Washington, D.C. — As the Senate prepares to take up the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a new report by government watchdog Accountable.US reveals that several leading U.S. corporations that have publicly claimed to support voting rights quietly gave thousands of dollars to attorneys general threatening to block the legislation.
“With the freedom to vote under attack across the country and targeted at communities of color and people with disabilities, corporations — especially those claiming to value democracy — need to put their money where their mouths are. Instead, many big companies with household names are trying to have it both ways, telling their customers, shareholders, and employees that they embrace voting rights while they fund the campaigns of politicians trying to block this fundamental right from vulnerable Americans,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Corporations that pay lip service and play both sides during this critical fight are giving a free pass to politicians hellbent on disenfranchising voters — and that says everything about a company’s true values.”
Last month, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita led a coalition of 23 attorneys general in opposition to the John Lewis bill. Rokita has a long history of fighting voter protections in his state, even penning “the nation’s first photo voter ID law” as Indiana’s then-secretary of state.
Some of the watchdog’s findings include:
- Anheuser-Busch and General Motors, two of Indiana Attorney General Rokita’s top corporate donors, gave him thousands of dollars and have publicly supported voting rights and higher election participation.
- Cozen O’Connor, one of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s top corporate donors, gave him over $10,000 and have publicly touted their involvement in a court win for voting rights in Louisiana.
- Facebook, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot each donated over $12,000 to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr despite making public statements in support of expanding access to the ballot box.
- The CEO of AT&T, one of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s top corporate donors, has called the right to vote “sacred.”
- Walmart, one of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s top corporate donors, gave her thousands of dollars, has publicly condemning voting restrictions and supporting expanded election participation.
Read Accountable.US’s full analysis here.
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