Will They Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is?

When Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola objected to Georgia’s new voter suppression laws, Mitch McConnell said that corporations should stay out of politics … except, of course, they should continue to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns.  This is, perhaps, the greatest hypocrisy of the 21st century … “give me your money, but don’t tell me what to do”. 

Interesting, isn’t it, how the Republican Party, in particular Mitch McConnell, danced for joy in 2010 when the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Citizens United v FEC that corporations are people too and should be allowed to have a voice in politics, to donate to the candidates of their choice (in other words, the ones that will vote for profit over people)?

Now, before you go crediting Delta and Coke with being companies with a heart, understand that they were looking out for their own profits, for in recent years We the People have begun using their purchasing power to make a statement.  For example, many of us who support LGBT civil rights, no longer shop at Hobby Lobby or eat at Chick-Fil-A, both of whom have employment policies that discriminate against LGBT people.  With the public outrage over states attempting to take away our voting rights, it only makes fiscal sense for companies to speak out against the new Jim Crow laws if they want to keep their customers happy.  

But talk is cheap … will they put their money where their mouth is?

From an article in today’s New York Times

Amazon, BlackRock, Google, Warren Buffett and hundreds of other companies and executives signed on to a new statement released on Wednesday opposing “any discriminatory legislation” that would make it harder for people to vote.

It was the biggest show of solidarity so far by the business community as companies around the country try to navigate the partisan uproar over Republican efforts to enact new election rules in almost every state. Senior Republicans, including former President Donald J. Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, have called for companies to stay out of politics.

The statement was organized in recent days by Kenneth Chenault, a former chief executive of American Express, and Kenneth Frazier, the chief executive of Merck.

Last month, with only a few big companies voicing opposition to a restrictive new voting law in Georgia, Mr. Chenault and Mr. Frazier led a group of Black executives in calling on companies to get more involved in opposing similar legislation around the country.

Since then, many other companies have voiced support for voting rights. But the new statement, which was also signed by General Motors, Netflix and Starbucks, represented the broadest coalition yet to weigh in on the issue.

“It should be clear that there is overwhelming support in corporate America for the principle of voting rights,” Mr. Chenault said.

Mr. Frazier emphasized that the statement was intended to be nonpartisan, arguing that protecting voting rights should garner support from Republicans and Democrats alike.

“These are not political issues,” he said. “These are the issues that we were taught in civics.”

Coca-Cola and Delta, which condemned the Georgia law after it was passed, declined to add their names, according to people familiar with the matter. Home Depot also declined, even though its co-founder Arthur Blank said in a call with other business executives on Saturday that he supported voting rights. Another Home Depot co-founder, Ken Langone, is a vocal supporter of Mr. Trump.

They talk a good talk, but can they walk the walk?  Will they stop donating to the political campaigns of those who would take away our rights to vote, or will they talk out of one side of their mouth, while at the same time talking out of the other side of their wallet?

I have a general mistrust of large corporations, for most are narrowly focused on profit rather than people.  Time will tell whether these corporations are acting with conscience or only paying lip service, but if they truly put their money where their mouth is, I will give them a thumbs up. 

You can view the statement and signatories here.

39 thoughts on “Will They Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is?

  1. I totally agree, Jill! These big companies could have acted like that themselves for a long time. Those who are only interested in profit should stay out of political business. Honestly, i am really not happy with this. They always can change their mind. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • After the January 6th attack on the Capitol, a number of companies withdrew their support of politicians who had helped fuel the crisis. But then, just a few weeks later, they quietly started writing the checks again. Always profit before people with corporations … they are NOT altruists.

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    • Does staying out of politics involve not contributing to political organizations? I am all for it. But political donations are tax deductible for corporations. The more they give, the less tax they have to pay. They don’t iike paying taxes, that’s for us schmuck to do!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Before 2010 and the Citizens United decision, there were strict limits on what could be donated to a political campaign and by whom. Then, the Supreme Court in all its “wisdom” decided that corporations are people, too, and should have a say in government. Sigh.

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        • Can this not undone? Corporations are economic bodies, they are not living citizens who eat sleep, etc. For me there is a big difference. Beside that, they are not making political donations because they care about politics, how can a corporation care? They make political donations as tax deductions to get out of paying taxes. For a real person this is kind of acceptable, for a corporation it is pure greed.
          Further, for what it is worth, the main people who benefit from making political donations are the wealthy. They too use it as a tax deduction. For them it makes a difference. For people like you and me, it changes little.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree with you that corporations are not people, but organizations deigned to maximize profit for the few by using the labour of the many. But no, the only way it can be overturned would be by a case being filed, working its way to the Supreme Court, and the Court reversing its own ruling. Today, with a 6-3 Conservative majority, it simply won’t happen.

            Actually, political donations are NOT tax-deductible. The reason corporations donate to certain politicians is so those politicians will vote for policies and legislation that help them. For years, the fossil fuel industry evaded regulations by buying politicians who voted down said regulations. The gun industry … they own half or more of the congressional republicans, which is why the ban on assault weapons was allowed to expire, and is why we cannot get even a bill calling for expanded background checks through Congress.

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                  • How the h-e-double hockey sticks did Spelchek get observations out of Conservatives? I am sure I proofread that comment before I published it, and it said Conservatives! The two words are not even close. WTF is going on in this world! I want out of Spelchek! Now!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • 😁 Welcome to my world, where at least a dozen times a day it changes something and I can be heard yelling, “No, dammit, if I had wanted to say THAT, then I would have!”

