Hundreds of Corporations, Including Starbucks, Netflix, Sign Letter Opposing Election Integrity Laws

Hundreds of corporations, including Starbucks, Amazon, and Netflix, have signed a letter signaling their opposition to election integrity efforts in numerous states, promising to oppose any related legislation they deem “discriminatory.”

The effort, led by former American Express chief executive Kenneth Chenault and Merck chief executive Kenneth Frazier, both of whom recently led a group of black business leaders urging corporations to take a stand against election integrity efforts, has corporations vowing to stand against “any discriminatory legislation,” representing what the New York Times deemed “the broadest coalition yet to weigh in on the issue.”

“We stand for democracy,” the statement reads. “A beautifully American idea, but a reality denied to many for much of this nation’s history. As Americans, we know that in our democracy we should not expect to agree on everything”:

However, regardless of our political affiliations, we believe the very foundation of our electoral process rests upon the ability of each of us to cast our ballots for the candidates of our choice. For American democracy to work for any of us, we must ensure the right to vote for all of us. We all should feel a responsibility to defend the right to vote and to oppose any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.

“Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy,” the statement continues, calling on Americans to take a “nonpartisan stand for this most basic and fundamental right of all Americans.”

Signers include Bank of America, Amazon, Estée Lauder, Eventbrite, General Motors, Netflix, Starbucks, Synchrony, Nordstrom, PayPal, Peloton, Pinterest, United Airlines, Twitter, Under Armour, and more.

Some, such as Coca-Cola and Delta, which spoke out after Georgia passed its election integrity law, did not add their names to the list, nor did Home Depot, as the Times reported:

Coca-Cola and Delta, which condemned the Georgia law after it was passed, declined to add their names, according to people familiar with the matter. Home Depot also declined, even though its co-founder Arthur Blank said in a call with other business executives on Saturday that he supported voting rights. Another Home Depot co-founder, Ken Langone, is a vocal supporter of Mr. Trump.

Coca-Cola and Delta declined to comment. Home Depot said in a statement on Tuesday that “the most appropriate approach for us to take is to continue to underscore our belief that all elections should be accessible, fair and secure.”

JPMorgan Chase also declined to sign the statement despite a personal request from senior Black business leaders to the chief executive, Jamie Dimon, according to people briefed on the matter. Mr. Dimon has publicly declared that he supports Black Lives Matter and made a statement on voting rights before many other companies, saying, “We believe voting must be accessible and equitable.”

“It should be clear that there is overwhelming support in corporate America for the principle of voting rights,” Chenault said.

While the statement does not list specific state election efforts, it follows the debate over Georgia’s recently signed election integrity law, which the left has inundated with misinformation, including the false claims it eliminates “Souls to the Polls,” thereby suppressing minority votes. In reality, the law expands ballot access in several ways, including by increasing the mandatory days for early weekend voting.

“The nuts and bolts of [the law] are this, it makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said during a March appearance on Breitbart News Daily:

The biggest — probably the top four things to me — is it replaces a signature match with a voter ID on absentee ballots. It secures ballot drop boxes around the clock It also requires poll workers to continue tabulating ballots until all votes are counted and then it actually — contrary to what the national media and those that are profiting off of this whole exercise of not being truthful with people — expands voting access, especially on the weekends.

A Rasmussen Reports survey released last this week revealed a majority of likely voters, or 60 percent, believe it is more important to make sure there is no cheating in elections rather than prioritizing making it “easier for everybody to vote.” Additionally, a majority of likely voters, including a majority of black voters, reject the notion that voter ID laws are discriminatory against some voters.

Source

Wall Street, Corporations Team Up with Soros-Funded Group to Pressure States Against Election Reforms

Wall Street firms, multinational corporations, and giant law firms are teaming up with the Brennan Justice Center, which is heavily funded by billionaire George Soros, to pressure states against reforms to their election process.

