David Hecker: Corporations should stop funding politicians who support voter suppression

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Sometimes it’s hard to live our values. We strive for it, and for my part, I know that sometimes I falter.

But while it is sometimes understandable to slip up, there are lines we must strive never to cross. The right to vote is not a complicated issue. It is a question of fundamental values ​​— justice, equality, freedom — that we all have an obligation to defend.

Of course, voter suppression laws are nothing new; there is a long history of efforts by white supremacists and the political right to prevent voters, especially black and brown voters and other members of marginalized communities, from having their voices heard in our elections in restricting access to ballot boxes.

The current wave of anti-election bills and initiatives in Michigan and across the country are the work of 2020 election deniers, though numerous audits have proven it to be the election. safest in the history of our state.

Companies support elected officials and candidates who they believe are best for their company’s operations and finances. It’s understandable.

I must admit that, although very, very rarely, my union might buy a ticket to a fundraiser from someone with whom we disagree on most issues because he chairs a key committee. The extreme policies Michigan Republicans have promoted over the past few years, fueled by Trump’s Big Lie, have caused me to reconsider how we handle these situations.

If you ask business leaders, I think the overwhelming majority would say they oppose voter suppression. The more cynical among us would argue that these companies claim to oppose voter suppression because they cater to black, brown, and other marginalized populations, those most directly affected by voter suppression laws. voters.

Despite my usual cynicism, I have to say that I believe the business leaders I know personally when they say they oppose voter suppression.

There are good people working in our business community, some of whom I work with on various issues, many of whom represent companies that are making a real difference in funding nonprofits that are doing good work.

So I ask, if a company’s values ​​say they oppose voter suppression, should that impact who they support politically? Shouldn’t they stop funding candidates who, while good for their business, support voter suppression?

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