From the Washington Post:
More than 100 chief executives and corporate leaders gathered online Saturday to discuss taking new action to combat the controversial state voting bills being considered across the country, including the one recently signed into law in Georgia.
Executives from major airlines, retailers and manufacturers — plus at least one NFL owner — talked about potential ways to show they opposed the legislation, including by halting donations to politicians who support the bills and even delaying investments in states that pass the restrictive measures, according to four people who were on the call, including one of the organizers, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale management professor.
While no final steps were agreed upon, the meeting represents an aggressive dialing up of corporate America’s stand against controversial voting measures nationwide, a sign that their opposition to the laws didn’t end with the fight against the Georgia legislation passed in March.
Marches to the capitol building get attention from cable news, but ignored inside the building itself. But when corporations start talking about withholding donations to candidates and campaigns, ears perk up.
Republicans will carry on about “cancel culture,” and Mitch McConnell can tell the companies to “stay out of politics” (as long as the checks he gets from them clear, that is), but they’re counting on the short-term memory of the voters and their blatant hypocrisy about boycotts.
It also came just days after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned that firms should “stay out of politics” — echoing a view shared by many conservative politicians and setting up the potential for additional conflict between Republican leaders and the heads of some of America’s largest firms. This month, former president Donald Trump called for conservatives to boycott Coca-Cola, Major League Baseball, Delta Air Lines, Citigroup, ViacomCBS, UPS and other companies after they opposed the law in Georgia that critics say will make it more difficult for poorer voters and voters of color to cast ballots. Baseball officials decided to move the All-Star Game this summer from Georgia to Colorado because of the voting bill.
The bottom line is that it’s the bottom line on both sides. Republicans rely on big-money donors to keep them in the lifestyle (if not the job) they’ve grown accustomed to, but corporations such as Coca-Cola and CBS know that their customers can be persuaded to buy Pepsi and watch ABC if they don’t stand up for basic civil rights.