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Tag: kelly loeffler

Republicans Attack ‘Woke’ Companies At Their Peril

Mitch McConnell has been presented with the spectacle of giant American corporations taking sides on a political issue, and his eyes were seared by the sight. The Senate Republican leader could not have imagined Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, much less Major League Baseball, coming out against a piece of legislation. Processing the trauma may require years of therapy.

"I'm talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state, because you don't like a particular law that passed — I just think it's stupid," he said Tuesday. "So my warning, if you will, to corporate America is to stay out of politics."

This is not quite what you would expect from a politician who last year got more than $250,000 in campaign contributions from chief executives of major companies. Nor is it quite in line with his longstanding view that corporations enjoy the same First Amendment rights as individuals. But McConnell hastened to add that he was not referring to business people making political donations, a practice he assured them is "fine."

The apparent problem for him is not that corporations are getting involved in politics; it's that they are getting involved in a way that conflicts with Republican needs. One of those needs is making it harder for Democrats to win elections in the previously red state of Georgia. McConnell objects to the corporate criticism of a new voting law that is designed to tilt the scales in favor of his party.

Major League Baseball decided to move this year's All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver to register its disapproval. Delta and Coca-Cola issued statements denouncing the election measure. But these were hardly the first time that professional sports or other businesses have intruded into the political realm.

Team owners use their leverage to extract public funds for stadiums and other arenas, notes Chris Lamb, author of the book Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball. They host politicians in their luxury suites. They make campaign contributions. Says Lamb, "I wish owners would stick to sports."

They also lend support to various causes that are inseparable from politics. All those military flyovers at ballgames are an implicit endorsement of our militaristic foreign policy. After 9/11, baseball teams started playing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch, a gesture of support for President George W. Bush's war on terrorism.

McConnell doesn't long for the era when big companies had no political agendas, because there was no such era. He longs for the time when they could pursue their political agendas without enduring nonstop scrutiny from their customers or employees.

Today, Americans often take account of the political activities of companies when making their purchasing decisions. Some companies see speaking up for social justice and racial equity as a matter of conscience — and a way of appealing to consumers who agree. They also know that silence merely invites criticism from either side.

Michael Jordan famously justified his avoidance of political controversy by saying, "Republicans buy sneakers, too." Nike took the risk of alienating customers with an ad campaign featuring San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who gained notoriety by kneeling during the national anthem. The Nike shoe decorated with his image sold out the first day.

Many athletes, despite being told things like "shut up and dribble," insist on using their public visibility to advance causes dear to them, regardless of who objects. Players for the WNBA Atlanta Dream wore T-shirts endorsing Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock in his race against Kelly Loeffler, who happened to be one of the team's owners.

Consumer boycotts over political activity have become an unavoidable feature of the marketplace. Critics who denounce these efforts as ugly manifestations of "cancel culture" use the same tactic when it suits them. Former President Donald Trump, with his usual flair for falsehood, urged: "Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections. Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!"

Good luck with that. Fear of the MAGA crowd didn't stop The Walt Disney Company, a shining symbol of wholesome American fun, from announcing last year that it would give $5 million to organizations fighting for social justice.

Republicans often accuse the left of hating America. But it's not liberals who find themselves at odds with baseball, Coke and Mickey Mouse.

Steve Chapman blogs at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman. Follow him on Twitter @SteveChapman13 or at https://www.facebook.com/stevechapman13. To find out more about Steve Chapman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com

Bless Her Heart, Kelly Loeffler Is Back — And She's Fixing To Suppress Black Votes

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Weeks after losing her special election, former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) is back — hoping to suppress the vote, and maybe even get her seat back.

Loeffler, who says she's considering another run in 2022, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday that she is launching a political group called Greater Georgia to help elect Republicans in future elections.

Loeffler, who was appointed to a vacant Senate seat in December 2019, lost a runoff in January to Democrat Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Warnock, the first Black person to represent Georgia in the Senate, will be up for reelection next November.

After saying a 2022 rematch against Warnock is "certainly on the table," Loeffler said she is starting this new organization because she does not "know if any Republican can win if we don't shore up what we're doing around voter registration, engagement and election integrity."

She plans to do this, she claimed, by trying to make the Georgia GOP "a bigger tent" and protecting "election integrity" by making it harder to vote.

The group's website uses coded language to explain its voter suppression intent, talking about how voters must have "confidence in the process," through "election transparency & uniformity."

Loeffler endorsed Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, citing "real concerns" about how the election "was conducted" — despite a total lack of evidence of any widespread issues — though a day after losing her seat, she said she could not "in good conscience" help Donald Trump steal the election.

Though President Joe Biden carried Georgia in November, and Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) swept two runoffs last month, Republicans are already pushing to change state laws to prevent Democrats from ever winning again.

