Coke-free zones: Georgia Republicans ban Coca-Cola from office over voting law criticism
Lawmakers demanded that Atlanta-based soda behemoth stop ‘intentionally’ misleading the public
A number of Georgia Republicans are pushing the unthinkable — kicking Coca-Cola out of state legislative offices over its criticism of Georgia’s new voting rules.
In a letter to Coca-Cola that reporters posted to social media, eight members of the House of Representatives declared their offices Coke-free zones and demanded that the Atlanta-based soda behemoth stop “intentionally” misleading the public.
The signatories included eight GOP state representatives: Victor Anderson, Clint Crowe, Matt Barton, Jason Ridley, Lauren McDonald III, Stan Gunter, Dewayne Hill and Marcus Wiedower.
“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,” the lawmakers said, echoing Republican claims that the national hubbub over the law is based on lies and/or misleading facts.
The letter accuses the company 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.”
Coca-Cola got itself involved in Georgia politics when CEO James Quincey called the law “unacceptable” and “a step backwards.”
“It does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia, around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity,” he said.
Kicking Coke out of Georgia offices is crossing a much bigger bridge than kicking them out of offices in, say, Minnesota.
Not only has Atlanta been the longtime headquarters of the Coca-Cola Corp., but its dominance has even affected local dialect. In Georgia, it’s common to call all forms of soda pop, even Sprites or Pepsis, “Cokes,” “Co-colas” or similar.