The Coca-Cola Company is experiencing pushback for its opposition to a Georgia election law that actually expands voting opportunities.
Critics of the law, including President Biden, contend it discriminates against minorities. But the Washington Post’s fact-checker gave Biden four “Pinocchios” for two false claims he made about the law.
The CEO of the Atlanta-based company, James Quincey, said on CNBC the legislation “is unacceptable, it is a step backward, and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity.”
Former President Trump, a fan of Diet Coke, reacted to Quincey’s remarks, calling for a boycott of companies that oppose election integrity.
Trump said “it is finally time for Republicans and Conservatives to fight back — we have more people than they do — by far! Don’t go back to their products until they relent,” he said, the Washington Examiner reported. “We can play the game better than them.”
Further, eight Republican members of Georgia’s legislature told Kevin Perry of the Georgia Beverage Association to stop delivering Coca-Cola products to their offices.
“Given Coke’s choice to cave to the pressure of an out of control cancel culture, we respectfully request all Coca-Cola Company products to be removed from our office suite immediately,” the lawmakers said in a letter. “Should Coke chose to read the bill, share its true intentions and accept their role in the dissemination of mistruths, we would welcome a conversation to rebuild a working relationship.”
Coca-Cola employs about 4,000 people in the state.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee snarked that the company could change its name to “Woke-A-Cola” because of its political agenda.
And Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wondered what the “largest institutional purchasers” of Coca-Cola products think about the company’s “radical” agenda.
The Examiner noted that Berkshire Hathaway, run by liberal Warren Buffet, owns more than 9% of the company. Behind Berkshire is Vanguard Group, which owns about 7% of the company, worth about $14.5 billion.
An official said the company has “nothing to share at this time” on the controversy.
Quincey, the Coca-Cola CEO, issued a statement last week saying he was “disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation.”
“Voting is a foundational right in America, and we have long championed efforts to make it easier to vote,” he said. “We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation. Throughout Georgia’s legislative session, we provided feedback to members of both legislative chambers and political parties, opposing measures in the bills that would diminish or deter access to voting.”
Georgia officials said several major corporate interests in the state had input into the law and approved of it before it was adopted.
Biden has characterized the law, which is more lenient than voting rules in his own state of Delaware, as “despicable” and “un-American.” He has falsely claimed that it closes voting at 5 p.m. on Election Day, just as people are getting off work.
Major League Baseball has moved its 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in protest of the law.
Some Georgia Republican state legislators are removing @CocaCola products from their statehouse offices after the Atlanta-based beverage giant criticized the new elections law. #gapol pic.twitter.com/leojXBGQAM
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) April 3, 2021