Loeffler's claim that she will work to promote "big tent" GOP proposals hardly matches her record during her brief Senate tenure.

She boasted of voting with Trump 100 percent of the time and being "more conservative than Attila the Hun," a brutal killer not known for his inclusive policies.

She pandered to white supremacists and made overtly racist attacks against Warnock. She ran ads featuring Trump using racist terminology to describe the coronavirus, took a selfie with a well-known former Ku Klux Klan leader, and railed against the Black Lives Matter movement.

She also attacked Warnock's religious beliefs, even bashing him for quoting the Bible. "[Warnock's] repeated use of the Bible & his pulpit to justify abortion-on-demand is sickening & wrong," she tweeted in December.

Called out for the attacks, Loeffler accused Warnock of "playing the victim" while claiming not to have "a racist bone" in her body.

Even if Loeffler runs, she might not have a clear shot at her party's nomination.

Republican ex-Sen. David Perdue, who lost the other Senate seat to Ossoff after allegations of insider trading, and ex-Rep. Doug Collins, who failed to make the runoff against Warnock and Loeffler, are both considering bids.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Rev. Raphael Warnock Defeats Kelly Loeffler In Georgia Senate Runoff

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The Rev. Raphael Warnock is now Senator-elect Raphael Warnock. He is projected to defeat Sen. Kelly Loeffler in one of Georgia's two runoff elections.

Warnock, the pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, will become Georgia's first Black senator. He kicked off the runoff campaign with one of the more memorable and effective ads in recent election cycles, and then followed it up with another one using the same themes, just as effective.

Loeffler was appointed to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson when he retired, so she cannot be said to have lost reelection. Rather, she failed ever to be elected—and she failed on the basis of a racist campaign in which she relentlessly pandered to Donald Trump and the worst of his base. In a last-ditch pander, Loeffler promised Monday night to join the Republicans objecting to the counting of electors from battleground states won by President-elect Joe Biden. (And after it became clear she was going to lose, late on Tuesday night she announced she was heading to Washington to follow through on that pledge.)

A Democrat won the presidential race in Georgia. A Black Democrat is going to the Senate from the state. Holy wow, and a big thank you to Stacey Abrams, Nse Ufot, and so many other tireless organizers.

Still Furious Over Georgia, Trump Isn’t Helping Perdue And Loeffler

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The White House's post-Trump era will begin only a month from Sunday when Joe Biden is sworn in as president of the United States. One of President Donald Trump's activities during his final weeks in office will be campaigning for two GOP senators in runoff elections in Georgia, but according to New York Times reporters Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman, Trump isn't overly enthusiastic about that task — and is only using the runoffs to promote his own fundraising.

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Georgia’s First Day Of Early Runoff Voting Breaks Record

Georgia voters are already smashing absentee ballot records as early voting begins for a pair of U.S. Senate runoff elections in the state.

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told the Wall Street Journal on Monday, at the start of the early voting period, that it appeared the runoffs would be a "high-turnout election."

The outlet cited figures from the U.S. Elections Project, which tracks mail ballots using data from the Georgia secretary of state. The Journal reported 246,531 mail ballots had been accepted so far — a 20.1 percent return rate of requested ballots — and 1,227,285 mail ballots requested, which is a 16.1 percent request rate of registered voters, as of Monday.

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Loeffler Silent After Ossoff-Warnock Campaigner Suffers Violent Attack

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

It should come as no surprise that the same GOP senator who did nothing as President Donald Trump spread a dangerous denial of his election loss to a Georgia crowd remained silent following a violent attack on a man holding a sign for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Sen. Kelly Loeffler didn't dedicate as much as a social media post to condemn violence Sunday morning, and she apparently didn't find responding to Newsweek's request for comment on the incident worthy of her time either. Both Democrats competing to unseat Republicans in the upcoming Senate runoff did.

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GOP Civil War Erupts in Georgia Senate Runoffs

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

The lie that Georgia's presidential election was rigged through voter fraud is a right-wing fantasy — but these baseless claims could have a very real impact on the upcoming Senate runoffs. And that has some members of the state's right-wing media apparatus panicking.

Groundless allegations of voter fraud in Georgia's presidential election have pitted members of right-wing media, and the Republican Party as a whole, against one another ahead of two crucial January runoffs that will determine control of the Senate.

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Sen. Perdue Quietly Pushed Big Tax Break For Rich Sports Team Owners

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) privately pushed Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to give wealthy sports owners a lucrative tax break last year, according to a previously unreported letter obtained by ProPublica.

After the 2017 tax bill championed by President Donald Trump passed, Mnuchin and the Treasury had to write rules on how the legislation would work in practice.

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