Florida's Stand Your Ground law was passed by the GOP legislature, at the urging of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2005. Stand Your Ground would not have happened without the leadership of the man who would become US Senator, Marco Rubio.
Here is the website TruthOut:
As the Center for Media and Democracy (publishers of ALECexposed.org) uncovered, ALEC adopted Stand Your Ground as a "model" for other states in early 2005, just months after the NRA pushed it through Florida's legislature (with then-state legislator Marco Rubio voting in favor). (Eye On Miami NOTE: Rubio wasn't just a state legislator. He was the majority leader of the Florida legislature, be-knighted by Jeb! Bush to cement the position of the radical right. Neither are moderates. Period. I'll return to this point, shortly.)
The NRA boasted that its lobbyist's presentation at a 2005 ALEC meeting "was well-received," and the corporations and state legislators on the Criminal Justice Task Force voted unanimously to approve the bill as an ALEC model, under the name the "Castle Doctrine Act." At the time, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest seller of rifles, was the corporate co-chair of the Task Force. Since becoming an ALEC model, twenty-six states have passed laws that contain provisions identical or similar to the ALEC legislation. ALEC called the legislation one of its "successes."
With this revelation, the spotlight turned on ALEC as never before, with the public soon becoming aware of ALEC's role in advancing an array of reactionary bills, including legislation that makes it harder to vote, criminalizes immigrants, destroys unions, protects corporations from civil liability, thwarts environmental regulations, and cuts holes in the social safety net -- all while the organization enjoys tax-exempt "charitable" status.
In response to public criticism and a campaign led by Color of Change, along with CMD, Common Cause, Progress Now and People for the American Way, at least 49 corporations, including General Motors, General Electric, Amazon.com, and Coca-Cola, have severed ties with ALEC.
Elections do have consequences, as Florida voters ought to know from the fierce battle by the radical right to counter FairDistricts, passed by more than 60 percent of Florida voters. These hardened battle lines against the will of the people are only half the problem. The other half of the problem is exemplified by the fact that even though ALEC in 2012 withdrew its support for promoting Stand Your Ground in the states, the law still stands. What this shows is that once the damage is done to laws by the radical right -- like the evisceration of environmental protections and land use planning in Florida -- recovering lost ground requires rebuilding political consensus the radical right dismantled.
Today Jeb! Bush and followers are busy re-writing both their actions fomenting the radical right and its harsh consequences. In the New York Times, Thomas P. Edsall writes in "Has the GOP gone of the deep end?",
Jeb Bush warned last year that both Ronald Reagan and his own father would have a “hard time” fitting into the contemporary Republican Party, which he described as dominated by “an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement.”
A few months ago, Bush, who is expected to run for the party’s nomination in 2016, took it up a notch. At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in March, Bush declared:
All too often we’re associated with being anti-everything. Way too many people believe Republicans are anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker, and the list goes on and on and on. Many voters are simply unwilling to choose our candidates, even though they share our core beliefs, because those voters feel unloved, unwanted and unwelcome in our party.
Politely put, that's bullshit. The notion that Jeb! can "walk back" his record and rebrand as a "moderate" is countered by the record. He exemplified, as governor, the patriarchal, brook-no-dissent that paved the way for a take-over of the Republican Party by the radical right and Florida's race to the bottom.
Whether voters can put two and two together in Florida is a hard question to answer. Recent history is dismal on this point. Not even the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression stirred Florida voters from their lethargy. In fact, the opposite occurred: with foreclosures and economic hardship rampant, most voters in local elections seemed paralyzed by low expectations. Then, too, there has been little help from the media, especially from the Fox News politburo and its affiliates.
Let's see if a boycott against the Florida economy can move the needle, where nothing else has worked.