Despite pledging to fight to protect voting rights, big companies like Amazon and Facebook have so far given Senate Republicans $ 164,000 in 2021 – even though the party has set itself the goal as a major priority to block the advancement of voting rights.
According to a report Through government watchdog Accountable.US, eight major corporations have donated to Senate Republicans, donating tens of thousands of dollars during that year. In July, these same companies signed a letter of commitment to support expanded access to elections, specifically citing John Lewis’ Advancement of Voting Rights Act as the Senate Republicans slaughtered last week.
For months, Republicans loudly opposed the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, dishonestly pretending that extensions of the Voting Rights Act, which seek to reduce voter suppression for historically disenfranchised groups, violate state rights.
The bill, which was passed by the house in August, would impose restrictions on jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in elections, requiring them to obtain Justice Department approval if they wish to change their electoral rules. across the country introduced and passed laws to make it harder to vote as an extreme reaction to the 2020 election.
The letter, dated July 14 and signed by hundreds of businesses, claims to oppose these efforts. “[T]“The undersigned, a group of US employers urge Congress to address these issues through legislation amending the Voting Rights Act of 1965,” the letter reads. “Last Congress, the House of Representatives passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We support the ongoing work of the House and Senate to enact legislation amending the Voting Rights Act at this Congress. “
By donating to Republicans who oppose increased voting access, the companies are directly undermining the letter’s claims. Target, who signed the letter, donated $ 32,000 to Senate Republicans; Dell, also a signatory, donated $ 38,500. Meanwhile, Amazon and Facebook have both donated over $ 20,000, and Microsoft and Boston Scientific have donated over $ 15,000 each.
The report revealed that the most common recipient of the donations was Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota), minority whip for the GOP. Thune has received thousands of dollars in donations from Boston Scientific, Dell, Target, Intel, Amazon and Microsoft. It is unclear what the donations are for, as federal filing guidelines do not require disclosure of this information, but the eminent Republican’s empowerment directly opposes the companies’ stated goals.
Thune has always aligned himself with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and his opposition to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Earlier this year, the South Dakota lawmaker gave a speech claiming the Democrats’ Voting Rights Bill, then known as the For the People Act or HR 1, was a ‘takeover’ by Democrats. In reality, the the invoice would be massively expand access to the vote, with the goal of eliminating the influence of black money in politics and making it easier for everyone to vote.
Although Republicans have found a myriad of excuses for their opposition to the advancement of voting rights, some lawmakers have made it clear the motivation behind the national campaign to suppress voters: the party wants fewer people to vote. Even a so-called compromise bill right-wing Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (West Virginia) won no Republican support; lawmakers still have not found a compromise that would appeal to party senators.
This is not the first time that companies have broken their political donation commitments. After the January 6 attack on the Capitol, 147 Republicans voted against certification of election results, and many companies have pledged to stop donating to these Republicans or to stop political donations altogether. But so far away four dozen companies who have pledged to halt donations have broken those pledges, including big companies like Facebook and Target, according to Popular information.
While making promises and signing letters is an easy way to receive positive press or public praise, businesses ultimately seek their bottom line – and as long as Republicans oppose measures such as the increase corporate income tax, the GOP and corporations maintain a mutually beneficial relationship at public expense.