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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Driving Dick Durbin -- By Kimberley A. Strassel, The Wall Street Journal

The Illinois senator targets the American Legislative Exchange Council, whose reform proposals hit trial lawyers in the pocketbook

You don't come to be the No. 2 Senate Democrat without proving you can help your friends along the way. That's why the motivation behind Dick Durbin's ongoing campaign against a prominent free-market group deserves attention.

This week, the Illinois Democrat held his long-awaited hearing on state "stand your ground" laws, with the putative goal of blaming them for gun violence and racial discrimination. Trayvon Martin's mother testified at the packed hearing, and Sen. Durbin proclaimed against the laws.

However, "stand your ground" is but a pretense. Mr. Durbin's real target is the American Legislative Exchange Council, the center-right group that has had remarkable success at writing "model" reform laws on a variety of issues that have been adopted in state legislatures. ALEC concentrates primarily on economic reforms, but at one point it had a model proposal for stand-your-ground laws.

Mr. Durbin has seized on this with his usual brass-knuckle flair, using Trayvon Martin's death to try to embarrass corporations out of funding ALEC. In August, he sent a letter to hundreds of organizations, demanding that they divulge their position on "stand your ground" and to fess up to giving money to ALEC.

The Durbin letter inspired a hoopla, not the least because it smacked of a repeat of the IRS witch hunt against conservative nonprofits (a witch hunt Mr. Durbin helped inspire with a letter to the IRS in 2010).

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