Corporate America and Major League Baseball Putting Pressure on Regressive Republican Election Laws!

After Georgia Legislature approves election law changes, next fight may be  in court

Dear Commons Community,

Public pressure is mounting on major companies in Georgia, Texas, Arizona and other states to speak out against regressive election laws enacted or being proposed by Republican-controlled state legislatures, particularly after Major League Baseball’s decision yesterday to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta. The move came a week after Georgia Republicans enacted an overhaul of the state’s election law that critics argue is an attempt to suppress Democratic votes. Delta Air Lines and The Coca-Cola Co., two of Georgia’s best-known brands, called the new law “unacceptable,”

As reported by the Associated Press.

“The fight has thrust corporate America into a place it often tries to avoid — the center of a partisan political fight. But under threat of boycott and bad publicity, business leaders this week showed a fresh willingness to enter the fray on an issue not directly related to their bottom line, even when it meant alienating Republican allies.

“We want to hold corporations accountable for how they show up when voting rights are under attack,” said Marc Banks, an NAACP spokesman. “Corporations have a part to play, because when they do show up and speak, people listen.”

Civil rights groups have filed federal lawsuits to block the new Georgia law, which was passed after Democrats flipped the once-reliably Republican state in an election former President Donald Trump falsely claimed was rife with fraud. Some activists have called for consumer boycotts of Delta, Coca-Cola and other firms. They dismiss business leaders’ assertions that they helped water down the bill to ease earlier, more restrictive proposals; business leaders, they argue, should have tried to block the plan altogether.

In Texas, the NAACP, League of Women Voters and League of United Latin American Citizens, among other organizations, are urging corporations in the state to speak out against a slate of Republican-backed voting proposals. “Democracy is good for business,” the campaign asserts.

Nine organizations took out full-page ads in the Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Morning News, the state’s leading newspapers, urging corporate opposition to the plan. The Texas proposal would limit some early voting hours, bar counties from setting up drive-thru voting and prohibit local officials from proactively sending applications for mail ballots before voters request them.

Unlike their Georgia-based counterparts, American Airlines and Dell Technologies didn’t wait for the Texas measure to pass. “To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it,” American said in a statement.

Arizona, another battleground Biden flipped in November, hasn’t seen high-profile corporate players engage yet. But 30-plus groups sent a joint letter to Allstate Insurance, CVS Health and Farmers’ Insurance, among others, urging their public opposition to proposed voting restrictions. Emily Kirkland, executive director of Progress Arizona, a progressive group that signed the letter, said there’s been no response yet.

Other groups are demanding that corporations focus on Washington, where congressional Democrats are pushing measures intended to make it easier for Americans to vote, regardless of state laws. Among the changes, Democrats would enact automatic voter registration nationally and standardize access to early and mail voting.”

Glad to see corporate America stepping forward.  I will continue to drink Coke rather than switch to Pepsi!


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