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Monday, March 20, 2023

Blue Cross Blue Shield slams Michigan lawmakers for donations that advance election lies, voting restrictions

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan continues to donate to right-wing Republican lawmakers.

Michigan’s Blue Cross Blue Shield is facing criticism for continuing to donate to the campaigns of lawmakers who are evading voting restrictions and lying about widespread electoral fraud.

The Defend Black Voters Coalition has identified $329,000 in contributions from BCBSM to politicians who have pursued “Jim Crow-style voter suppression in Michigan” since 2016. During the same period, the BCBSM donated $355,000 to the party committees supporting these MPs. Donations do not include money sent to the Leadership PAC and Administrative Fund.

The analysis found that BCBSM is “the biggest corporate contributor to legislators pushing for excessive legislation that could deprive hundreds of thousands of voters of color.”

In April 2021, the health insurance giant was among three dozen major Michigan-based employers calling on lawmakers to stop pushing for voting restrictions.

“The government should avoid actions that reduce participation in elections – particularly among historically disadvantaged communities, persons with disabilities, older adults, racial minorities and low-income voters,” employers said in a statement.

In This week BCBSM CEO Daniel J. In a letter to Leop, Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor criticized Michigan’s largest health insurer for reneging on its pledge.

“I’m having a hard time understanding how you can lead an organization that provides services to government organizations like the City of Ann Arbor sign a pledge that further supports fundamental democratic principles.” on which the government rests, and then allows the BCBSM to contribute to legislators and candidates who deliberately act to undermine and violate those principles,” Taylor wrote.

“Supporting the Big Lie, supporting suffrage legislators is detrimental to the values ​​of Ann Arbor (and, frankly, American) democracy and employee and community health, between a community’s access to the vote and a boundary.” health outcomes in light of the empirical relationship,” Taylor said.

On Tuesday, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution that calls on companies doing business with the county to exercise responsible corporate citizenship by supporting fair, free and accessible elections.

Wayne County Commissioner Jonathan Kinloch, who introduced the motion, said some lawmakers are trying to make it more difficult for black and working-class voters in Detroit to vote.

“I am deeply disturbed that taxpayer money from my constituents is being used to attack our freedom to vote and I am excited to continue working with my fellow commissioners to ensure that the Blue Cross aligns their actions with Wayne County and their values. Claimed their own values,” Kinloch said. “And let me be clear that it doesn’t just affect my constituents. Michigan is a perennial swing state with national results after Michigan’s result in 9 of the last 11 presidential elections. Our democracy depends on all of us, including Black Michiganders, being able to run in elections. If we let the profits dominate the people, heed my words, Trump will be back in two short years.

Metro Times A closer look at Michigan lawmakers who have received donations from BCBSM.

Nine of them serve in the Rajya Sabha and sign a letter asking then-Vice President Mike Pence to delay certifying the results of the 2020 election in a last-minute attempt to reverse the election. He received over $34,000 from BCBSM.

Some of the biggest donations from the health insurance giant went to four state lawmakers who tried to enter the state capitol building so that a group of Republicans could fraudulently cast their Electoral College votes for then-President Donald Trump. Those bogus voters are now under federal scrutiny.

In addition, BCBSM donated thousands of dollars to state Republicans, who signed a letter demanding a full forensic audit of the 2020 election, which falsely claimed to have “multiple irregularities.”

BCBSM also sent tens of thousands of dollars to 11 Republican House lawmakers who last month urged Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate and “credible” from the propaganda film, “2000 Mules,” widely condemned by the conservative provocateur. Accused on finding evidence”. Dinesh D’Souza.

Since the 2020 presidential election, the Republican-led State House and Senate have introduced dozens of bills that would restrict access to voting in Michigan. BCBSM donated to many of those MPs.

Voting rights advocates joined the call for the BCBSM and other employers to stop financially backing candidates who are harming the democratic process by spreading lies and restrictive legislation.

Brian Barnhill, a member of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, said, “Every American, both individuals and institutions of conscience, should be clear and in agreement on our disdain of sinister attempts to undermine our country through voter suppression bills.” should be.” a statement. “Now, more than ever, is the time when we elevate the interests of our country over our individual and corporate people. Now is the time to reconcile our actions with our values. As individuals, this means those To organize against people who support anti-democratic laws. As corporations, it means not supporting politicians who betray the most cherished principles of our country. I urge every person and institution to do the same. I call upon.”

“Our freedom to vote, and therefore our democracy, is under attack again, and we are sounding the alarm,” said pastor Jeffrey Harold of New Beginnings Community Church in Washtenaw County. This time, the community is going after the funders and fighting back. We are going to attack. We appreciate the work of Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor to support and defend the Black Voters Coalition. And with progressive champions like Mayor Taylor at our backs, we’re going to win. Justice is going to win. ”

Progress Michigan, a progressive nonprofit, called on BCBSM to stop funding “extremist lawmakers”.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield must respond to this hypocrisy,” said Progress Michigan executive director Lonnie Scott. “The right to choose our own leaders is paramount and the BCBSM, along with other wealthy interests that claim to support voting rights, are bankrolling people who don’t care about free and fair elections and in some cases are actively involved in the people. It’s time BCBSM put its money there and stop funding extremist MPs who are trying to restrict our freedom to vote.”

Metro Times BCBSM could not be reached for comment.

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World Nation News Desk
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