Washington, D.C. – Despite AT&T’s recent public statements in support of voting rights, an Accountable.US review of the most recent PAC filings from Dallas-based AT&T found that the AT&T Texas PAC reported a $100,000 contribution to Texas Governor Greg Abbott on the same day Abbott called for a special legislative session to pass a voter suppression bill among other controversial right-wing priorities. Accountable.US called on AT&T explain to its customers, shareholders and employees the contradictory words of its company and actions of its affiliated political committee.
“AT&T wants to play both sides, telling its customers and shareholders they embrace voting rights while its affiliated PACs dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaigns of those trying to put up even more barriers for Black and brown voters of color. They aren’t fooling anyone,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US. “Contributions to those behind the widely panned voter suppression scheme in Texas speak much louder about the company’s true corporate values.”
“Money talks, and as states like Texas actively attempt to suppress the freedom to vote, corporations need to pick a side and fight back against racist attacks on our democracy,” added Herrig. “Unfortunately, it appears AT&T is more invested in being on the wrong side of history.”
Earlier this year, in the face of a wave of racially motivated anti-voter bills in state legislatures across the country including Texas, AT&T came out with a public statement of apparent disapproval. In April 2021, AT&T CEO John Stankey said “We believe the right to vote is sacred and we support voting laws that make it easier for more Americans to vote in free, fair and secure elections.’” He added: “We are working […] to support efforts to enhance every person’s ability to vote.” We believe the right to vote is sacred and we support voting laws that make it easier for more Americans to vote in free, fair and secure elections.’” He added: “We are working […] to support efforts to enhance every person’s ability to vote.”
AT&T’s public declarations of support of voting rights are further muddled by the fact AT&T Affiliated PACs have poured over $360,000 into the campaigns of the 15 members of the Texas House and Senate committees that have advanced voting restriction bills during this special session.