What do Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, Charter Communications/Spectrum cable and Verizon all have in common?
The answer: they all give large donations to the arch-conservative Texas Republican Party (TRP), which just double-downed at its statewide convention on lies about the 2020 election and vowed to oppose LGBT civil rights and some of the most anti-democratic platform planks to come out of a state party convention.
Judd Legum’s news site Popular.Info has the receipts:
The Texas Republican Party is one of the largest and most influential state parties in the nation. But it is also among the most radical. Successful candidates nominated by the Texas GOP have implemented a near-total abortion ban, ordered investigations of the parents of trans youth, and filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Over the weekend thousands of Texas Republicans descended on Houston, where the Texas GOP held its annual convention. During the gathering, the party produced its platform. The new platform makes clear that the Texas Republican Party intends to pursue an even more extreme agenda. Among the platform’s declarations:
- “Homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice.”
- “We reject the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”
- “We urge that the Voting Rights Act of 1965, codified and updated in 1973, be repealed and not reauthorized.”
- “[T]he federal government has impaired our right of local self-government… Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto.”
- “Texas students should learn… life begins at fertilization.”
- “[A]ll gun control is a violation of the Second Amendment and our God given rights.”
The platform also condemns Senator Cornyn and other Senate Republicans working with Democrats on a package of modest gun safety measures. Less than a month ago, 21 people, including 19 children, were murdered during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The vote on the platform still needs to be “tallied and certified,” but it’s just a formality. The delegates already rejected efforts to tone down the most controversial policy planks. And “party chairman James Wesolek said planks presented to delegates are generally accepted.”
Further, the Texas GOP rejected an application from the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, a group representing LGBTQ conservatives, to have a booth in the convention hall. It was a decision made by party leadership. “Texas Republican Party Chair Matt Rinaldi was the deciding vote denying the application,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. “I think it’s inappropriate given the state of our nation right now for us to play sexual identity politics,” Rinaldi said in defense of his vote.
While the Texas Republican Party embraces an exclusionary, extremist agenda, it enjoys support from decidedly mainstream corporations — including those that claim to champion LGBTQ rights.
Pepsi, for example, was listed as an official sponsor of the 2022 Texas Republican Party convention, according to signage on display at the event.
Note that Pepsi denies they were a sponsor of the gathering, despite evidence to the contrary. Pepsi has also given additional donations to the Texas Republican Party, defending that decision by noting they give to both Republicans and Democrats.
Pepsi also touts is pro-LGBT bona fides in company marketing materials. So do the other companies giving money to the TRP.