                      Like

                    • Oh, I do all my work in Word, then once it’s edited, I copy it into WordPress, otherwise you’d see all sorts of typos! Plus, a friend of mine edits most of my work, albeit often after the post is published. But yeah, I have made grievous errors in comments on other people’s posts that I couldn’t repair, so I try to be extra careful and proof my comments before hitting the button, but sometimes I still goof.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • We all goof. But it’s the ones I’m sure I have proofread and still find huge gaffs after publication I really hate. It seems Spelchek works again when I hit send, when it is too late to recall it. Then there are the times I am so pissed off I don’t want to re-read the things I said, as I might try to ameliorate them, euphemize them. I want my anger to show, but the typos and Spelchek-changes make them almost unreadable…
                      Ah, the life of the life-commentor!

                      Liked by 2 people

  2. You’ll have to shout long and loud if any of those companies give a penny to the GOP IN 2022 and really kick in with boycotts. General Motors and others could be in big trouble if their sales drop for an indeterminate period. It wouuld be good to see the candidates from the GOP struggle without campaign money.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree! My dilemma is … I cannot possibly track where those corporations all spend their money. One or four I could do, but not over 100 … there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. I hope that some organization with more resources than I have will be doing the tracking and let us know if any of them donate to republican candidates who support voter disenfranchisement, and then my BIG mouth will kick into gear and I will be writing posts and letters night and day! I would dearly love to see every Republican who supported overturning our 2020 election, and every one who supports making voting harder not get a penny in campaign contributions. But, you and I both know that won’t happen, for there are those out there who support what they are doing. Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Corporations should start right now by demanding political donations returned from any person or PAC involved with or publicly supporting laws which restrict voters abilities to cast their ballots openly, freely, and without threat of harm or violence (harm to have a very wide interpretation including the denial of water to people waiting in line to vote).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hah … they’d stand about as much chance of getting their prior donations back as I stand of sprouting wings and flying. I read an OpEd tonight by a guy saying that the Georgia “new Jim Crow” laws weren’t really at all bad … I wanted to bash his head in … and I’m not typically a violent person! Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, I am glad you pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of Senator Mitch McConnell using Kevin Siers’ wonderful political cartoon. I am also glad you pointed out the measured altruistic response of the corporations. I think they realized being on the side of freedom was better for their bottom line than being silent or being against freedom. The numbers do not work for McConnell’s party which is a key reason the party has to cheat even more to win going forward. Both parties try to tilt things in their favor, but the GOP has been “surgical” in its racist efforts using a term a judge used when he ruled North Carolina’s Voter ID law unconstitutional. The judge also quoted a Republican party leader for NC Buncombe County who said in a Daily Show interview, “the Voter ID law was designed to kick Democrats’ butts.” Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • PS – I may have shared with you I reached out to NC legislators before the “later ruled unconstitutional Voter ID law was passed. I called the law “Jim Crow like.” I heard back from its drafter who ripped me a new one. Then, to a diplomatic, but more forward response, he ripped me another one. An attorney friend said it looked like you changed roles and the legislator was the complainer. In my follow-up I said, “I am a 54 year old white former Republican voter and you and I both know what this law is all about.” As I mentioned, it was ruled unconstitutional.

      To be frank, the only voter problem in the US is not enough people voting. There is no wide scale fraud. This is why so many Republican election officials and judges have ruled against the deceitful former president. Yet, we have trump sycophants who are placating the deceitful former president by doing what Georgia did. They can perfume the pig all they want, but there is a deception to suppress votes. And, it needs to be called out. As Trump Attorney General William Barr told the former president in a group meeting, your election fraud claims are BS, using the actual word. He was fired for that. Keith

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I well remember our conversations during that time, and I remember cheering when the Courts ruled it unconstitutional. I wonder if it’s too much to hope that the Courts will rule the same in the cases of Georgia, Arkansas, and the rest?

        You’re right … not enough people vote. And why? Because in some cases it is made more difficult and time-consuming than it needs to be, and some of us simply cannot jump through all the hoops! It is largely Blacks and other minorities who are targeted, but the voter suppression laws also affect the poor, the elderly, the disabled and others who may not have the luxury of time or transportation to accommodate the voting laws. I’m lucky that my state makes it as easy as possible to vote, but … for how long?

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    • I’ve seen at least a dozen ‘toons about McConnell’s hypocrisy, but I thought this one topped the list.

      I’d like to trust those corporations, but we both know that their bottom line is all that really matters. After the January 6th attack on the Capitol, a number of corporations said they would no longer contribute to those who had been complicit in attempting to overturn the election, but within a month some were already silently writing the checks.

      With 43 states attempting to disenfranchise voters, some having already rushed bills through their legislatures, we can only hope that the Courts will overturn them time and time again. I wish I had more faith in the Courts at the moment, but … I’m not comfortable.

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      • Jill, I had lunch with an old friend who had taken a somewhat surprising turn down a path of white victimization. That troubled me, so I was looking for ways to interject thoughts that might break through the shell. There were two that sunk in – when he brought up the voting thing, I noted there is no wide-scale election fraud and the major voting problem in America is not enough people voting. The other is about Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy on keeping corporations out of politics as he gladly accepts their money. When I noted I have never been a fan of Harry Reid for the same political gamesmanship that McConnell uses, it made the hypocrisy comment more impactful.

        Keith

        Like

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