The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative organization that advocates "model legislation" for legislatures across the country, announced Tuesday that it is disbanding the task force that has promoted the "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws and voter ID and immigration bills, among others. The announcement, released as a statement by ALEC Chairman David Frizzell, said the move was an effort to "refocus" the group's efforts on free-market issues of economic growth. It made no mention of the threat of boycotts against several of its corporate sponsors by groups opposed to those legislative initiatives. A number of contributors, including McDonald's, Wendy's, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, and Kraft Foods, have in recent weeks announced they would no longer be funding the organization. The ALEC announcement follows weeks of controversy generated by a national media that is largely unsympathetic to "Stand Your Ground" laws after Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death in a gated community in Florida. The shooter, a neighborhood watch patrolman, claimed Martin attacked him. Reports soon followed of a grass roots campaign to pressure companies to stop contributing to ALEC.

Ron PaulWith Rick Santorum out of the presidential sweepstakes, many evangelicals who tenaciously supported the Catholic candidate seem reluctant to throw their support to Mitt Romney. According to Doug Wead, a senior adviser to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, many of those former Santorum supporters are now taking a hard look at the conservative Texas Congressman, not necessarily because they think he can win the nomination, but because the “longer that Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich stay in the race, the more likely that Romney will be forced to take an evangelical conservative as his vice presidential nominee,” wrote Wead on NewsMax.com.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta acknowledged Monday that his numerous flights home to California, which have cost taxpayers about $860,000, may have been a little excessive. Despite his purported regret, however, he indicated that his weekend trips  — which have tallied to nearly 30 times since July — will not end. He told reporters that he is open to "alternatives here that I can look at, that might possibly be able to save funds and, at the same time, be able to fulfill my responsibilities not only to my job but to my family."

Next time your family plays a game on your Wii gaming system, you may be giving the Department of Homeland Security access to your address, credit card numbers, online passwords, and chat conversations.

The U.S. General Services Administration official responsible for a $822,000 Las Vegas party on the tab of the U.S. taxpayer refused to answer any questions before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform April 16, followed by hand-wringing by former GSA head Martha Johnson. Hearings also revealed that the GSA employees may have stolen iPods purchased for an employee incentive program.

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