Accountable.US Unveils Mobile Billboards Challenging AT&T, Microsoft, Salesforce, Target to Drop Anti-Democratic U.S Chamber
Washington, D.C. — As part of its ongoing ‘Drop the Chamber’ campaign, Accountable.US is launching mobile billboards this week outside the headquarters of Microsoft, Target, Salesforce, as well as AT&T in Dallas, TX, challenging the companies to drop the U.S. Chamber over its anti-democratic history and ongoing lobbying blitz against national voting protections that would help counteract the kinds of attacks on voting rights seen in Texas. SEE: Target version of the mobile billboard HERE; AT&T HERE; Salesforce HERE; and Microsoft HERE.
The effort comes as the Republican-led Texas Senate advanced sweeping voter suppression legislation last week, SB1, the latest step backwards for voting rights on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Arizona’s unreasonably restrictive voting laws. Government watchdog Accountable.US called the thinly veiled effort to disenfranchise people of color in Texas a stark reminder why corporations that claim to support the right to vote must do more to pressure lawmakers to pass federal voting rights reforms like the For The People Act — and why they need to stop supporting those who are standing in the way, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“What’s happening in Texas is the latest shoe to drop in a widescale voter suppression scheme carried out by desperate and dishonest embracers of the Big Lie,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Before any more voting barriers are erected for citizens of color, lawmakers must now hear from every corporation that has assured their customers, shareholders, and employees that they support democracy.
In addition, Accountable.US released an analysis of campaign finance records showing that — despite AT&T CEO Jim Stankey’s public statements in support of voting rights — in June 2021 alone, as the voting restriction proposals were reaching a fever pitch in Texas, AT&T affiliated PACs funneled least $132,500 to the campaigns of Texas state lawmakers after they publicly pushed voter suppression bills. This includes a $100,000 contribution to TX Governor Greg Abbott on the same day Abbott called for a special legislative session to pass a voter suppression bill among other right-wing priorities. Accountable.US sent a letter to Stankey urging the company to reconcile its public words with the actions of its political committees.
“It’s time to put their money where their mouth is,” added Herrig. “When corporations remain silent when it matters most or continue to support groups like the U.S. Chamber that are actively undermining democracy, it’s tantamount to an endorsement of their behavior. Lawmakers who are intent on disenfranchising Black and Brown voters get the impression there are no consequences for their actions. How many more voter suppression laws need to pass before corporations get serious about their stated public values on democracy and actually pressure lawmakers? They can start by severing all ties with the group leading the charge against voting protections for all, the U.S. Chamber.”
It is critical that corporations be consistent in their values on this issue at a time when there is a large-scale assault on voter access taking place in state legislatures beyond Texas, including Georgia, Arizona, and Florida – efforts that could go unchecked if the Chamber’s “fierce” opposition to voting rights reforms are successful.
Texas’ latest attack on democracy comes just weeks after obstructionist Republican senators lined up to do the bidding of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by refusing to even debate the For the People Act — historic legislation to protect the right to vote. Last month, Accountable.US sent a letter urging the U.S. Chamber to come out against Texas’ voter suppression legislation given its stated opposition to ‘partisan’ voting rights bills. Yet unsurprisingly, the Chamber has remained silent on the nakedly partisan goals of SB1 after running its own lobbying effort to kill the For The People Act.
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