After Georgia lawmakers passed sweeping reform legislation to protect the state’s elections, including requiring photo identification to vote, corporate executives have blasted the move and many are suggesting they will boycott the state by moving business elsewhere.

Now, Fortune 500 corporate executives, Wall Street firms, and attorneys at some of the nation’s largest law offices are reportedly working with the left-wing Brennan Justice Center to pressure state lawmakers from passing similar election reforms.

The corporate coalition is seeking to sue states for passing such reforms while also threatening to pull their business endeavors from states that do pass reforms.

The New York Times reports:

Many of Wall Street’s most powerful firms are also part of the effort, including Simpson Thacher; Skadden Arps; Akin Gump; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Ropes & Gray Sullivan & Cromwell; Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Wachtel Lipton. [Emphasis added]

“We plan to challenge any election law that would impose unnecessary barriers on the right to vote and that would disenfranchise underrepresented groups in our country,” Mr. Karp said. [Emphasis added]

The firms will work with the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonprofit organization, to identify laws that it might challenge in court. Mr. Karp said that could include challenging the voting law that Republicans passed in Georgia last month, and which set off a national debate over voting rights. [Emphasis added]

Over the weekend, more than 100 corporate executives discussed in a meeting the importance for them of publicly opposing election reform legislation like Georgia’s. The meeting included executives from credit card company American Express, pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., and clothing company Levi Strauss & Co., among others.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), head of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), has been lobbying GOP leaders to cut ties with corporations and Wall Street in favor of protecting working and middle class interests against the encroachment of concentrated corporate power.

The Brennan Justice Center is targeting state lawmakers in Georgia, Texas, New Hampshire, Florida, Michigan, and Arizona whom they claim are promoting “voter suppressive bills” with provisions that require voter ID for those voting via absentee ballot, prohibiting the mass unsolicited mailout of ballots, and increasing fines for state officials who refuse to clean up voter rolls.

The group rakes in millions every year from Soros, corporate interests, big banks, and other left-wing organizations. In 2019, the last year for which financial data is available, the Brennan Justice Center’s most high-profile donors included Soros’s Open Society Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Bank of America, the Tides Foundation, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, PayPal, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, PepsiCo, and Comcast NBCUniversal.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

Source

Nashville Billboards Show Support For ‘Canceled’ Artist Morgan Wallen Ahead Of Academy Of Country Music Awards

Even though the woke music industry tried to invoke celebrity cancel culture on country music artist Morgan Wallen for using a racial slur — to which he apologized several times for — it appears fans are not remotely done with him.

Two months after being suspended from his record label, with all major radio stations taking him off airplay, billboards popped up overnight in Nashville, Tennessee ahead of next week’s Academy of Country Music Awards. In February, the ACM determined Wallen was ineligible for the awards ceremony.

“The Academy does not condone or support intolerance or behavior that doesn’t align with our commitment and dedication to diversity and dedication,” the organization said in a statement, noting it will “expedite” inclusion and diversity training for all of the “country music artist community.”

According to Country Now, six billboards were paid for by fans who felt neglected by the corporate country music industry. One fan who took part in the effort told the publication that the “idea was really our way of trying to ‘right the wrong’ of cancel culture.” The fan also said, “[w]e just wanted to ‘Wallen-Paper’ Nashville during the week of the ACMs to show our support for Morgan!”

Wallen, 27, released a double album titled “Dangerous” on Jan. 8. Upon debuting, it hit number one in the U.S. Billboard 200 and remained in that spot for 10 consecutive weeks despite the efforts to destroy his career. Billboard reported that “Dangerous” is the first album since Whitney Houston’s “Whitney” in 1987 to spend as much time on the chart. Other artists in recent memory who closely achieved this include Stevie Wonder, Adele, and Drake.

The billboards erected reference the phrase “gaht,” which is something Wallen often references in his music, as well as the Bible verse Mark 11:25: “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

The company Lamar Advertising is reportedly involved with the billboards, given its logo appears under it, and told The Federalist that “we do not accept or reject copy based on Lamar’s agreement or disagreement with the views expressed.”

