In preparation for a previously announced hearing on controversial "stand your ground" laws announced after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., sent letters to more than 300 possible corporate backers of the American Legislative Exchange Council, requesting their position of such policies in states across the country.
Durbin may have a hard time getting Anheuser-Busch, BP, Comcast or the Koch Industries to file formal responses to Durbin about laws like the one that gained notoriety in the case of killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin, but Durbin's going to try nonetheless, given that those companies back ALEC, which in turn pushed "stand your ground" laws. The letter, released by Durbin's office, says the following:
"I write to seek information regarding your company’s position on “stand your ground” legislation that was adopted as a national model by an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),” Durbin wrote. “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 company 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 company’s right to actively participate in the debate of important political issues, regardless of your position, and I recognize that a company’s involvement with ALEC does not necessarily mean that the company endorses all positions taken by the organization. Therefore I am seeking clarification whether companies that have funded ALEC’s operations in the past currently support ALEC and the model 'stand your ground' legislation.”