Corporate Execs Looking To Withhold Contributions To Voting Suppression Politicians
Georgia’s enactment of its “Jim Crowe 2.0” voting law ignited a national debate about why Republicans want to make it harder for people of color to vote. It also spurred a number of companies like Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, UPS, CitiGroup, ViacomCBS and Major League Baseball to publicly state their opposition to the law. MLB took the decisive action of moving its All Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in protest.
It appears that businesses opposition to those laws is not fleeting. On Saturday more than 100 corporate chieftains held an online meeting to strategize about what they might do to show their opposition to the restrictive voting laws being enacted and considered in numerous states.
Executives from major airlines, retailers and manufacturers – plus at least one NFL owner – talked about potential ways to show they opposed the controversial legislation. According to one of the organizers of the gathering, Yale management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, among the steps discussed included halting donations to politicians who support the bills and even delaying investments in states that pass the restrictive measures.
The meeting represents an aggressive dialing up of Corporate America’s advocacy against controversial voting measures nationwide, a sign that their opposition to the laws didn’t end with the fight against the measure passed last month in Georgia.
Just last week Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that firms should “stay out of politics” and not take public stands on individual issues. Contributions to his and other GOP political action committees are still OK with the Kentucky Republican, however.
Sonnenfeld told the Washington Post that Saturday’s conversation among the executives “shows they are not intimidated by the flack. They are not going to be cowed. They felt very strongly that these voting restrictions are based on a flawed premise and are dangerous.”
Among those on the call were representatives from Starbucks, Linkedin, Levi Strauss and Boston Consulting Group.