Corporate America is taking its voice to the streets and I predict it will not be successful in the medium run.
As I wrote yesterday, no longer are large consumer brands lobbying Congress over tax rates or overseas tariffs. These new “citizens” are finding a voice on all matters that directly affect their consumers.
Case in point was the backlash Georgia residents felt over the passage of the new state voting rules, which actually in the aggregate expands voting ability with longer hours and expanded mail-in options.
Major League Baseball, Cocoa-Cola and Delta Air Lines to name a few came out with harsh edicts without actually reading the new rules. MLB moved its All-Star Game from largely minority-owned business friendly Atlanta to Denver, Colorado, which has stricter voting rules than the ones enacted in Georgia.
Well over the weekend it was reported that more than 100 CEOs of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies met on a Zoom conference call organized by Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld of Yale School of Management, Among those on the call were: Former American Express CEO Ken Chenault; Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh; Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
The topic was how can these companies use their clout and campaign contributions to change other states looking to tighten their voting laws.
After the call the participants issued this statement: “CEOs who participated in a live poll indicated they will re-evaluate donations to candidates supporting bills that restrict voting rights and many would reconsider investments in states which act upon such proposals.”
So why are these household named brands carrying the water of the Democratic party and taking a stand to loosen the rules on voter integrity?
Well they know Republicans and Libertarians are not the people who would generally boycott their products and services in any meaningful way due to their stance.
Democrats on the other hand have used boycotts very effectively to push changes in the past. Look no further than North Carolina, which passed a law banning genderless bathrooms in 2019. Due to boycotts by sports leagues and others the law was rescinded the last year.
Hollywood has also recently pulled a few movie shoots out of Georgia over the new voting rules.
So if you push for less rules, like voter ID on Election Day, chances are you will see Democrats win more state and national seats goes the thinking.
While I dismiss the initial premise that minorities lack the ability to apply for a government-issued ID in 2021 as racist in itself, I know the new rules can curtail ballot harvesting and/or ballot stuffing. These two efforts led to many Americans questioning the validity of the 2020 election results.
If these Fortune 500 companies wish to use the power of the purse to back Democratic candidates, then perhaps it is time for Republicans and Libertarians to think twice on who they interact with economically.
Vote with your wallet so your ballot will have integrity.