Washington, D.C. — Today, Texas House lawmakers sent their Jim Crow-style voter suppression bill to the state Senate, putting it on an all-but-certain path to Governor Abbott’s desk. Government watchdog Accountable.US has continued to put a spotlight on the leading U.S. corporations and executives who donated to Abbott and other anti-democratic Texas lawmakers as they worked to deny Texans’ fundamental freedoms. Companies that claim to support voting rights have offered nothing but lip service as Texas lawmakers openly worked to disenfranchise thousands of Texas voters of color and with disabilities while keeping Trump’s Big Lie alive.

Yesterday, the Texas House speaker banned use of the word “racism” during debate over the bill, which experts say would place a heavy burden on Black and Latino voters, among other vulnerable groups. 

“Corporations that claimed to support voting rights while quietly donating to the politicians hellbent on stripping Texans’ right to vote away have shown their true colors to their customers, shareholders, and employees,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Voter suppression is bad for business, but apparently these corporations have put a higher value on maintaining political influence with politicians that perpetuate Trump’s Big Lie. As this Jim Crow-style bill moves forward, it’s more crucial than ever that lawmakers in Congress pass sweeping federal voter protections for all — our democracy depends on it.”

A recent Accountable.US report found that leading businesses and executives gave Governor Abbott millions of dollars amidst his push for legislation that would disenfranchise voters in his state. Several companies and executives that gave to Abbott, including Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and AT&T, did so despite publicly signaling their support for voter protections. Some of Governor Abbott’s most notable corporate donors include:

  • $200,000 from Houston Rockets’ billionaire owner Tilman Fertitta
  • $150,000 from Oncor’s leadership and Texas PAC
  • $100,000 from Ryan LLC’s Texas PAC
  • At least $1.9 million from oil, gas, and energy PACs and executives
  • $20,000 from Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
  • $15,000 from Charter Communications’ Texas PAC

Corporations didn’t just donate to Abbott — AT&T, USAA, San Antonio Spurs Board Member Jim Leininger, and oil and gas company affiliated PACs and members of their corporate leadership gave thousands to Texas state senators who voted to advance the voter restrictions in early July.

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