On Monday, writing for Forbes, columnist Michael Posner outlined the unique power the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has to stop GOP attacks on voting rights.
"Founded in 1908 at the behest of President William Howard Taft, the Chamber has spent a century promoting the perspective of American business on issues like taxes, regulation, and trade policy," wrote Posner. "Since 1998 ... the Chamber has donated more than $116 million to political candidates, mostly Republicans. In the current moment, as many Republican politicians continue to question the results of last fall's presidential election, and now pursue a raft of voter-suppression measures, the Chamber faces a test of what its role ought to be in a democratic society."
The Chamber initially condemned the Capitol riot and withheld support from Republicans who contributed to it, noted Posner — but now, they appear to be backing down. And although a number of companies have condemned the efforts in states like Georgia to suppress the vote, the Chamber is largely silent."
"If they also are committed to challenging actions by elected officials who in the Chamber's words 'undermine the legitimacy of our elections and institutions,' they need to set clear substantive standards for how they will define this test and to whom they will give financial support," wrote Posner. "One obvious criterion is whether the candidates they back are involved in efforts that will deny Americans the right to vote. Leading business associations like the Chamber should not reward candidates who are limiting the right to vote. Nothing less than the integrity and vitality of our democracy is at stake."
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