The artist has apologized several times to fans and the industry, but it appears to be no use to the woke corporatists running the show in Nashville. Still, Wallen maintains a popular artist with a dedicated fan base.

Source

Instacart Attacked Georgia’s Voter ID Law But Requires Its Own Shoppers To Provide ID

Two hundred companies signed off on a letter last week to condemn the new Georgia election bill, which notably requires identification for voter absentee ballots. Among the signees was the founder and CEO of food-delivery service Instacart, Apoorva Mehta.

“We believe every American should have a voice in our democracy and that voting should be safe and accessible to all voters,” the statement said. “There are hundreds of bills threatening to make voting more difficult in dozens of states nationwide. We call on elected leaders in every state capitol and in Congress to work across the aisle and ensure that every eligible American has the freedom to easily cast their ballot and participate fully in our democracy.”

While Instacart joined the group of virtue-signaling executives, the company neglects that it mandates all shoppers who deliver groceries to demonstrate photo and facial identification to participate in the gig economy.

According to the company’s website, “the first thing you’ll need to have on-hand” to become an Instacart shopper is “the details of your driver’s license.” Furthermore, applicants must provide their social security number information to get to the next step of inputting their bank information. Additionally, a shopper must undergo a background check that will take up to 10 business days to be cleared to be a contractor. Even after providing this information, a shopper must center their face on the application and be confirmed to shop on a daily or weekly basis.

Nevertheless, Instacart has seemingly taken issue with a bill that both mandates voter ID for absentee ballots and institutes an 11-day deadline for requesting an absentee before election day. Instacart has placed itself on the side that prefers an “election season,” which Democrats have sought.

The hypocrisy here is only worsened by the fact that the company wishes to make shoppers wait up to 10 days to begin working, while implying in its condemnation of the bill that 11 days is far too short for a contractor to have to request an absentee ballot. Why should there be any window, any background check, or any mandate for its employees to prove ID if Instacart takes issue with a bill to do exactly what it is doing (for something far less consequential)?

In truth, one should need to demonstrate ID to both work at Instacart and vote in an election, but these companies are too beholden to left-wing activists, and thus have lost any shred of credibility to comment on the issues of the day.

Instacart did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Federalist.

Source

It’s Long Past Time For Conservatives To Boycott Corporations That Hate Them

So much fuss in the past several weeks has been about the Georgia election bill. Naturally, given the legacy media’s editorializing of the false premise that Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s signed measure restricts voting rights, the leftist mob has sought to put pressure on corporations to denounce S.B. 202.

Thus, Major League Baseball cratered. The MLB announced last Friday the relocation of its All-Star Game, which was scheduled in July at Truist Park, where the Atlanta Braves play. The game will now take place in Denver, Colorado, at Coors Field, the Rockies’ home field.

Other corporations bowed down to the mob as well, including Delta Air Lines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS, and Merck. The hashtag #BoycottCocaCola trended on Twitter last week, culminating in CEO James Quincey virtue-signaling about how the bill is “unacceptable.”

“It is a step backwards, and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting and voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity,” the beverage executive said.

“What we do is we raise the specter of voter fraud and now we restrict legal voters, eligible voters with the ability to cast ballots,” claimed Merck Chairman and CEO Ken Frazier. “And that’s what’s wrong with this bill — because democracy depends on every voter in this country having free and fair access to vote without discrimination and without undue hindrance.”

All of the bumper sticker aphorisms about democracy and election integrity are in response to a bill that mandates voter identification for absentee ballots and prohibits partisan actors from passing out gifts to voters in line at the polls, among other provisions that should be uncontroversial.

It is truly appalling the degree to which the left sees election security as oppressive or racist nowadays. While these corporations are within their rights to take political positions, conservatives ought to take a page from the left’s playbook and announce the boycott of organizations that 1) callously reject ordered liberty and 2) are willing to appease the far-left at all costs.

