Washington, D.C. — The Texas House reached quorum Thursday, setting up the all-but-certain passage of Jim Crow-style voter suppression legislation that will disenfranchise thousands of Texas voters of color and with disabilities — while keeping Trump’s Big Lie alive. Government watchdog Accountable.US spotlighted the businesses and their executives that recently donated to these anti-democratic lawmakers and Governor Greg Abbott as they worked to deny the freedom to vote to Texas’ most vulnerable.
Accountable.US recently released a report showing that leading U.S. corporations and executives have given Governor Abbott millions of dollars amidst his push for legislation that would disenfranchise voters in his state — with the burden falling particularly hard on Black and Latino voters, low-income voters, and voters with disabilities.
“Every corporation that claimed to support voting rights while quietly donating to those poised to strip those rights away from vulnerable Texans showed their true values to their customers, shareholders and employees,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “For these companies, cultivating political influence clearly comes before ensuring a healthy democracy for all. Companies that claimed to support democracy have not backed their words with action. They have been nowhere to be found as lawmakers ram through their Jim Crow-style effort to disenfranchise Texans and appease the twice-impeached former president by promoting his Big Lie.”
“The brazen attack on democracy happening in Texas is yet another reminder why Congress has no excuse for further delay in passing sweeping federal voting rights protections,” added Herrig. “Before any more barriers are erected for eligible voters, Congress must now hear from every corporation that has assured their customers, shareholders, and employees that they support democracy. Corporate inaction is tantamount to complicity.”
Several companies and executives that gave to Abbott, including Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and AT&T, did so despite publicly signaling their support for voter protections. Some of Governor Abbott’s most notable corporate donors include:
- $200,000 from Houston Rockets’ billionaire owner Tilman Fertitta
- $150,000 from Oncor’s leadership and Texas PAC
- $100,000 from Ryan LLC’s Texas PAC
- At least $1.9 million from oil, gas, and energy PACs and executives
- $20,000 from Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
- $15,000 from Charter Communications’ Texas PAC
Corporations didn’t just donate to Abbott — AT&T, USAA, San Antonio Spurs Board Member Jim Leininger, and oil and gas company affiliated PACs and members of their corporate leadership gave thousands to Texas state senators who voted to advance the voter restrictions in early July.
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