Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence addressed the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at an annual conference today. ALEC is a right-wing group that develops and proposes legislative language that is then enforced by lawmakers. More than 100 left-wing protesters gathered outside the conference on Wednesday.

The organization has faced scrutiny for some of its perceived political positions and proposed bills. The group has been behind state-passed voter ID measures, strong immigration-enforcement laws and “Stand Your Ground” legislation. ALEC has also been criticized by liberal environmentalists for its denial of addressing climate change.

“I was not going to miss the chance to welcome the premier gathering of state legislators in the United States of America to the Hoosier state,” Pence praised about ALEC to 1,200 attendees in an Indianapolis hotel ballroom. “We have a choice in this election, today, to turn our ship of state at the national level in the direction that so many conservative Republican led states have chosen to go… I was for ALEC before it was cool!””