It’s time for the right to get tough — and to stop supporting groups that do not support them.

Consider the Chicken Sandwich Wars

For years, the left has understood it can affect the culture through boycotting. Regardless of flawed motives and immoral outbursts, Democrats have done this much more effectively than the right. Case and point: fast-food chain Chick-fil-A.

The left has exhaustingly fomented over Chick-fil-A’s stance as a Christian organization. After vocal leftists claimed they would stop eating at Chick-fil-A in 2012 — despite the business booming regardless long after president Dan Cathy came out against gay marriage — in due time, the company gave in to the mob from a public relations standpoint.

While conservatives took a stand for Chick-fil-A, and the chain reported a “record-setting day” of sales after then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called in a Facebook post for “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” Cathy caved in 2013 and deleted his tweet over the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

“He realized his views didn’t necessarily represent the views of all customers, restaurant owners and employees and didn’t want to distract them from providing a great restaurant experience,” the company said in a statement.

Years later, after continued leftist complaining over Chick-fil-A funding groups that both define marriage as between a man and a woman, as well as its backing of pro-life groups, the company announced in 2019 it was changing course to prove fealty to its secular, woke overlords. It was pretty pathetic, but it is an important lesson.

Those on the right recognize Chick-fil-A dropped the ball by capitulating, but we must also recognize that the strategy of the obsessive radicals worked. More importantly, Chick-fil-A never lost money, or was actually boycotted to its detriment.

Yet, pressure from activists still forced the company to change course. The lesson is that if the right could both boycott and be ardent in its rhetoric, change will come. Companies are in operation to make money, after all. If conservatives remind them of this, they will crater.

It’s Time to Play Offense

The left is already engaged in a culture war for ideological domination of every American institution, so there is no other choice than for the right to join the fight as well. What does this entail? Well, former President Donald Trump certainly channeled the proper mindset. It’s time to get on the offensive.

“Never submit, never give up!” Trump said in a statement. “It is finally time for Republicans and Conservatives to fight back — we have more people than they do — by far! We can play the game better than them.”

In addition to boycotting the organizations that have voiced disapproval over the Georgia election security measure, conservatives need to take a firm stance against the Big Tech oligarchs that want nothing more than to muzzle their mouths shut. Conservatives also need to keep calling out the hundreds of companies that defended the Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioting and looting over the summer, including Adidas, American Airlines, Ben & Jerry’s, BMW, Dell, Foot Locker, and many others. Any company that supports lawlessness and disorder should not receive your paycheck.

Any company that is openly supportive of the killing of the unborn and funds Planned Parenthood should be boycotted. This includes hundreds of companies, such as Craiglist, Dockers, Allstate, Aetna, United Airlines, Patagonia, Liberty Mutual, and others. Here is a recent list provided by Family Council. It might seem burdensome to retreat from products that have defined your livelihood in America’s materialistic society, but if the left is threatening to boycott goods, we cannot just sit around and twiddle our thumbs with hollow statements about the free market.

What about the companies that have backed measures to restrict your Second Amendment rights? In a letter obtained by the New York Times in 2019, 145 groups called for gun control measures. Save this document, print it out, and circle the name of each company. Blow them up on social media and call your representatives to voice your complaints.

Conservatives need to make companies remember what they are here for: to provide goods and services, not be the arbiters of ideology. As America splinters off into political and cultural niches, and our nation grows more and more divided, the war for our businesses means letting them know that they will lose customers if they continue to alienate their customers.

Joining the fight, as Trump called for, means having a backbone and at least attempting to pressure the rich and powerful to confirm their positions on the issues. For far too long, the right has been content with a free market that is made up of companies that despise freedom. Conservatives have rendered capitalism to be a god — neglecting that the companies they support should also have their interests in mind, or at least not be against them.

