The Job Creators Network (JCN) sent a letter to the Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Wednesday “criticizing his decision to move the upcoming All Star game from Atlanta to Denver.”
The letter, which was sent from JCN president and CEO Alfredo Ortiz and addressed to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, called out the organization’s decision to cost Georgia businesses $100 million, which JCN concludes “would have helped the small business community recover from the pandemic.”
“Small businesses in Georgia are hurting and the MLB commissioner pulled a multi-million rug out from underneath them,” Ortiz said in a statement. “Manfred justifies his decision by echoing false claims made by others who argue Georgia’s new election law is simply Jim Crow 2.0. That rationale couldn’t be further from reality.”
Ortiz also stated that “Georgia election rules make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
“In contrast to the incendiary rhetoric and accusations of racism from politicians and activists, these rules simply bring Georgia’s voting standards in line with other states’, including Colorado’s,” Ortiz continued.
Ortiz also called on Manfred and the MLB to reverse their decision in his statement, warning that if they do not, small businesses will “pay the price.”
“The commissioner should flip the switch on his selective outrage and allow the All Star game to return to Atlanta where it belongs, or local small businesses will pay the price,” Ortiz said.
In the letter, Ortiz said for some “small businesses that have disproportionately suffered through government-imposed pandemic lockdowns over the past year, the financial loss is a punch to the gut and will have an outsized impact on minority-owned businesses. … We demand that you reverse the decision.”
In addition, Ortiz wrote:
Giving your organization the benefit of the doubt, the MLB’s choice to relocate the All Star game is based on a misunderstanding of the facts. The recently passed voting rights law in Georgia, which your group has argued applies “restrictions to the ballot box,” is the target of an intense smear campaign perpetuated by activist groups. Regardless of what the legislation actually does, their goal is demonization. The artificial outrage will prove useful when attempting to federalize elections in the form of HR1, legislation that is unconstitutional.
Despite urban legend and your previous statement, the Georgia law makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat. It shouldn’t be controversial. Compared to pre-pandemic standards, the law expands voter access, increases the number of early voting days and permits no-excuse absentee ballots. Even states like New York, Connecticut and President Biden’s home state of Delaware require a valid excuse to cast an absentee ballot.
Ortiz also reiterated that the new election bill in Georgia “doesn’t ban people from quenching their thirst in line. Poll workers are more than welcome to set-up self-service beverage stations and others can distribute water outside of the pre-designated voting area.”
“To help curtail fraud and electoral abuse, current Georgia law requires residents to present a form of identification prior to voting, which can include a driver’s license, free state-issued ID, utility bill, bank statement, government check, or even a paystub,” Ortiz wrote to Manfred. “You need identification to buy alcohol, go to the doctor or even pick-up MLB tickets at will call.”
“It’s not racism, but a smart security measure that everyone acknowledges is beneficial in one scenario or another,” he added. “In fact, three-fourths of Georgia voters overall, nearly two-thirds of African Americans, and nine in ten residents making under $25,000 per year in the state support voter ID rules. The new law simply applies that standard to mail-in voting as well.”
“Small businesses in Georgia are hurting and you pulled a multi-million dollar rug out from underneath them,” Ortiz concluded. “On behalf of our members, JCN demands you reconsider your decision and return the All Star game back to the Peach State. Don’t let activist groups weaponize America’s pastime to push radical ideas that MLB fans don’t support.”