Voter suppression is now the defining issue of our time. Republicans have realized that in order to win, they have to cheat or deny people the vote. And, if HR1 is defeated at the federal level, they will succeed in their goal.

Expand full comment

Corporations are playing both sides to their advantage for the sake of their bottom line. They tell the public they are good stewards in business in society and strive for the greater good so they put out these pieces like CVS & ATT, proclaiming their values.

Yet for the sake of their bottom line they quietly “appease & grease” the pockets of those in charge of making decisions that affect their bottom line.

We cannot hope for any of this Fuckery to end or reduced to a level that doesn’t destroy society if we don’t address the parasitic relationships between corporations and government. In no other business can a person wanting a particular thing lobby and pay money to a person who’s in charge of giving that thing and it not be a serious ethics problem.

I am a project manager in software development and an engineer got in trouble for going to lunch with a potential client because he didn’t report that he spent over $25 to pay for the lunch. We have to go through major red tape & have strict guidelines to avoid the appearance of bribery. Yet our politicians and corporations do this openly all day every day in big amounts!

These types of measures will never go away as long as the money is allowed to flow.

Expand full comment

ALEC is behind all of this. There's a reason so many states are doing similar things, likely with legislation containing common language.


Expand full comment

I really appreciate the monetary donations listed next to corporations names because until we all come to understand exactly who is bribing our politicians to prioritize their needs and wants over individual citizens, we will never be able to fix our democracy.

Expand full comment

Corporations don’t give a rat’s ass about voting rights. They donate money to whoever is in power in hopes of furthering their agenda. They will say anything you want to hear, but revert back when they think there is no followup. Thanks Judd for holding them accountable!

In the 2020 election in Florida, in the Gubernatorial race & the Senate race, it was so close that there were mandatory recounts. Republicans are afraid Florida is not an easy win for them, so are happy to suppress the vote. Rick “Red Tide” Scott tried to shorten voting times when he was Governor. Scott also deliberately set up Florida’s unemployment system so it was difficult to use & would not pay qualified recipients. He’s a real piece of work.

Expand full comment

Playing both sides of the field. We have to get the corporate hands out of politicians pockets. Very disheartening to see these figures over and over.

Meanwhile in SWVA:

Yesterday across from the Kroger Gas Station in the Kroger parking lot, a petition stand with five white guys were getting signatures to have Trump reinstated as president due to voter fraud. They were replete with Trump signs, voter fraud tape (like police line type except in blue in white.)

I wish I could make this crap up. I guess what I am hinting at is 74 million voters think the exact opposite when it comes to voter supression. They believe it's voter fraud. We are in deep trouble, folks.

Expand full comment

Hypocrite corporations through and through. These charts and articles are doing more than you know. Keep calling them out and letting me know where to spend my money. I will never purchase anything from these companies if I can avoid it. Excellent work.

Expand full comment

AT&T has donated at least $45,000 since 2017 to DeSantis and eight of the state senators advocating for Senate Bill 90. During the past year, AT&T has publicly championed voting rights. For example, the 2020 election was the first time the company ever used the AT&T Center in Texas for voting. AT&T also co-hosted a free “mega” drive-through voter registration event and even sold T-shirts that said “VOTE." Additionally, AT&T is a member of the Business Roundtable, which issued this statement in July 2020 in support of voting alternatives such as mail-in voting and absentee ballot voting:

Voting is a democratic principle that equally values the voice of every citizen. For so many Americans, voting was a hard-fought right. All Americans who qualify should be able to exercise this right free from unnecessary hurdles.

“Black lives matter and we have a moral and business obligation to engage on this fundamental issue of equality and fairness,” AT&T’s website reads. The company writes that one way it plans to drive change is through “advocat[ing] for systemic change” and “push[ing] for public policy changes to deliver equal justice outcomes for all.” Experts note that anti-voting bills such as Senate Bill 90 disproportionately hurt Black and immigrant voters. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

How do you square this with AT&T Chair's Bill Kennard interview with Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt at Fortune

Bill Kennard’s rise to chairman of AT&T earlier this year is an important milestone in many respects. He is the only black man serving as independent chair of a Fortune 500 company. He replaced Randall Stevenson, who held both the chairman and the CEO jobs, marking a move to better governance practices for the telecommunications giant. And he is a former commissioner of the FCC, giving him the perfect background to help forge a much-needed public-private partnership to ensure that every American, in his words, has “access to broadband as a fundamental necessity.” After last year, anything less is indefensible.

Kennard was Ellen McGirt’s and my guest on the podcast Leadership Next this week. I asked him what were at the top of his list of board concerns these days, and he crisply summarized the two big challenges that every business leader is wrestling with:

First: “AT&T has to continue to innovate and disrupt itself. We have to figure out in a sense what is the pace you cannibalize yourself. There is a lot of attention in the business headlines these days about how the Silicon Valley giants are disrupting legacy businesses. There is not as much attention being paid to how legacy businesses have to disrupt themselves.”

Second: “The board at AT&T, like all boards today, is focused on the role of corporations in society. Increasingly you are seeing corporations step into the vacuum where government leadership has sometimes failed or just can’t get the job done, and you are seeing corporations stepping up…Corporations are increasingly questioning, what is their role in society? How do corporations help solve the challenges of income inequality and racial inequality in the country, and political instability? These are questions that corporations have to address in order to be successful in society.”

Judd-- ask for your own interview.

Expand full comment

TX SB7 & HB 6 are cutting back on our already scarce voting "rights." I love to know the corporate donors involved

Expand full comment

Judd- you should check out why VC's are now taking calls to chat about "Govtech" as an emerging investment opportunity. See this article by Robyn Scott


Expand full comment