Republicans have endlessly preached about why the free market should be external to ideology, but denying that politics plays into the culture — and culture into politics — shows that some in the GOP don’t know what time it is. In the process, we have been deceived by soulless and immoral corporations growing wealthier by the minute.

A free market is great, but what is undoubtedly not great is giving your hard-earned cash to people who support ideas and organizations fundamentally opposed to you and what you believe. It is not the 1980s, and the sun is not shining down in Washington. It is time to fight like your country depends on it — because it does.

It is time for Americans who are sick and tired of being pawns in the left’s kingdom to fight back. It is time for you to boycott corporations that hate you.

Source

How Cancel Culture Is Empowering Alternatives To Corrupt Legacy Institutions

Corporations are using their power to enforce radical cultural standards—imported into their boardrooms from academia—on the rest of the country. Look no further than the last few days at Disney for evidence. The effect, however, is to empower a new infrastructure that will challenge the dominance of legacy cultural institutions.

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Disney-owned ABC aired a sympathetic report about OnlyFans, endorsing pornography as empowerment without any pushback whatsoever. Then Disney’s Lucasfilms dropped Gina Carano from “The Mandalorian” over a clumsy anti-woke meme she had already deleted, which was likely just the company’s excuse to expel a center-right celebrity from its ranks anyway.

Days later, Chris Harrison stepped aside from hosting “The Bachelor” after leftist complaints about his call for “grace” towards a contestant accused of racial insensitivity.

Canceling the Debate on Cancel Culture

The second two case studies share a common threat to the left—they involve high-profile arguments against “cancel culture” dogma. The effect of punishing—or canceling—the people behind those arguments is to cancel the debate on cancel culture. If I didn’t think the cancelers were too shortsighted to plan that out, it would be genius.

What happened to Carano and Harrison is deeply unjust, but they’re wealthy celebrities with money and clout who will ultimately be fine. The real victims are everyday people. You can draw a direct line from Carano and Harrison to the girl who lost her cheerleading scholarship over an old Snapchat video, or the crazy critical race and gender curricula popping up all over the country.

Corporations play a powerful role in shaping our cultural standards and precedents. They help draw the lines. Now that they’re run by college-educated millennials drunk on Robin DiAngelo, who’ve either replaced their elders or used their progressive-or-bigot binary to intimate them into submission, major corporations are shaping society to resemble campuses.

If Harrison can’t debate cancel culture with nuance and compassion, why should a parent open his mouth at a school board meeting to protest “I Am Jazz”? Why should any company risk media backlash and a public relations headache by keeping an employee who posted a clumsy meme?

There are real consequences to cancel culture outside celebrity circles. The chilling of speech is not merely an abstract conversation, “grievance politics” for the pundit class. It’s wreaking havoc on the country and scaring real people.

[embedded content]

New Demand Fuels New Institutions

So there’s now increasing demand for entertainment uncorrupted by leftist politics—or politics at all, in some cases. In the wake of Carano’s firing, Bari Weiss resurfaced her call for heterodox thinkers to immediately build their own platforms:

Build original, interesting and generative things right now. This minute. Every day I hear from those with means with children at private schools who are being brainwashed; people who run companies where they are scared of their own employees; people who donate to their alma mater even though it betrays their principles. Enough. You have the ability to build new things. If you don’t have the financial capital, you have the social or political capital. Or the ability to sweat.

Ben Domenech and I have documented many such efforts in our series on the New Contras, a term for the growing army of anti-woke thinkers using new platforms to capitalize on the mounting demand for authentic voices in media. Until recently, however, that list didn’t really include any filmmakers.

The Daily Wire’s new foray into film production and distribution, which kicked off with “Run Hide Fight,” is a very big deal. It got bigger this week, thanks to Disney. Shortly after Lucasfilms ditched her, The Daily Wire announced Carano would be producing and starring in a new film as part of their partnership with Bonfire Legends.

