Beto O’Rourke has warned that the “hottest places in Texas” will be reserved for US corporations that remain on the sidelines as Republicans push new voter restrictions in the state.
“Please know that the very hottest places in Texas will be reserved for those companies who maintain their neutrality in a moment of moral crisis like this one,” the former Texas congressman said, on a conference call with political leaders and civil rights groups opposed to the legislation making its way through the state’s legislature.
Last week, Texas Republicans advanced legislation that would limit early voting hours, prohibit drive-thru voting and give partisan poll workers the ability to record voters at the polls, among other provisions.
Unlike in Georgia, where Republicans are facing a backlash after the governor signed sweeping new voting restrictions, leaders and activists said there was still time to stop the effort in Texas.
“Here in Texas we still have a chance to make sure this does not become law – that is important,” said Julián Castro, the former housing secretary and a Texas native.
Public pressure helped defeat an effort to regulate the use of bathrooms by transgender people in Texas in 2017, Castro said, when asked whether he believed the election bill could be stopped in the Republican-controlled legislature.
Castro and the others on the call urged Texans to put pressure on companies based in the state, like AT&T, Frito-Lay and Southwest. Cliff Albright, co-founder of the Georgia-based Black Voters Matter Fund, cautioned that rhetoric alone wasn’t enough. Corporations needed to use their power and influence to raise awareness about the voting restrictions and sanction politicians who support them, he said.
“What we need now is strong words being matched by strong actions,” Albright said. “If AT&T can convince folks to upgrade a phone every few months, certainly they can convince them that voter suppression is bad.”
Boehner book – Trump Deep State conspiracy theory is ‘horseshit’
Donald Trump’s obsession with the Deep State conspiracy theory, which holds that a permanent secret government of bureaucrats and intelligence officials existed to thwart his agenda in office, was destructive and delusional, John Boehner says in a new book.
“Let me be diplomatic here,” the former speaker writes in the memoir, On the House. “That’s horseshit.”
Boehner’s view chimes with that of Steve Bannon, a key propagator of the theory who was Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016 and a senior White House strategist. Trump, senior aide Stephen Miller and others have repeatedly blamed the Deep State for their problems. Bannon has said the theory is “for nut cases” and “none of this is true”.
Boehner was a congressman from Ohio for 24 years, a figure in the Washington firmament, House speaker from 2011 until his retirement in 2015.
His criticism of Trump comes as no surprise, not least because an extract of his new book ran in Politico last week. The memoir will be published next week. The Guardian obtained a copy.