State Watch

Some Georgia GOP legislators want Coca-Cola products removed from offices

A group of GOP state legislators in Georgia are seeking removal of Coca-Cola products from their offices after the company’s CEO criticized the state’s recently passed voting law.

The legislators signed on to a letter, dated Saturday and addressed to Kevin Perry, who serves as president and CEO of the Georgia Beverage Association, knocking the company for caving to what they called “cancel culture.” 

The signatories included eight GOP state House representatives: Victor Anderson, Clint Crowe, Matt Barton, Jason Ridley, Lauren McDonald III, Stan Gunter, Dewayne Hill and Marcus Wiedower.

The letter takes additional shots at the company, accusing it of deciding to “perpetuate a national dialogue” they said “seeks to intentionally mislead the citizens of Georgia and deepen a divide in our great state.” 

It comes days after Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey called voting legislation signed into law by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) “unacceptable” and “a step backwards.”

“Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this 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, and this is frankly just a step backwards,” Quincey said. 

Among the changes to the elections process included in the law are provisions that create a voter ID requirement for absentee voting and limit the use of ballot drop boxes. 

The law also includes language that expands weekend early voting in the state, though another change in the bill moves back the deadline to request absentee ballots. One provision that prompted backlash from critics also prohibits volunteers from handing out drinks or food to people waiting in line to vote.

In their letter to Perry on Saturday, the legislators wrote that they have “the responsibility to all of Georgia to not engage in those misguided intentions nor continue to support corporation who choose.”

They also touted parts of the law they said will expand “early voting opportunities, provides for a pathway to ensure shorter voting lines, secures the use of drop boxes which would otherwise be illegal, as well as several other provisions allowing all Georgians greater access to fast, secure and transparent elections.”

“Given Coke’s choice to cave to the pressure of an out of control cancel culture, we respectfully request all Coca-Cola Company products be removed from our office suite immediately,” they continued. “Should Coke choose 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.”

Republicans have claimed the legislation — in Georgia and other states — is needed to boost election security and public trust in Georgia’s elections after former President Trump and other prominent GOP figures spread unproven claims of widespread voter fraud in the presidential race following his defeat to President Biden. 

Democrats and voting rights advocates have argued the legislation would make it harder for people, particularly those of color, to vote. Some have also said the measures come in response to Democrats’ wins in the state in the November presidential election and January Senate runoff races.

Tags Brian Kemp Coca-Cola Donald Trump Georgia Joe Biden

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