The companies have donated more than $ 50 million to state legislators in support of a vote-fixing

While Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines officials spoke negatively of Georgia's new voting law as "backlash" and "wrong" last week


But if the leaders of the nation's leading corporations are to reject lawmakers who support voting measures that are considered restrictive by the majority, including Black business leaders, they will have to suddenly go back to the past spending policy.

State legislatures across the country that have demanded controversial change by voting have reaped more than $ 50 million in corporate contributions in recent years, according to a new report by Public Citizen, a Washington-based government-sponsored group.

Telecom-based telecommunications company AT&T has been the dominant force, donating more than $ 800,000 since 2015 to authors of proposed changes, cosponsors of such measures, or those who voted in favor of these subscriptions, the report found. Other top contributors at the same time include Comcast, Philip Morris, United Health, Walmart, Verizon, General Motors and Pfizer.

The money may not have been provided with the voting rules in mind, but it did help to strengthen the Republic's control of state houses where many illegal means now continue.

"It's really an American coalition, as a whole, supporting these politicians," said Mike Tanglis, one of the authors of the report. "It looks like a lot of people are trying to hide under a rock and are hoping that this issue will pass."

Pressure was mounting in Georgia, where Republican Governor Brian Kemp recently signed a new law banning people from providing food or water to waiting voters and allowing the Republican-led Electoral Commission to remove and replace regional election officials, among many other conditions.

The situation is tense in Georgia, where a new voting law has attracted national attention in recent weeks and has sparked criticism last week from home-based companies Delta and Coca-Cola. On Friday, MLB announced it would no longer host the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta.

Delta Criticism "completely compares to our conversations"

Kemp stressed that the new voting law was misrepresented by corporate leaders. He also accused some business leaders of ignoring their role in law enforcement. Kemp said Delta's criticism of the voting law "is very contrary to our negotiations with the company, ignoring the content of the new law, and unfortunately continues to spread the same repeated attacks by party activists."

Similar voting arrangements are being considered in state legislatures in Florida, Texas, Arizona and Iowa.

The Public Citizen analyzed about 245 bills proposed before March 1. Its investigators released a list of sponsors and cosponsors, while analyzing ballot papers. They then reviewed information on government donation records since 2015, including funding from company-sponsored political action committees, as well as direct donations from corporate treasury.

"Giving $ 5,000 to a U.S. senator who collects $ 30 million is a bucket throw. But in some of these state races, a few thousand dollars can buy a lot of advertising time," Tanglis said. "If an American company would say that (Donald Trump's 2020 election) is not acceptable at the state level, what about the state level?"

Among the findings of the Community Citizen:

Companies have donated at least $ 50 million since 2015 to lawmakers who support what they call "voter repression debt," including $ 22 million by 2020, or about half the total value.

At least 81 Fortune 100 companies have given the lawmakers a combined $ 7.7 million.

Nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies have donated $ 12.8 million combined to the official ones.

More than 60 companies have given at least $ 100,000 to legislators from supporters of opposing funders to change the rules by voting.

Companies listed in the Public Citizen report have issued statements in response to their past political contributions.

AT&T in a statement said "the right to vote is sacred." The company has refused to say it will withhold donations from state legislatures as it did to Congress members who opposed Biden's victory.

Verizon in a statement the company is opposed to "passing any legislation or adoption of any method that could make it difficult" to vote.

Comcast said in a statement that "efforts to reduce or restrict access to this fundamental constitutional right of every citizen are not in line with our principles."

Altria, Philip Morris 'parent company, said in a statement that "all eligible voters must be able to exercise their voting right" and promised to monitor the lawyers' compliance with our political contribution rules when making decisions about future donations. "

Some companies listed in the report declined to comment.