WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report finding that corporations boasting their commitments to racial equity and diversity have doled out over $800,000 to state lawmakers who have led voter suppression efforts in Texas, Arizona, and Florida — the latest states to ratchet up an assault on voting rights.
As hundreds of corporate executives sign a new letter opposing “any discriminatory legislation” in response to the wide range of voter suppression efforts being considered by state legislatures across the country, these firms — including Exelon, Raytheon, and Disney — have been largely silent on state efforts to disenfranchise predominantly Black and Brown voters.
“These corporations tout commitments to diversity and racial equity, then they turn around and donate thousands to lawmakers responsible for stripping voting rights away from Black and Brown Americans,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “As these states actively attempt to suppress voter participation, corporations need to live up to their values and disavow racist attacks on our democracy.”
Despite making public commitments to racial equity, these corporations have donated to numerous state lawmakers who are responsible for voter suppression efforts and have troubling records on race. Ryan LLC donated $7,500 to Texas State Senator Bob Hall, who defended a self-proclaimed “white nationalist.” Arizona’s top five corporate donors, including Pinnacle West and Raytheon, have all contributed to State Senator David Gowan who sponsored a bill to shorten mail-in voting deadlines that would disproportionately harm Native American voters. In Florida, HCA Management Services and Walt Disney gave $11,000 to State Senator George Granier, who introduced a bill to absolve motorists of liability if they killed a protestor with their car in the same year a white nationalist killed a protestor with his car in Charlottesville.
KEY REPORT FINDINGS:
- Texas’ Biggest Donors That Have Made Public Commitments To Racial Equity Have Given $493,000 To State Lawmakers Responsible For Voter Suppression.
- Arizona’s Top 5 Corporate Donors — All Of Which Tout Commitments to Diversity — Have Given Nearly $77,000 To Three Lawmakers With Troubling Histories On Race Who Authored Three Of The State’s Worst Suppression Bills.
- Florida State Legislators’ Top Donors With Alleged Commitments To Racial Equity Have Given $230,500 To Florida State Legislators Responsible For Advancing Voter Suppression Bills.
# # #