New Location of MLB All-Star Game Is Named After Co-Founder of Conservative Heritage Foundation
In response to Georgia’s new election integrity law — referred to as “Jim Crow 2.0” by its detractors because it purportedly disenfranchises minorities by, among other things, asking for voter ID for absentee ballots and barring food-and-drink distribution in voting lines — Major League Baseball moved its July All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver.
Announcing the move Friday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said it was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport” and MLB “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
There are a number of forehead-slapping ironies to this, including the fact Colorado has more restrictive voting laws than Georgia will when its bill takes effect.
However, the greatest contradiction may be that they’ll be playing the game in a park named after a family noted for its conservative activism. Not only that, the company was brought to prominence by the man who co-founded an organization that’s been a staunch supporter of the Georgia bill: the Heritage Foundation.
Joseph Coors died in 2003 but his impact on the family brewing concern that bought the naming rights to Coors Field — and the conservative movement — can’t be understated.
According to his New York Times obituary, Coors was the grandson of company founder Adolph Coors. He’d become the chief operating officer and vice chairman of the Golden, Colorado, company, retiring from top management in 1987 and leaving the company board just three years before his death at the age of 85.
“With his elder brother, William, Mr. Coors challenged the industry giants, Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing, for their national position,” The Times noted. “Until the 1970’s, Coors beer was a regional Western beer, selling around 300,000 barrels a year. Going national, the Coors brothers produced more than 20 million barrels annually by the time Joe Coors retired from the business.”
And then there was his conservative activism, particularly in co-founding the Heritage Foundation. With Joe Coors’ initial gift of $250,000 in the 1970s, the think tank was able to launch. According to The Guardian, he would give $300,000 a year thereafter. Within a decade, it was able to draw larger donations and take an outsized role in the conservative movement.
“Without Joe Coors, the Heritage Foundation wouldn’t exist,” former Heritage Foundation president Edwin Feulner said, “and the conservative movement it nurtures would be immeasurably poorer.”
Coors was a supporter of 1964 Republican presidential candidate Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona and became a political benefactor of Ronald Reagan after meeting the recently elected governor of California in Palm Springs in 1967.
Wait until the MLB finds out that the former president of Coors Brewing Company (Coors Field), Joseph Coors, was a Goldwater supporter and helped start the Heritage Foundation
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) April 6, 2021
He helped launch Reagan’s quixotic 1968 presidential campaign and then kept supporting the conservative icon until he was in the White House. Coors would become an informal adviser to the president during his term.
So, just out of curiosity, what does Joesph Coors’ Heritage Foundation think about the Georgia election integrity law and Major League Baseball’s decision to relocate the All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver?
Here are a few short reads from the Heritage Foundation on the matter that MLB’s top brass might not particularly approve of:
• “Woke Capitalism Strikes Again in Georgia,” Jarrett Stepman, April 6: “All of the statements from MLB to Atlanta-based Coca-Cola to Delta Air Lines suggest they didn’t even read the Georgia law and just copied and pasted dishonest Democratic talking points in their press statements,” Stepman wrote. “There are no specific critiques, just vague references to supposed voter suppression.
“The bigger issue here is not just about the election integrity law, as important as that is. Instead, it’s the transformation of big business into an activist, aggressive sledge hammer that works on behalf of left-wing causes and threatens the polities of states when they pass laws the left doesn’t like.”
• “Georgia Legislators Addressing Election Vulnerabilities That Fueled Controversy,” Hans A. von Spakovsky, March 23: “There are many other changes to Georgia law in the House bill [in addition to voter ID] on other issues such as early voting and poll watchers, which are intended to directly address challenges seen across the country in the 2020 presidential election. The bill is a big first step in the right direction to protect both access and security, which should be the key objectives of any state’s election process.”
• “1 in 3 Americans Are Watching Less Sports. Blame ‘Social Justice’ Preaching,” Douglas Blair, April 6: “The decision Friday by Major League Baseball to pull the All-Star Game out of Georgia to protest reforms to improve election integrity also shows how much sway the left holds over our culture,” Blair wrote.
“Major League Baseball is virtue signaling by moving the game out of Atlanta based on faulty logic that the election reforms are a form of voter suppression, but then moving it to Denver, in Colorado, which also has voter ID laws, but which didn’t make headlines.”
Ah, and there’s the rub, which Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott pointed out. Both states have voter ID, but Colorado has more stringent requirements and far fewer black residents:
Georgia: Voter ID, 17 days of early voting.
Colorado: Voter ID, 15 days of early voting.
Atlanta is 51% Black.
Denver is 9.2% Black.
The @MLB is moving the #MLBAllStarGame out of ATL which has more day-of voting rights than CO?
The Wokes are at it again, folks.
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) April 6, 2021
Here’s former National Republican Senatorial Committee senior adviser Matt Whitlock going into a bit more detail:
Colorado requires voter ID to vote in person — either a driver’s license, an IRS issued ID card, a valid passport, or a valid employee card with a photo. @MLB better be ready to explain why this is more acceptable than Georgia after that absurd political statement. https://t.co/QT1wDkTboY
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) April 6, 2021
The point of this isn’t to say Colorado election laws are bad.
It’s to say that the @MLB made a stupid decision based on misinformation about the Georgia bill, and landed in a political minefield of their own making.
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) April 6, 2021
Caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware.
In the midst of a PR crisis, MLB officials thought they were moving from a state with “Jim Crow” election laws to more liberal environs.
Not only is that the exact opposite of the truth, but they’ll also now be playing in a stadium named for the company that became a national beverage powerhouse under the operations prowess of the Heritage Foundation’s co-founder.
And all of this with the concomitant conservative boycott of the sport.
Congratulations on getting out of the frying pan, MLB. Enjoy the fire.
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