Republicans Still Own Stock in GOP-Boycott Targets

Despite sharing Trump’s boycott rhetoric, GOP lawmakers Mo Brooks’s (R-AL, 5th), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA, 14th) and John Rutherford (R-FL, 4th) still hold stock in companies the former President has called to boycott for being "woke."
Atlanta Skyline Overlooking Centennial Park

by Celine Macura

Atlanta skyline overlooking Centennial Park

Despite sharing Trump’s boycott rhetoric, GOP lawmakers Mo Brooks’s (R-AL, 5th), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA, 14th) and John Rutherford (R-FL, 4th) still hold stock in companies the former President has called to boycott for being “woke.”

The full table of Members who own stock in boycotted companies is here.

The GOP Call for Boycotts: In a statement on April 3, Trump criticized the left for “WOKE CANCEL CULTURE,” and called for conservatives to boycott Coca-Cola, Delta, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Cisco Systems, Inc., Merck & Company, Inc., UPS, and ViacomCBS because of their public condemnation of SB202, the controversial Georgia Voting Bill passed in March.

“Don’t go back to their products until they relent. We can play the game better than them,” Trump wrote.

In response to the Bill’s passing, the Major League Baseball (MLB) has moved the All-Star game, which was set to be in Atlanta, to Denver. In an April 2nd statement, Trump called on his supporters to “Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections.”

Echoing that rhetoric, Brooks took to Twitter to weigh in on the corporations responding negatively to SB202. Representative Mo Brooks, who held stock in Coca-Cola as of the beginning of April, 2021, also promoted the GOP-led boycott on Twitter.

Brooks encouraged his followers to boycott MLB, reposted a similar message from former President Trump, and shared an article in support of Rep. Rand Paul’s call for boycotts against The Coca-Cola Company, MLB, and Delta Air Lines.

“Conservatives know how to boycott, too!” Brooks posted on Twitter.

Additionally, Representative John Rutherford criticized Delta Air Lines for its stance on SB202, echoing Trump’s rhetoric in a tweet on April 5th.

“Maybe Americans who support secure elections should boycott these corporations,” the Florida representative wrote.

Though Rutherford’s investment portfolio does not include Delta Air Lines, it does include Merck, Inc., one of the companies the GOP is boycotting for the same reason. On Feb. 23 2021, Rutherford sold his holdings in The Coca-Cola Company, JP Morgan Chase and Cisco.

Rutherford also shared a post calling out the MLB commissioner for the decision to move the All-Star game.

“Looks like he’s fine punishing the people of Georgia based on lies as long as his lifestyle isn’t affected,” Rutherford said.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia also promoted the boycott, despite owning stock in UPS, Cisco Systems., Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, as of April 3, 2021. Additionally, her husband owns stock in The Coca-Cola Company.

Greene posted a tweet against MLB, likening the corporation’s stance on voting laws to that of non-democratic countries on April 2nd. She then wrote that MLB’s actions have united the Republican Party against “corporate communism.”

Political response to SB202: Following the bill’s passage in March, President Joe Biden released a statement slamming SB202 for reducing voting hours, increasing restrictions on absentee ballots, making in-person voting more unpleasant. The bill makes it illegal to approach voters on-line and offer them water while they wait. Biden honed in on the disproportionate effect this bill will have on Black neighborhoods.

“This is Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” Biden said.

The boycotts bring up the age-old question of what role—if any— corporations should have in the political realm. Corporate statements from The Coca-Cola Company and Delta said that company representatives worked alongside politicians in forming the bill, but were disappointed with its final form. Moreover, some are questioning companies’ decisions and motivations to comment on politics. This Wall Street Journal Editorial hypothesizes that companies are leaning left to cultivate favor with the majority Democratic Party.

While some politicians, like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are advocating for less corporate involvement in politics, campaign contributions from such companies are not receiving the same backlash.

Corporate Reaction to SB202: Initially, calls for boycotts against the Atlanta-based companies came from Democrats, namely Black clergymen, who opposed the company’s role in the creation of SB202 and their silence following the bill’s passage. In response, The Coca-Cola Company and Delta Air Lines released public statements condemning the Georgia Bill. Since this condemnation, GOP Lawmakers have called for the boycotting of companies which have made statements against the controversial voting act.

James Quincey, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company said in a statement made on April 1, 2021 that the company opposed suppression measures while working with lawmakers on this bill.

“We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation,” Quincey wrote.

Quincey said the company will continue working with lawmakers to make voting in Georgia more fair.

The President of The Coca-Cola company in North America Alfredo Rivera shared the same rhetoric.

“We opposed measures that would seek to diminish or restrict voter access and we advocated for broad access, voter convenience, election integrity and political neutrality. Anything that inhibits these principles can lead to voter suppression, Rivera wrote in a Statement on March 29, 2021.

Rivera also addressed initial boycotts against the company.

“We have never wavered on our point of view and we have and will continue to meet with a wide array of stakeholders inside and outside of Georgia to hear their views, work together, and advocate for greater voting access.”

Consistent with these messages is the action The Coca-Cola company took on this past Election Day. In order to ensure that all employees had the opportunity to vote, they gave employees the day off and made Election Day a company-wide holiday.

In addition to Atlanta-based companies, GOP lawmakers are encouraging boycott efforts for all companies which have spoken out against SB202. This includes Major League Baseball (MLB), who made the decision to move the 2021 All-Star game from Georgia to Denver in reaction to the bill.

Similarly, CEO Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase issued a statement to CNN against voter suppression.

“We regularly encourage our employees to exercise their fundamental right to vote, and we stand against efforts that may prevent them from being able to do so,” Dimon said.

Along with the former CEO of American Express, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, rallied corporate support against SB202 with a letter signed by 72 black executives.

“There seems to be no one speaking out. We thought if we spoke up, it might lead to a situation where others felt the responsibility to speak up,” Frazier told The New York Times.

In a tweet on March 31st, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins criticized Georgia lawmakers for increasing voting restrictions.

“Governments should be working to make it easier to vote, not harder. Ensuring equal #VotingRights isn’t a political issue, it’s an issue of right and wrong,” he wrote.

CFO of CitiGroup Mark Mason made a similar statement. He offered his support to the Black executives who signed the aforementioned letter.

“Earlier today, 72 senior Black executives made it clear they won’t stand idly by, and I lend my voice and support to their commitment to protect the sacred right of my fellow citizens to vote,” he said in a statement posted on Linkedin in late March.

UPS released a critical statement of the bill and outlined a company plan to support fair voting. ViacomCBS also condemned the bill, saying fair voting was one of the company’s social impact pillars. It said they will promote fair voting through their content and work with grassroot organizations.

See more corporate responses to SB202 here.

See who’s invested in the boycotted companies, as of April 3, 2021:


Excerpt of Full Report on Boycotted Stock Holdings


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