McConnell: Businesses Using ‘Economic Blackmail’ to Alter Laws

’Parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,’ McConnell said of businesses pressuring governments to change laws and policies.

By Lisa Hagen |  USN

SENATE MINORITY LEADER Mitch McConnell of Kentucky sent a warning to corporations protesting Georgia’s newly enacted voting law: Businesses will “invite serious consequences” if they engage in boycotts or other retaliatory measures over Georgia’s new voter law.

In a statement released Monday, McConnell took aim at major companies in the private sector over what he argues is the latest example of them bowing to pressure from the left by opposing the election law or taking more drastic measures that would have broader economic implications, like refusing to do business in the state.

McConnell’s direct warning further highlights the cracks in the long-standing relationship between congressional Republicans and big business. And it comes months after a number of large corporations said they would pause or cease donating to elected GOP officials who voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in early January.

“From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” McConnell said. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order. Businesses must not use economic blackmail to spread disinformation and push bad ideas that citizens reject at the ballot box.”

Georgia’s law imposes new measures that could limit voter access  (Editor’s Note: the writer includes the verb “could”, not will, in the sentence making this entire paragraph an editorial as opposed to an article of information)  in the 2022 elections including limits to ballot drop boxes and the requirement of identification to vote absentee. Democrats have likened the law to “Jim Crow 2.0,” referring to the laws that institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination.

Republicans, like McConnell, have countered that Georgia’s law – and other legislation like it being considered around the country – wouldn’t restrict access and argue it’ll bolster election integrity in the next cycle. He added that corporations are not applying similar standards in how they operate businesses in other states, arguing that New York has some similar voting provisions to Georgia.

But since Georgia Gov. Brain Kemp signed the bill into law late last month, there’s been a swift reaction and pressure campaign from some Democrats and voting rights activists to boycott companies based in Georgia that didn’t speak out early enough or at all.

And last week, Major League Baseball announced that it would pull its All-Star Game in Atlanta in response to the voter law, which has so far been the biggest corporate protest since its enactment.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred Jr. said in a recent statement. “Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”

But boycotts borne out of the fight over voting rights have garnered some mixed reaction from Democrats.

Stacey Abrams, a voting rights advocate who ran for Georgia governor in 2018, praised the MLB and the players for opposing the voter law but expressed her disappointment about the relocation of the All-Star Game. Abrams, who might run in a rematch against Kemp in 2022, argued the boycott would ultimately hurt Georgia residents and voters by another state benefiting from the economic boost of a major event.

“I respect boycotts although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs,” Abrams said. “Georgians targeted by voter suppression will be hurt as opportunities go to other states. We should not abandon the victims of GOP malice and lies – we must stand together.”

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