“You have these woke corporations who are colluding with all those folks,” he continued. “We have to stand up for ourselves, we’ve got to fight back.” Story continues below advertisement
On Wednesday, hundreds of major companies and corporate leaders released a joint statement that said voting is “the lifeblood of our democracy” and “we must ensure the right to vote for all of us” — a seeming rebuke of the hostile tone coming from Republicans who insist the laws are needed for election security and companies should stay out of politics. Wednesday’s statement by corporate leaders — which cast the issue as nonpartisan — included support from recognizable corporate names such as Target, Netflix, Bank of America, Facebook, Cisco, Twitter, Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Mastercard, American Airlines, United Airlines and Vanguard, as well as prominent people such as investor Warren Buffett, law firms and nonprofit organizations.
Still, it remains to be seen whether the mounting rhetorical attacks will lead to an actual rupture between corporations and the GOP. The statement was also notable for the names that were missing, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola — two companies that earlier this month were among the first to oppose new voting rules in their home state of Georgia.
Story continues below advertisement The developments could possibly reshape political giving and potentially fracture a long-held alliance between the GOP and corporate business giants, who are increasingly under pressure to take political stands — and can feel the backlash for doing it. “I think what is happening is new,” said Steven Law, who runs the Senate Leadership PAC, the major fundraising arm for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Political groups say corporate PAC giving is down this year across the board.
The statement was discussed during the Zoom meeting of corporate leaders last weekend and published Wednesday as an ad in The Washington Post, the New York Times and other major newspapers. One week after it was signed into law, Georgia’s Republican-led voting overhaul is facing backlash from a growing number of voting rights advocates. (Mahlia Posey/The Washington Post)
“The legislation is so egregious and so targeted as to keep certain types of people from voting — I think it’s wonderful that Corporate America is taking a stand,” said one of the signers, Debra L. Lee, the former chief executive of Black Entertainment Television, who sits on four corporate boards. The current crop of voting measures being debated in statehouses nationwide is fueled by lingering animosity over the last presidential election, when baseless accusations of voter fraud resulted in Republican officials pushing for restrictive new laws. Story continues below advertisement
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