Politics Mitch McConnell retracts his demand that corporations 'stay out of politics' amid outrage over Georgia's 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.
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday walked back his demand that corporations "stay out of politics."
- McConnell and other Republicans are condemning major companies for speaking out against Georgia's restrictive voting law.
- The Kentucky Republican revised his criticism and said companies are "certainly entitled to be involved in politics."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday retracted his demand that corporations "stay out of politics," with the exception of political donations, as major companies protest Georgia's recently-passed voting rights restrictions.
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).
"I didn't say that very artfully yesterday," the Kentucky Republican told reporters of his. "They're certainly entitled to be involved in politics."
"My complaint about the CEOs is they ought to read the damn bill," he added.
Major League Baseball announced last Friday that it would pull its All-Star game from Atlanta in response to the Georgia law, which civil rights activists have broadly condemned as a racist voter suppression effort. Georgia-based companies, including Coca-Cola, Delta, and Home Depot, followed, arguing that the voting law was based on the GOP's lies about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
On Monday, McConnellthat are speaking out against the law. Prominent Republicans have on the companies that speak out, labeling the corporations for continuing to operate in authoritarian countries.
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.
"My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don't pick sides in these big fights," McConnell said during a Monday news conference. He went on to accuse companies of behaving like a "woke alternative government," warning they could become "a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order."
But after critics pointed out that McConnell is simultaneously staunchly supportive of corporate political speech in the form of donations to politicians, the lawmaker clarified that there were exceptions to his new mandate.
"I'm not talking about political contributions," he told reporters on Tuesday. "I'm talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state because you don't like a particular law they passed. I just think it's stupid."
McConnell, a top beneficiary of corporate donations, is one of theof campaign finance reform. He has long argued that corporations have First Amendment rights and that corporate donations are protected political speech.
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.