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Foes of Ga. voter law boycott Home Depot; Kemp fires back

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 7:51 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 1:17 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Faith leaders today announced a boycott of Georgia-based Home Depot, saying the company has not done enough to stop new voting measures in the state.

The faith leaders, led by Georgia African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Reginald Jackson, held a virtual summit last week with corporate leaders over the voting law. They were disappointed more companies didn’t participate, and planned to announce potential boycotts on Friday.

However, that decision was put on hold — until today.

Today’s midday announcement in Decatur was the first formal corporate boycott called by the faith leaders.

Gov. Brian Kemp held his own news conference at 1:30 p.m. at the state Capitol to “highlight his opposition to the job-killing Home Depot boycott and his support for Georgia jobs.”

“First, the left came for baseball, and now, they are coming for Georgia jobs,” Kemp said. “This boycott of Home Depot — one of Georgia’s largest employers — puts partisan politics ahead of people’s paychecks. The Georgians hardest hit by this destructive decision are the hourly workers just trying to make ends meet during a global pandemic. I stand with Home Depot, and I stand with nearly 30,000 Georgians who work at the 90 Home Depot stores and 15 distribution centers across the Peach State. I will not apologize for supporting both Georgia jobs and election integrity.”

The law introduces stiffer voter identification requirements for absentee balloting, limits drop boxes and gives the Georgia Election Board new powers to intervene in county election offices and to remove and replace local election officials.

Opponents say it targets voters of color.

Jackson said although last week’s meeting with corporate execs was cordial, he was disappointed that many companies did not participate.

“Disappointing is an understatement,” Jackson told News 12 after leading the virtual meeting from Augusta.

The meeting was arranged by Coca-Cola.

“Home Depot chose not to attend the meeting, ignored a series of follow-up requests, and has failed to speak publicly on the new law,” said a news release issued today by a spokesman for Jackson.

Home Depot might not be the only company targeted by the faith leaders.

“Who we eventually boycott is fluid,” and subject to change, Jackson said in a statement.

“Some like Chick-fil-A and Arby’s could be added dependent upon whether or how they respond,” he said. “We will be reaching out to them this week.”

Jackson had said last week he expected a boycott to be announced Friday against companies that don’t support efforts to roll back the law.

But after Friday arrived, he said the decision would come after the weekend.

“Today this boycott is on,” he said Tuesday. “It will require sacrifice and cause inconvenience. Prayerfully this will be short term, but long term it will help to defeat suppressive legislation all across this nation, and help to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, federal legislation which will provide protection and standards for every state and citizen across the country. If we are the United States we ought to be united and uniform.”

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