More companies disclose political spending after Jan. 6 attack
Corporations are ramping up disclosure of political spending amid intense scrutiny of their advocacy by the public and by shareholders focused on social justice and governance issues in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
Ultraviolet, a women’s advocacy group, found that AT&T — which had a perfect score on the index and has made commitments to gender equality and the empowerment of women — was one of seven companies that gave more than $100,000 in campaign contributions to Texas state lawmakers who sponsored an abortion ban.
Crowds assemble outside the Supreme Court as the fate of Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance.
(Washington News Day)
On Tuesday night, dozens of anti-abortion campaigners gathered outside the court for a candlelight vigil. UltraViolet, a women’s advocacy group, also held a rally outside the court, holding up brilliantly illuminated letters that read “Abortion is Freedom.” The Supreme Court has never allowed states to prohibit abortion before viability.
Activists demonstrate as Supreme Court hears abortion case
(New York Daily News)
Pro-choice and anti-abortion activists held demonstrations outside the Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which would ban most abortions after 15 weeks.
Activists hold a light brigade urging “Abortion Is Essential” at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 30, 2021, in Washington, DC. (TASOS KATOPODIS/Getty Images for UltraViolet)
Crowds Gather Outside Supreme Court As Future of Roe v. Wade on the Line
Early on Wednesday, activists on both sides of the abortion debate gathered in front of the court in Washington, D.C. brandishing signs and placards.
Dozens of anti-abortion activists met outside the court for a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night. Women’s advocacy organization UltraViolet also organized a gathering outside the court, holding up brightly lit letters that to spell out “Abortion is freedom.”
A national women’s advocacy group renewed their calls for CNN to take action against anchor Chris Cuomo following revelations he attempted to steer the narrative surrounding the downfall of ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
UltraViolet, a feminist group that promotes women’s rights, including anti-sexual harassment and pro-abortion efforts, upped its call for the network to punish Chris Cuomo after his involvement in the scandal was detailed in documents made public on Monday.
“Reports that Chris Cuomo not only joined strategy calls with his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, on how to respond to the numerous sexual harassment allegations against him, but actively advised his brother to push back against the allegations, using his position at CNN to seek information on the accusers, are completely unacceptable. He should be fired immediately,” Elisa Batista, campaign director of the Washington-based group said Tuesday in a statement to Fox News.
‘How does he still have a job?’ CNN staff sounds off as Chris Cuomo defies ban, talks bro on SiriusXM show
(New York Post)
Chris Cuomo on Tuesday used his SiriusXM show to speak about his brother’s resignation as governor of New York despite being banned from discussing it on CNN — which is weighing his future as a network host amid calls for his ouster.
Elisa Batista of the women’s rights group UltraViolet also said Chris Cuomo “should be fired immediately” for “using his position at CNN to seek information on the accusers.”
“This [is] a severe breach of journalistic ethics,” Batista said in a prepared statement.
“CNN should immediately sever ties with Chris Cuomo. Anything less is unacceptable, and further harms survivors of sexual abuse.”
CNN didn’t immediately return requests for comment, but on Monday said it was reviewing the documents released by James to determine “their significance as they relate to CNN.”
The network also said it expected to come to a decision within “the next several days.”
Activist groups are demanding accountability, especially after the attack on Ocasio-Cortez. “In any other workplace, a person would be fired immediately for sharing content threatening violence and murdering a coworker. There should be no difference in Congress,” said Bridget Todd, the communications director for the gender justice group UltraViolet. “Representative Gosar’s tweets depicting the murder of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and violence against President Biden are horrific.”
The organization called for “removal proceedings against Gosar from Congress without delay.”
Advocates worry online misogyny will keep women out of office
Advocates are worried that rising online misogyny will leave more women unwilling to run for office, a concern highlighted by a video posted by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) showing him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
Although Gosar’s video, which used an edited clip from the anime show “Attack on Titan,” targeted a member of Congress, critics warn the amplification of such content via mainstream social media can dissuade women from participating in politics at all levels.
“There’s a silencing impact,” said Bridget Todd, director of communications at the feminist group UltraViolet. “I think it really does trickle down where everybody — whether you’re a public figure or just someone who’s interested in getting involved in your kids school board in your town — I think that everybody can see the way that these platforms have tolerated this abuse, how they’re treating it like it’s not a big deal.”
“And why would anybody want to speak up and be a full participant in their democracy when that’s the case?” Todd added.
Instagram gets an F, TikTok a D+ on sexism report card
Feminist advocacy group UltraViolet has released a report card ranking some of the biggest social media platforms on how they handle misinformation, hate speech, harassment, and misogyny. Nobody did well.
Compiled in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the report evaluates Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube’s policies against UltraViolet’s 11 Policy Recommendations. It then averages each platform’s scores and assigns a letter grade according to Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s grading rubric.
“Social media has become an almost ubiquitous part of modern life,” said UltraViolet communications director Bridget Todd in a press release on Wednesday. “Despite the advantages of keeping in touch on social media platforms [sic], we can’t allow the companies behind them to peddle lies and conspiracy theories, or tacitly condone racist, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic attacks.”
In addition to the report card, UltraViolet also published an open letter to the CEOs of all the platforms it evaluated, demanding the companies immediately adopt and enforce the advocacy group’s policies to better protect marginalised groups. UltraViolet’s open letter was also signed by 75 other international organisations, including Color Of Change, GLAAD, and Public Citizen.
“Black, Indigenous, and women of color and LGBTQ people are being harmed on the internet by an onslaught of racist and misogynist attacks,” the letter says. “The actions of your companies — Alphabet, Facebook, Twitter, ByteDance, TikTok, and Reddit — have demonstrated that you care more about your profit margins than keeping people safe.”
These Corporations Funded The Co-Sponsors Of Ohio’s Proposed Abortion Ban
A new report from UltraViolet, a national gender-justice organization, identified 38 companies that gave more than $132,000 last year to Ohio lawmakers who are backing the anti-abortion bill introduced last week. That list includes health care companies such as Pfizer, Anthem, Molina Healthcare and Merck. Other donors include telecommunications company Charter Communications, Dominion Energy and General Motors. UltraViolet sourced much of its report through OpenSecrets, a nonprofit that tracks political spending.
“Where you decide to spend your political dollar ― in this case literal dollars ― is a huge barometer of your values and who or what you’re willing to sacrifice,” said Sonja Spoo, director of reproductive rights campaigns at UltraViolet. “Corporations are directly funding the erosion of our rights with their political dollars.”
Ohio’s H.B. 480 is nearly identical to the extreme anti-abortion law that went into effect in Texas in September. The Texas law bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy and deputizes private citizens to enforce it by offering a $10,000 bounty to anyone who successfully sues someone “aiding or abetting” a person seeking an abortion. But Ohio’s bill goes even further, prohibiting abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
Spoo said UltraViolet will continue to hold big corporations’ feet to the fire to ensure that consumers know where their money is going.
“We’re going to continue to put pressure, especially on AT&T, but also on other companies who think they can get away with saying they support equality in their PR statements and then turn around and open their purse, so to speak, to fund candidates who are directly working to explicitly roll back equality.”