Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, has long argued that corporate campaign donations are a protected, almost sacred form of political communication on Tuesday, he argued that business executives might do -be better to limit their freedom of expression to writing checks
In recent days, M McConnell, the minority leader, criticized executives at Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta and other companies for criticizing Republican-led efforts to impose restrictions on voting access in Georgia and in other states, accusing them of “harassing” politicians
Mr. McConnell went even further on Tuesday, speaking in his home state during a long back-and-forth with reporters
“My warning, if you will, to American business is to stay out of politics,” M said McConnell, after an appearance promoting the distribution of vaccines in Louisville “It’s not what you were designed to do And don’t be intimidated by the left into taking up causes that put you at the heart of the biggest political debates American “
When asked to define the activities that executives should avoid, he replied: “I’m not talking about political contributions”
Brian Fallon, a former senior aide to Democratic Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, said Mr. McConnell’s comments reflect the struggle of a once powerful leader trying to find his way after his loss of a Senate majority and a split with former President Donald J Trump on the January 6 riot
“The earth is moving under his feet,” said M Fallon, who now heads a group opposed to M McConnell’s judicial appointments “He criticizes companies for getting into political debates after years of defending their right to spend unlimited sums on political campaigns He’s a guy used to punching, but he’s suddenly helpless and restless “
People close to M McConnell says he is simply pointing out the political dangers of business leaders engaging in partisan debates, even though he has often touted business leaders’ support for his tax reduction and regulatory efforts.
Mr McConnell told reporters he was not implying that business leaders did not have the right to speak out, but suggested that the best way to communicate was to contribute money to campaigns
Businesses and sports leagues were ‘not very smart’ at weighing in on voting bills, he said
And MLB’s decision to withdraw the All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s law, he added, “angered a hell of Republican fans”
Mr. McConnell was one of the main opponents of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that restrained business and union spending, challenging it in court nearly two decades ago
And he celebrated the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court ruling that overturned it in 2010, a ruling claiming companies had similar free speech rights for individuals
“For too long some in this country have been deprived of their full participation in the political process With today’s monumental decision, the Supreme Court has taken an important step towards restoring First Amendment rights of these groups, ”he said in a statement at the time.
World news – United States – McConnell, a long-time defender of corporate discourse, now suggests that leaders not get into politics ”