Following up on the Washington Examiner‘s earlier report about Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin’s, D-Ill., Tuesday letter to the Cato Institute regarding any connections the libertarian nonprofit think tank may have with the American Legislative Exchange Council, it appears the Goldwater Institute received a version too — and told off Durbin in even sterner terms.
Here’s the letter, dated Friday, in its entirety:
ATTN: THE OFFICES OF SENATOR RICHARD DURBIN
We are in receipt of your letter dated August 6, 2013 requesting information about the Goldwater Institute’s relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council and whether or not we support the “Stand Your Ground” legislation adopted as a model bill by that group.
“Have You No Sense of Decency?”
That was the question posed by attorney Joseph Welch that historians credit with ending Senator Joseph McCarthy’s witch-hunt.
It is the same question we pose to your office today in response to your effort to intimidate us for daring to associate with the free market, limited government organization known as the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Simply put, especially in the wake of IRS intimidation and harassment of conservative organizations, your inquisition is an outrage.
We refuse to answer whether we are or ever have been a supporter of ALEC or its model legislation. We refuse to answer not because we disavow ALEC—far from it. We refuse to answer because as free Americans, that is our right.
Your attempt to silence your fellow Americans through threats and intimidation because they don’t share identical political beliefs is disgraceful and not worthy of the title you hold.
Thank you for your attention,
President, Goldwater Institute