McConnell defends Citizens United, but says companies’ response to Georgia’s voting law is “stupid”

McConnell defends Citizens United, but says companies' response to Georgia's voting law is "stupid"

In a statement earlier this week, he argued that the Georgia voting law would in fact make it easier to access the polls and issued a warning to companies condemning the changes: If they continue to oppose Republicans and engage in “economic blackmail,” McConnell said, they would face unspecified repercussions. “Most of them contribute to both sides. They have political action committees. That’s fine. It’s legal. It’s appropriate. I support that,” he told reporters. “I’m talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or state because you don’t like a particular law they passed. I just think it’s stupid.” “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,” McConnell said in a statement. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”

McConnell has long supported companies’ political participation, but on Tuesday he joined the Republican charge to attack corporations for speaking out on the voting laws by drawing a distinction between donations and corporate statements. Similar showdowns appear to be brewing elsewhere, with American Airlines criticizing a Texas bill that would prohibit extended voting hours and outlaw drive-through voting across the state, among several other major changes.

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That belief followed him to Washington, where he continued to argue that it is a First Amendment right to spend money on politics. And he practiced it himself: McConnell collected millions of dollars in campaign contributions — and notably, filibustered several bills to regulate the industry. In the Senate, he battled with John McCain, the GOP senator from Arizona, over campaign finance reform. After McCain teamed up with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) to limit “soft money” donations made through parties and committees, their bill was repeatedly filibustered by McConnell. Even while working as an attorney in Kentucky during the 1970s, a young McConnell argued for more money in politics before a college class he taught.

Story continues below advertisement In the past, McConnell has often spoken in starkly different terms about the role of big business in democracy, as NPR noted in a recent episode of its podcast “Embedded.”

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