NCPPR: Pfizer, B of A tiptoe away from 'racist' accusations

Friday, April 30, 2021
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Thinker statueTwo major corporations appear to have backtracked on their opposition to Georgia's voter integrity law after being challenged by a shareholder to explain specifically about portions of the bill they allege to be racist.

Individuals who own as little as one share of stock in a publicly traded company are entitled to ask questions of the CEO and board at shareholder meetings. That's how the National Center for Public Policy Research recently got in front of the CEOs of two companies that had come out against Georgia's voter integrity law.

Pfizer had publicly criticized the law as racist. The National Center's David Soderberg, representing shareholder NCPPR, asked CEO Albert Bourla to please be specific:

Soderberg: "Could you explain in detail how requiring voters to show ID when they vote undermines any voting access or voting rights – and which other specific provisions of the bill do you object to and why?"

The CEO's answer seemed to walk back the company's opposition:

Bourla: "We are not taking a position on specifics, of a specific clause, but we are clearly stating our basic principle that access to vote is very important for the democracy, and it's really important for us as a company that operates in the health care sector."

Bank of America had described the law as an "obstacle to the right to vote." Through a moderator, the National Center was able to ask these questions at a shareholder meeting:

Moderator: "Can you explain specifically why requiring voters to show ID in order to avoid fraud is racist?"

Moderator: "And also, [can you explain] Bank of America's timeline for ending all requests for ID from job candidates, employees, visitors to your facilities, borrowers, lenders and attendees at your annual shareholders meeting in conformance with your race-based claims?"

CEO Brian Moynihan – perhaps seeing the logic of the second question – walked back his company's opposition, calling for a bipartisan review of the law:

Moynihan: "… There's lots of provisions in these laws, and that's why last week, after looking at some of the discussion, I got to the conclusion that maybe we need a bipartisan commission …. [W]e need to get a set of voting rules that people believe elections are fair here in the country on all sides and address these issues, and I think it'd be good to get a bipartisan commission to do it, but we are for the right to vote is paramount to being an American."

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