Washington, D.C. — As a key Texas House committee voted in the dead of night Sunday to advance a bill that would disenfranchise countless Black and brown voters in Texas and Democratic lawmakers flee the state in an attempt to block the bill’s advancement, new research from Accountable.US shows that several members of the Texas Senate and House committees behind the voter suppression effort have received substantial donations from major American businesses and corporate leaders.

AT&T affiliated PACs, oil and gas company affiliated PACs and their leadership, and leadership of the San Antonio Spurs are among those who collectively donated nearly $1 million to members of the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee and House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies. Many corporations like AT&T have voiced public support for voting rights, but AT&T’s affiliated PACs still financially support those who are helping to disenfranchise millions of Americans‚ especially those from communities of color. Corporations can’t have it both ways – they can either stand for democracy and voting rights, or stand on the wrong side of history.

“Companies like AT&T whose affiliated PACs donated money to politicians behind the racist and anti-democratic voter suppression scheme in Texas owe a serious explanation to their customers, shareholders and employees,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “If these companies disapprove of this indefensible assault on voting rights, they should take a stand. If they continue to do nothing as the lawmakers they helped put in power trample all over the fundamental right to vote, their corporate logos might as well be printed on this historic voter suppression bill, because the public is watching.”

KEY POINTS FROM ACCOUNTABLE.US’ ANALYSIS

  • AT&T signed onto an April New York Times ad condemning voter suppression, but its affiliated PACs gave at least $367,000 to members of the Texas House and Senate committees considering suppressive anti-voter legislation.
  • Oil and gas company affiliated PACs and members of their corporate leadership — including Atmos Energy, Desert Royalty Company, and SDS Petroleum Consultants — gave at least $554,000 to members of the Texas House and Senate committees considering suppressive anti-voter legislation.
  • San Antonio Spurs Board Member Jim Leininger gave at least $40,000 to members of the Texas House and Senate committees considering suppressive anti-voter legislation.

See the full report here.

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