Carano brings with her to the project a largely nonpolitical fanbase of “Mandalorian” viewers, some of whom are exasperated with cancel culture and some of whom just love her as an artist and want to see more. The audience for productions created outside the traditional infrastructures of our cultural institutions is growing beyond mere Republicans. That means these projects will have the budgets and talent to compete with the quality of those legacy institutions, whether they’re in Hollywood, news media, podcasting, or even music.

I shot Bonfire Legends founder Dallas Sonnier an email to ask about the response to the Carano announcement, and whether there’s enough demand to fund big projects like this one.

“Since we announced the partnership between Gina Carano, The Daily Wire, and Bonfire Legend, the story hit a fever pitch over the weekend with press coverage from Vanity Fair to CBS, even TMZ! There were over 1700 comments on the Deadline announcements, whereas a typical article on that site garners 0-10 comments. And social media has expectedly divided in half over their support vs condemnation of the news,” Sonnier wrote back. “This is all indicative of where we are a society right now, but also proof that the demand is through the roof. Now we just have to meet that demand by making great movies that delight mainstream audiences and melt the faces of our most vocal critics.”

Advancements in self-publishing and crowdfunding tools like Substack and Patreon are propelling this movement powerfully. So too are the cancelations. Projects like The Daily Wire-Bonfire Legend collaboration or, say, Glenn Greenwald’s Substack, demonstrate to high-profile celebrities that there are places for them to land, which legitimizes and empowers these new alternatives, supported by the imprimatur of big names, and frees up everyone to create art and journalism with fewer inhibitions.

Corporations are convinced social media mobs present legitimate challenges to their bottom lines, which is why they offload people like Carano. Not only is that unjust, it’s obviously wrong, even in the case of The New York Times and Weiss. The majority of people unbothered by most allegations of political incorrectness, which typically range from flimsy to laughable, will consume the work of the canceled. They will do it eagerly, in many cases.

The future is more niches and a more splintered media landscape. While the power of these legacy institutions won’t dissolve overnight, their corruption is rapidly creating demand for alternatives, and those alternatives are rapidly creating powerful infrastructures of their own.

Source

Report: Fortune 500 CEOs Will Intervene if Joe Biden Isn’t Inaugurated by January 20

Executives from Fortune 500 corporations say they are planning to intervene if Democrat Joe Biden is not inaugurated into office by January 20, 2021.

A report by CBS News states that in a conference call late last week, Fortune 500 executives were planning to step in on behalf of Biden to pressure Republican lawmakers if President Trump holds up the former vice president’s transition.

CBS News reports:

But if Mr. Trump tries to undo the legal process or disrupts a peaceful transition to Biden, the CEOs discussed making public statements and pressuring GOP legislators in their states who may try to redirect Electoral College votes from Biden to Trump, said Yale Management Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who convened the meeting. [Emphasis added]

“They’re all fine with him taking an appeal to the court, to a judicial process. They didn’t want to deny him that. But that doesn’t stop the transition,” said Sonnenfeld. “They said if that makes people feel better, it doesn’t hurt anything to let that grind through.” [Emphasis added]

The CEOs decided to wait for the November 20 certification of votes in Georgia before meeting to decide their next moves. Action could include threats to stop donations to political action committees or even corporate relocations, Sonnenfeld said. [Emphasis added]

The big business lobby and Wall Street have been looking to undermine Trump’s economic nationalist agenda for years. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable — both representing some of the nation’s largest multinational corporations and fighting Trump — congratulated Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) days after the November 3 election.

“The U.S. Chamber stands ready to work with the Biden administration and leaders on both sides of the aisle to restore public health, revitalize our economy, and help rebuild American lives and communities,” the Chamber’s statement reads.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder. 

Source

Exclusive: Marco Rubio Renews Aggressive Back-And-Forth With McKinsey Over Company’s Ties To Beijing

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is continuing to press McKinsey and Company for answers about the powerful firm’s business dealings with the Chinese Communist Party. In a Nov. 13 letter shared exclusively with The Federalist, Rubio grilled Global Managing Partner Kevin Sneader with questions the senator claims McKinsey is dodging.

