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U.S. CEOs are discussing a coordinated response to voting laws

U.S. CEOs are discussing a coordinated response to voting laws

Top U.S. executives are meeting to coordinate responses to controversial new voting legislation, allowing individual companies to remove voters or making hypocritical “awakened capitalism”.

Defying pressure from Republicans to stay out of politics, many CEOs joined a video call over the weekend to discuss bills presented in 47 states, and the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice says it would limit access to voting.

Several directors suggested it withholding donations lawmakers who support that legislation or those who participated in Saturday’s call said they would reconsider investments in states that support restrictive laws.

While the discussion action stuck to broad principles rather than specific commitments, plans were emerging on Sunday for CEOs to sign a new statement of support for broader elections earlier in the week, expressing a growing need for the American corporation. a proclamation of voting rights.

Two black CEOs – Ken Frazier, Merck CEOand Ken Chenault, former head American Express – led a large part of Saturday’s debate public call 72 black senior officials last month to “keep their classmates away”

Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal, said he would give his name to a new statement organized by the Black Economic Alliance.

“In my view, a non-partisan and fundamental democratic issue is to discriminate against all those who have the right to vote,” he said.

Activists last month in Atlanta-based companies, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and UPS, accused them of publicly doing too much against Georgian Republican legislation that put restrictions on early voting and postal voting, critics said would disproportionately dismantle black voters. has. .

Coca-Cola and Delta CEOs were present Georgia passed legislation after passing.

Shortly afterwards, however, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sparked a backlash against top Republicans, accusing CEOs of “economic blackmail” and advising them to stay “out of politics”.

“From electoral legislation to radical social agendas to environmentalism to the Second Change, parts of the private sector continue to act as an awakened parallel government,” McConnell said.

Mike Ward, vice president of the Civic Alliance, a bipartisan business group that encourages greater voter turnout, said he saw no one at the video conference in response to the Republican backlash.

“What I found most interesting was the very broad, if not universal, support for companies that are not only for democracy, but for democracy,” he said.

“The spectrum of political and industrial perspectives were united in voices for greater equity and access to voters,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale’s leading professor who helped make the call.

Other participants said the call stressed the need for companies to coordinate their responses and agree on a set of non-partisan principles, rather than seeing any state elected or pressured to get a federal legislation proposal.

“Without a prosperous democracy we cannot have prosperous and secure capitalism,” said Lynn Forester de Rothschild, founder of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, who described the protection of voting rights as a patriotic duty of business leaders.

Polls have suggested public support for a wider public vote. In Saturday’s call, Morning Consult polls found findings that most Democrats and multiple Republicans agree with support for legislation aimed at increasing companies ’access to voting.

Bennett Freeman, a consultant for human rights companies at the call, said voting rights are a “perfect convergence” of two issues that companies talked about last year: race equity Death of George Floyden and a peaceful transfer of power during the election.

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