“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,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement Monday. “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,” he added.
McConnell accused Democrats of lying about the Georgia law hastily passed by state Republicans and signed into law last month by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.
“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling,” McConnell said in his statement, adding that “it’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied, but join in the bullying themselves.”
Republican advocates for the law argue that it makes Georgia’s elections more secure and that it expands access to voting — pointing to the law’s requirement for each county to have a minimum of one drop box for absentee ballots and expansion of early voting in many counties.
The law, however, dramatically reduces some large counties’ number of drop boxes, significantly shortens both the overall length of runoff campaigns and the early voting period for runoff elections and shortens the duration of the absentee voting period.
MLB’s move to relocate the All-Star Game, potentially costing Georgia $100 million in lost economic impact, was the first in response to the state election law. Atlanta Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on CNN Saturday predicted that it would be the “first of many boycotts of our state to come.”
During a news conference Saturday, Kemp vehemently defended the Georgia elections law and said he would not waver or be swayed if Georgia were to lose more events, thus costing the state more business and tourism dollars.
He accused MLB of putting Democrats’ wishes “ahead of the economic well-being of hard-working Georgians who were counting on the All-Star Game for a paycheck.”
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, like other Democrats, said he respected MLB’s decision, but hoped businesses would protest the law not by boycotting the state, but “by coming here and fighting voter suppression head on.”
After the law was passed, some of the nation’s most prominent Black business leaders called out their Fortune 500 peers for their muted response to new laws that restrict voting across the country, and challenged them to be more forceful in condemning what they said were deliberate attempts by Republicans to limit the number of Black Americans casting ballots in key states.
At an event in his home state Monday, McConnell said he “found it completely discouraging to find a bunch of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics.”
“My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics,” he added.
CNN’s Ted Barrett, Eric Bradner, Maeve Reston, Dianne Gallagher and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.