WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday strongly defended the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, telling attendees of the group’s policy summit that they can’t let criticism get them down.
“I first came to ALEC over a decade ago. When I was serving in the Bush administration, I’d been privileged to work with ALEC in the federal government,” Cruz said. “I’ve been privileged to work with ALEC when I was back in Texas with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, leading the 10th Amendment Center, and I’m proud to stand with ALEC today.”
ALEC circulates model legislation to state legislators, and its bills have led states to pass voter ID laws, Stand Your Ground laws and laws eliminating or reducing state income taxes.
The group has faced extra scrutiny since the February 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Authorities initially refused to arrest neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman — Martin’s admitted killer — citing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Zimmerman was eventually found not guilty in the murder.
Corporate Sponsors of the ALEC summit, as listed in the program:
Citizens for Self-Governance
State Policy Network
VICE CHAIR LEVEL
Edison Electric Institute
Canadian National Railway Company
American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy
Time Warner Cable
Right On Crime
Charles Koch Institute