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The GOP’s 'rolling coup' has large corporate backers

The latest report from Accountable.US, a nonpartisan government watchdog, finds corporations have given thousands of dollars to senators blocking voting rights legislation.


Accountable.US, the nonpartisan government watchdog putting corporations on blast for claiming to support democracy while funding officials who support anti-democratic measures, is back with more heat. 

The group’s latest report exposes several large, well-known corporations for financing Republican opponents of voter protection measures. These lawmakers have blocked voting rights legislation in the Senate and stood idle as their states passed stringent voter suppression laws.

The data show the extent to which the GOP’s ongoing power grab — correctly dubbed a “rolling coup” by one NBC military analyst — is being funded by powerful corporate donors. 

The report focuses on donations to Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, and Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Several major organizations have all given thousands of dollars in donations to the senators over the past year.

Florida senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott speak to reporters after a meeting with former President Donald Trump on Venezuela on January 22, 2019.
Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida speak to reporters after a meeting with former President Donald Trump on Jan. 22, 2019. Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images, file

As Accountable.US noted, each of the senators mentioned voted against advancing Democrats’ voting rights bills — the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Their obstruction has come as Florida, Texas and Iowa’s GOP-led Legislatures have all passed a bevy of laws making it harder to vote. 

In 2021, Texas Republicans passed House Bill 3920 and Senate Bill 1, which severely restrict mail-in voting and early voting. In Florida last year, Republicans passed Senate Bill 90, a law restricting mail-in voting and the use of ballot drop boxes. And in Iowa, Republicans passed Senate File 413, a law that shortens the early voting period, shortens the time polls can remain open, and requires a new cutoff date for absentee ballots. 

Political analysts have noted repeatedly how these Republican-backed laws support the "big lie," former President Donald Trump’s baseless conspiracy theory about voter fraud in the 2020 election that’s been used as a basis to restrict voter access.

“So many corporations claim to value voting rights yet continue to heap contributions onto Senate Republicans working to deny the freedom to vote for millions of Americans, especially voters of color and with disabilities,” Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, said in a statement Tuesday.

“The wave of Jim-Crow style voter suppression efforts in the states should be the canary in the coal mine for corporations to do more than offer empty words of support for democracy,” he added. 

For now, these corporations are far from canaries warning America of oncoming danger. In fact, with their deep pockets and eagerness to wield influence, they risk being complicit.

Head over to Accountable.Us to read more on the corporations backing some of Congress' most anti-democratic lawmakers.

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