ATLANTA (AP) – Liberal activists are shaking up their calls to corporate America to cancel the GOP campaign to vote for state laws, putting comfort-minded ventures in the middle of a growing party struggle over electoral laws.
The Texas mark is rising on top companies in Texas, Arizona and other states, particularly after the Maygore League Baseball decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta on Friday. The move comes a week after Georgian Republicans passed a revision of the state election law, which critics say is an attempt to stifle democratic votes.
Other companies joined the Critics’ Choir with some delay. Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola Co., one of Georgia’s most popular brands, called the new law “unacceptable” this week, even though they wrote it themselves. It only angered Republicans, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and several U.S. senators who accused companies of avoiding baseless attacks from the left.
The struggle has brought corporate America to a place where it often tries to escape, the center of partisan political struggle. But under the threat of a boycott or bad publicity, business leaders this week showed a new willingness to face a question that is not directly related to their core, even if it meant alienating Republican allies.
“We want to hold corporations accountable for how they react when voting rights are attacked,” said Mark Banks, a spokesman for NAACP. “Corporations have a role to play, because when they show up, they talk, people listen.”
Civil rights groups have filed federal lawsuits to block a new Georgia law passed after Democrats ousted the once-trusted Republican state in an election that former President Donald Trump falsely claimed was full of fraud. Some activists have called for a boycott of Delta, Coca-Cola and other companies by consumers. They reject claims by business leaders that they helped lower the bill to facilitate earlier, more limited offers. They argue that business leaders should try to block the program altogether.
In Texas, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and the Latin American Citizens’ League, among other organizations, are urging state corporations to oppose the Republican vote. “Democracy is good for business,” the campaign claims.
Nine organizations took full-page ads in the state-run Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News, calling for opposition to the program. The Texas proposal limits some early voting hours, prohibits precincts from voting before voting, and prohibits local officials from actively submitting ballot applications before voters request them.
Unlike their counterparts in Georgia, American Airlines and Dell Technologies did not wait for the Texas measure. “To make the American position clear. “We are strongly opposed to this bill or anything like that,” the statement said.
Arizona, another Biden battlefield launched in November, has yet to see the involvement of top corporate players. But the 30-plus groups, among others, sent a joint letter to Allstate Insurance, CVS Health և Farmers’ Insurance, urging their community to oppose the proposed voting restrictions. Progress Arizona CEO Emily Kirkland of the progressive group that signed the letter said there was no response yet.
Other groups are urging corporations to focus on Washington, where congressional Democrats are calling for measures to make it easier for Americans to vote, regardless of state law. Among the changes, Democrats must adopt automatic voter registration in the country, standardize access to early voting.
Democrats want to restore 1965 The parts of the Voting Rights Act that require the federal government to approve all election procedures in states with a history of discrimination. The Supreme Court overturned those provisions, which, among other states, applied to Georgia in Arizona in 2013.
The corporate giants were largely silent when Trump falsely claimed he had lost because of fraud. And business leaders were mostly cautious, as Republican lawmakers used Trump’s lies to justify the flood of new bills to make voting more difficult.
The retaliation was in stark contrast to how chambers of commerce reacted six years ago when Republicans ran “religious freedom”. Indiana, under the then Government. և Future Vice President Mike Pence responded directly to the corporation. After North Carolina passed the so-called “bath bill” that restricted LGBTQ rights in 2016, PayPal canceled expansion plans, and the NBA moved its all-star game from Charlotte. An AP analysis in 2017 found that the response to North Carolina would eventually cost the lost business at least $ 3.76 billion.
Subsequently, Georgian corporate lobby groups, backed by Delta-Coca-Cola, did not take such chances, forcibly opposing the Conservatives’ version of the “religious freedom” bill. Lawmakers passed it, but Kemp’s predecessor, Republican Nathan Deal, vetoed the House amid protests.
Some Republicans dispute the comparison. Brian Robinson, a former aide to the deal who was part of a business coalition that publicly opposed the Freedom of Religion bill, said it was “clearly discriminatory” against LGBTQ people, while the nearly 100-page election bill was less clear. represented by Democrats and their allies.
The companies are responding to “Twitter mobs demanding to respond to their false story,” he said.
The National Republicans reacted even harsher. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a former likely future presidential candidate, has angered Delta with the hashtag #WokeCorporateHypocrites.
Still, Delta և Coca-Cola’s response to the voting campaign in Georgia is a cautionary tale for other businesses.
The airline’s chief executive, Ed Bastia, initially issued a statement saying the business lobby had a role to play in changing the bill as it moved to the General Assembly. Officials at the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where Bastian currently serves as president, described how corporate lobbyists spent weeks on mitigating provisions in the Capitol area.
Some Republicans in Georgia wanted to repeal the state’s no-voting law, stop automatic voter registration, and ban early Sunday voting, which was heavily used by the Church. They also demanded copies of state IDs to receive and present missing ballots, while banning “drip boxes” as ballot boxes.
The final law preserved the absentee ballot և automatic registration. A new requirement for ID cards for absentee ballots allows voters to write down their state ID number rather than copy it, and the legislature has included funding for free state certificates. The law also codes for early voting on weekends in person, although it allows districts to choose whether to be open to voting until two Sundays. And that permanently enriched the ballot boxes in Georgia, but limited their number.
The philosophy of business leaders, according to Democratic Sen. Jordan’s son, “basically Republicans are going to convey something, so they can also try to avoid being terrible.”
But as of Wednesday, the same day, 72 SA business executives had published a letter in The New York Times urging corporate executives to speak out, saying Bastian was more direct. He sent a friendly memorandum declaring the law “unacceptable” and “based on a lie”, although he did not mention Trump.
The big business mistake, in the words of Jordan’s son, is “to think that there is ever a hypothesis that will not end like this.”
Associated Press writers David Koenig in Dallas; Acacia Coronado և Paul J. Weber in Austin, Texas; և Jon Onatan Coop. Cooper invested in Phoenix.