“If companies like McKinsey want to work with the U.S. Government, they must be much more forthcoming with the nature of their foreign entanglements,” Rubio told The Federalist. “China is playing a zero-sum game and we cannot, as a nation, afford to get this wrong.”

Since Rubio first inquired about the company’s relationship with the CCP in June, Liz Hilton Segel, McKinsey’s managing partner for North America operations, has responded twice. “Neither letter, despite their length, sufficiently addresses the purpose of my original correspondence: the long-standing and growing concerns surrounding McKinsey’s relationships with the CCP and how those relationships may impact McKinsey’s paid work for the United States Government,” Rubio wrote on Nov. 13.

Rubio’s new letter accuses McKinsey of evading questions, including whether any of its past or present clients “work in areas of critical national interest to the United States, including health care, pharmaceuticals, health care equipment and supplies, telecommunications, and military or civil defense” and what “safeguards” the consulting firm has in place “to ensure that work done on behalf of the [U.S. government] does not inform” its work for the Chinese government.

Given McKinsey’s reported work with the Chinese government on its Belt and Road Initiative, which Rubio describes as “designed to undermine America’s global economic influence and reduce American companies’ presence abroad,” the senator asked, “How can the USG and American companies be confident the advice it receives from McKinsey is not compromised by the company’s work with the CCP and other Chinese interests?”

Rubio’s November follow-up notes the powerhouse company failed to answer the same question when asked previously.

The senator, acting chairman of the upper chamber’s Select Committee on Intelligence, also pushed McKinsey on its partnership with the World Health Organization, asking if it “ever, inadvertently or otherwise, contribute[d] to the spread of faulty or misleading information provided by the CCP. Rubio pushed Sneader on New York Times reporting that McKinsey “advised opioid manufacturers on how best to increase sales, including by targeting doctors and increasing mail order prescription fulfillment.”

“Did McKinsey previously perform ‘opioid related work’ in China?” Rubio inquired. “Or did it ever work for a client engaged in opioid manufacturing and distribution in China?”

Rubio further asked McKinsey to elaborate on the “due diligence” it claims to take when screening clients linked to human rights abuses in Xinjiang, where Uyghur Muslims are being held in concentration camps, “given how opaque the links are between many Chinese state-owned firms and their role in these operations in Xinjiang.”

In an Aug. 20 letter to Rubio, McKinsey claimed it couldn’t provide answers on the “size and role” of the CCP’s presence within the company because it’s “generally unaware of and does not track the private political affiliations of its employees.”

Rubio countered by arguing “the company should generally be aware of public reporting regarding its employees,” since McKinsey employees have claimed in official Chinese newspapers “to lead party branches within the company’s offices in China.” The senator pressed Sneader for specific details on CCP branches within McKinsey and the date on which he learned about the existence of a CCP committee within the company.

Rubio’s aggressive grilling comes as Joe Biden tapped Louisa Terrell to helm the legislative affairs effort for his presidential transition. Terrell, a former employee of Biden’s Senate office and charitable foundation, worked for the past year as the deputy general counsel and head of public affairs at McKinsey, according to LinkedIn. Pete Buttigieg, “the name most commonly touted for a potential position” in Biden’s administration, struggled during the primary with questions about his time at McKinsey from 2007-2010.

Asked by The Federalist why it’s a risk to the United States if McKinsey is compromised by its financial relationship with China, Rubio said, “The Chinese Communist Party has a very clear objective—to become the most powerful and influential country in the world. To do that, it must overtake America. In McKinsey, you have a company that is deeply embedded in the U.S. economy and has access to sensitive information from our government. The company also has substantial relationships in China.”

“What we do not know—and what McKinsey has been reluctant to reveal—is the nature of those relationships, including whether its work benefits the CCP,” he added.

Source