have received letters from Sen. Dick Durbin’s office today which look an awful lot like the actions that precipitated the IRS scandal. Apparently there’s a massive fishing expedition afoot.

"This came to the our buddy Kevin Kane at the Pelican Institute."
Dear Mr. Kane,
 I write to seek information regarding your organization’s position on “stand your ground” legislation that was adopted as a national model by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC describes itself as a think tank that develops model bills for state legislators. In 2005, ALEC approved the adoption of model “stand your ground” legislation entitled the “Castle Doctrine Act.” This model legislation was based on Florida’s “stand your ground” law, and it changes the criminal law regarding self-defense and provides immunity for certain uses of deadly force........." 
 "Although ALEC does not maintain a public list of corporate members or donors, other public documents indicate that your organization funded ALEC at some point during the period between ALEC’s adoption of model “stand your ground” legislation in 2005 and the present day. I acknowledge your organization’s right to actively participate in the debate of important political issues, regardless of your position, and I recognize that an organization’s involvement with ALEC does not necessarily mean that the organization endorses all positions taken by ALEC. Therefore I am seeking clarification whether organizations that have funded ALEC’s operations in the past currently support ALEC and the model “stand your ground” legislation. I ask that you please reply to this letter by answering yes or no in response to the two questions below. Please feel free to provide additional information explaining your yes or no response. 
1. Has Pelican Institute for Public Policy served as a member of ALEC or provided any funding to ALEC in 2013?
2. Does Pelican Institute for Public Policy support the “stand your ground” legislation that was adopted as a national model and promoted by ALEC? Please provide a response to this letter by September 1, 2013. 
Note that I am sending similar letters to other organizations that have been identified as ALEC funders at some point between 2005 and today. In September, I plan to convene a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to examine “stand your ground” laws, and I intend to include the responses to my letters in the hearing record. Therefore, please know that your response will be publicly available. Thank you for your attention to this request. Please feel free to contact Dan Swanson or Stephanie Trifone on my staff at 202-224-2152 if you have any questions. I look forward to receiving your response.  
"We heard earlier today that the Center for Security Policy received a similar letter."

"What’s going on here isn’t difficult to ascertain. The Left has decided that Stand Your Ground laws need to be demonized and/or repealed, and as a result they’re going to attempt to shame and intimidate the people they think are responsible for them. And Durbin said last month he was going to crank up a dog and pony show in the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights committees he runs in order to cast those laws as discriminatory – despite the fact that, at least in Florida, black people disproportionately avail themselves of them......."

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