Opinion McConnell walks back comments warning corporations of 'consequences' over Georgia voting bill
Georgia voting law explained: Here's what to know about the state's new election rules
Republican lawmakers in Georgia have overhauled the state's elections. Here's a breakdown of what will change under Senate Bill 202.Democrats and civil-rights groups panned the voting bill, and major Georgia-based corporations came out against the bill after it was passed. GOP state lawmakers who backed the bill and other Republicans nationwide harshly criticized the backlash, calling for boycotts of brands like Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday walked back comments in which he warned corporations of "consequences" for spreading "disinformation" surrounding the new Georgia voting law.
"I didn't say that very artfully yesterday," heat an event on Tuesday. "[Corporations] certainly [are] entitled to be involved in politics. They are. My principal complaint is they didn't read the darn bill. The president of the United States called the bill a Jim Crow exercise to suppress voter turnout, presumably based on race, because that's what the Jim Crow allegation is."
Mitch McConnell says big companies like MLB 'must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex' when it comes to voting laws
"Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box," McConnell said.A number of major corporations both based within and outside of the state of Georgia have spoken out to criticize a major new voting law in the state.
The top Republican on Monday issued a stern statement after liberals and Georgia-based companies spoke out against the law that imposes voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, gives state officials the authority to make changes to county elections boards, authorizes the use of ballot drop boxes (though there will be fewer than there were in 2020), and makes it a crime for politically affiliated persons to approach voters in line within 150 feet of a polling place to give them food and water.
“It’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied, but join in the bullying themselves," heat the time. "Wealthy corporations have no problem operating in New York, for example, which has fewer days of early voting than Georgia, requires excuses for absentee ballots, and restricts electioneering via refreshments. There is no consistent or factual standard being applied here. It’s just a fake narrative gaining speed by its own momentum."
How Georgia's new voting law compares to other states
Georgia's new voting law has sparked outrage from Democrats and even been called "Jim Crow on steroids" by President Joe Biden, but many of its provisions have governed elections in other states across the country for years. From voter ID requirements to ballot drop boxes, and early voting schedules to absentee ballot access, there is little new or unique in the freshly minted Georgia rules. In fact, many of the measures critics are attacking have long been in place in blue states, including Biden's home state of Delaware.
He continued: “Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling. From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government. Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order."
Critics of the law, including Democrats and a wave of companies, claim the changes will disenfranchise minority voters and have said that is the bill's underlying intent.
In recent weeks, liberal activists in Georgia have pushed large companies headquartered in the state, such asand , to speak out about the reforms. and , which opted to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta, have also lambasted the law.
Mitch McConnell Tries to Have it Both Ways on Corporate Cash
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the biggest boosters of corporate money in politics, has said corporations should stay out of political fights if they don’t want to incur the wrath of consumers. The comments came after Major League Baseball announced it is pulling its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to Georgia officials’ decision to make it harder to vote in the state, especially for voters of color. Georgia-based companies Delta and Coca-Cola have joined MLB lodging protests, as have national leaders, including the President and several Black execs.
Many of those who oppose the law have echoed remarks from Biden, who likened the bill to "Jim Crow on steroids."
McConnell on Monday said, "Nobody actually believes" the president's characterization of the proposal, adding further that it is insensitive to compare the voting laws to the "horrific racist brutality of segregation." McConnell referenced a Washington Post report that debunked some of Biden's remarks, and he indicated that a vast majority of U.S. residents support voter ID and other measures included in the Georgia reforms signed off by Gov. Brian Kemp last month.
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Mitch McConnell Calls Coca-Cola, MLB and Delta 'Quite Stupid' for Opposing Voting Restrictions .
"It's irritating one hell of a lot of Republican fans," the GOP Senate minority leader said.Georgia's Legislature, which is controlled by Republicans, last month passed a package significantly changing the state's election laws. Democrats, activists and a growing number of companies have come out against the legislation, which was signed into law by Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp. Critics argue that it makes it harder for people to vote. Similar legislation has been passed in the Texas Senate, while GOP-controlled Legislatures across the country are considering related election laws.