Politics Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell Accuses Companies of 'Bullying' Over Georgia Voting Law
Raphael Warnock REFUSES to oppose calls to boycott Georgia-based firms
Senator Raphael Warnock on Sunday declined to oppose calls by Black Lives Matter activists to boycott Georgia-based corporations for not taking a position against the state's new voting law.The Democratic senator was asked about calls by local activists to boycott Atlanta-based firms like the Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot, UPS, Arbys, and Delta Airlines.
GOPminority leader of Kentucky said Monday that big businesses should "stay out of politics" following the news that major corporations, including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola have distanced themselves from the state amid public pressure. Major League Baseball announced last week in response to the laws that it would relocate the 2021 All-Star Game, which was due to be held in Atlanta.
McConnell said it was a "big lie" to call the new voting law racist. "It's simply not true," McConnell said of President Biden's criticism that the new bill was a return to Jim Crow–era restrictions that limited ballot access for Black Americans.
Fact check: What the new Georgia elections law actually does
The new Georgia elections law signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp last week has prompted lawsuits from civil rights groups, a sharp denunciation from President Joe Biden, and calls for businesses to take action against the state. © Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP Ann White of Roswell holds protest signs on the North Wing stairs of the Georgia State Capitol building on day 38 of the legislative session in Atlanta, Thursday, March 25, 2021. "It ain't over yet," said White. "I look forward to going door-to-door working against everybody that voted for (SB 202).
The new laws intend to scale back early voting opportunities as well as other options which have become popular during the pandemic. McConnell's choice to involve himself in the debate lends strength to Republican effort to install stricter voting laws following the 2020 election.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:
Even more, McConnell's warning to big business not to get involved shows the scrambleface as progressive groups are shining a spotlight on corporate America to live up to its brands and values as takes on voting rights, gun violence and other issues.
The Republican leader has been among the most outspoken champions of the role of big money in elections, promoting the free-flow of undisclosed dollars to campaigns as a form of Constitution-protected free speech.
Trump expands boycott calls to JP Morgan, ViacomCBS, Cisco, UPS
'For years the Radical Left Democrats have played dirty by boycotting products when anything from that company is done or stated in any way that offends them,' Trump said in a statement Saturday.'For years the Radical Left Democrats have played dirty by boycotting products when anything from that company is done or stated in any way that offends them,' Trump said in a statement on Saturday. 'We can play the game better than them.
But companies temporarily halted giving to many Republicans after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege, when the former president urged like supporters to fight for him and hundreds stormed the Capitol.
Speaking in Kentucky, McConnell said Monday it's simply "not accurate" to say the Georgia law is making it more difficult to vote.
McConnell also criticized Biden for criticizing the law, saying the president's claims had been fact-checked as false.
"The President has claimed repeatedly that state-level debates over voting procedures are worse than Jim Crow or 'Jim Crow on steroids.' Nobody actually believes this," McConnell said in a lengthy statement earlier Monday.
"Nobody really thinks this current dispute comes anywhere near the horrific racist brutality of segregation."
The new law shortens the time frame between primary and general elections, which also narrows the options for early voting. To counter the popular "souls to the polls" events at Black churches on Sundays, the law now requires two Saturdays for voting. It makes it a misdemeanor to hand out food, drink or other benefits to voters waiting in long lines at polling stations.
Yes, the Georgia election law is that bad
The debate over whether Georgia’s law really suppresses voting reveals just how imperiled American democracy is.In the New York Times, Nate Cohn concluded that “the law’s voting provisions are unlikely to significantly affect turnout or Democratic chances.” Slate’s Will Saletan notes that some provisions really are troubling, but that the bill also contains good provisions and that critics have “overhyped” their concerns. Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, writes that “the idea this is an epic war on voting rights is simply absurd.
McConnell more pointedly warned the big business that have been responding to public pressure on their corporate actions not to give in to the advocacy campaigns.
"It's jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied, but join in the bullying themselves," he said.
McConnell warned companies not to get involved in voting issues or other upcoming debates on environmental policy or gun violence heading to Congress.
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.