These corporations broke the commitments they made after January 6
It's been nearly five months since the attack on the United States Capitol. But in many respects, nothing has changed.
None of the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election on January 6 — fueling the lie that motivated the attack — have expressed contrition or remorse. Several have attempted to recast the riot as a peaceful protest. This month, Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-GA) compared the events of that day to a "normal tourist visit" to the Capitol and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said the Department of Justice, which has filed criminal charges against more than 400 people, was “harassing peaceful patriots.”
Last Wednesday, of the 139 Republican members of the House who objected to the certification of the Electoral College, all but six voted against the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack.
In January, hundreds of corporations announced they were suspending PAC donations to the Republican objectors or all members of Congress. These corporations — explicitly or implicitly — recognized that the Republican members who voter against certification bore some responsibility for the violence.
Since then, most of these corporations have kept their promises. But others have not.
There are hundreds of corporations, each making a slightly different commitment after January 6. And there are a variety of ways the campaign finance system allows corporations to funnel money to campaigns. Each month a flood of campaign finance records are reported to the FEC. The most recent data dump came last Thursday.
But Popular Information has been keeping a close eye on the issue. This is a breakdown of companies that have broken the letter or spirit of their post-January 6 commitments.
Corporations that pledged to suspend donations to GOP objectors and then donated to committees that support GOP objectors
Among the corporations that pledged to suspend donations to the 147 Republican objectors, very few have donated directly to these Republicans' Congressional campaigns. But numerous corporations have donated to multi-candidate committees that funnel money and other support to these Republican objectors.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), for example, will support the reelection of well over 100 House Republicans who objected to the certification of the Electoral College and are running for reelection in 2022. It is also the primary fundraising vehicle for Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who voted to overturn the election. Similarly, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is chaired by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), who voted to overturn the election. It will also support the reelection of other Republican objectors like Senator John Kennedy (R-LA).
What Walmart said after January 6: "In light of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, Walmart’s political action committee is indefinitely suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes"
Walmart donations: $30,000 to the NRCC (4/23); $30,000 to the NRSC (4/20)
What General Election said after January 6: "The GEPAC board has voted to suspend donations to those who voted to oppose the Electoral College results. This is not a decision we made lightly, but is one we believe is important to ensure that our future contributions continue to reflect our company’s values and commitment to democracy." General Electric told CNN that the suspension would last at least through the 2022 election.
General Electric donations: $15,000 to the NRCC (4/23); $15,000 to the NRSC (4/20)
What Intel said after January 6: "Intel’s Political Action Committee continuously reevaluates its contributions to candidates to ensure that they align with our values, policies and priorities. While Intel's PAC will continue bipartisan contributions, we will not contribute to members of Congress who voted against certification of the Electoral College results as we feel that action was counter to our company's values."
Intel donations: $15,000 to the NRCC (2/26)
What AT&T said after January 6: "Employees on our Federal PAC Board convened a call today and decided to suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes this week."
AT&T donations: On February 22, AT&T donated $5,000 to the House Conservatives Fund, a PAC that supports members of the Republican Study Committee, a group of Republican House members that overwhelmingly voted to overturn the election. It is chaired by Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), who voted to overturn the election. (AT&T told Popular Information in March that it has been "assured" by the House Conservatives Fund that its donation will not support the reelection of any Republican objector.)
What Pfizer said after January 6: "[W]e have made the decision that for the next six months, Pfizer PAC will not contribute to any of the 147 Members of Congress who voted against certifying the Electoral College after the violence that we all witnessed."
Pfizer donations: $15,000 to the NRSC (3/2)
What Sanofi said after January 6: Chemical & Engineering News reported that the company was "cutting off donations to members of the Senate and House of Representatives who objected to certifying any state electoral results."
Sanofi donations: $3,000 to the NRSC (3/17)
What Oracle said after January 6: "Oracle Political Action Committee (OPAC) has decided to pause contributions to anyone who voted against certifying the November 2020 election results."
Oracle donations: $3,750 to the NRCC (3/26); $3,750 to the NRSC (3/25)
The corporation that pledged to suspend donations to Republican objectors and directly violated its pledge
Cigna suggested that it would suspend donations to Republican objectors and then donated directly to their campaigns.
What Cigna said after January 6: "There is never any justification for violence or the kind of destruction that occurred at the U.S. Capitol last week – a building that stands as a powerful symbol of the very democracy that makes our nation strong. Accordingly, CignaPAC will discontinue support of any elected official who encouraged or supported violence, or otherwise hindered a peaceful transition of power."
Cigna donations to individual objectors: Congressmen Byron Donalds (R-FL) ($1,000, 3/31); Tom Rice (R-SC) ($1,500, 3/16); Bill Johnson (R-OH) ($2,500, 3/19); Jodey Arrington (R-TX) ($1,500, 3/19); Billy Long (R-MO) ($1,000, 3/25); John Joyce (R-PA) ($2,500, 3/31); Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) ($2,500, 3/31)
Cigna donations to multi-candidate committees supporting objectors: $15,000 to the NRCC (2/26); $15,000 to the NRSC (2/4)
Cigna told the New York Times that donating to members of Congress that voted to overturn the election does not violate its pledge to "discontinue support" to any official who "hindered a peaceful transition of power" because voting is "by definition, part of the peaceful transition of power."
Corporations that pledged to "reevaluate" their donation criteria after January 6 and then directly or indirectly donated to GOP objectors
Other corporations managed the political fallout from the January 6 attack by saying they would "reevaluate" their criteria for political giving. The implication was that they were taking the attack seriously. Several of these corporations have already donated directly to Republican objectors or multi-candidate committees that support Republican objectors.
What Toyota said after January 6: "Given recent events and the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, we are assessing our future PAC criteria."
Toyota donations: $62,000 in contributions to the campaigns of 40 Republicans who voted to overturn the election.
What T-Mobile said after January 6: “The assault on the U.S. Capitol and on democracy was unacceptable...In light of recent events, we intend to reevaluate our PAC giving, and we look forward to working with the incoming Administration.
T-Mobile donations: $15,000 to the NRCC (1/19); $15,000 to the NRSC (2/9)
What JetBlue said after January 6: "The independent, employee-funded JetBlue Political Action Committee (PAC) has made the decision to temporarily pause all contributions as we review the political landscape."
JetBlue donations: $1,000 to Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), who voted to overturn the election result.
In a statement to Bloomberg, the company said that, in the course of its review, it "found, like the public in general, that contributors have a wide range of opinions and beliefs about current issues." Moving forward, JetBlue says it will donate to candidates that "have specific relevance to JetBlue’s network and business, as well as the aviation industry overall."
What GM said after January 6: "GM's PAC has paused new contributions. In 2020, we enhanced the character and public integrity criteria for making contributions and that will help to guide our decisions moving forward."
GM donations: $15,000 to the NRSC (4/20); $25,000 to the Scalise Leadership Fund, the joint fundraising committee of Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA), who voted to overturn the election
What Ford said after January 6: "Ford condemns the violent actions that happened this week, which contradict the ideals of a free and fair election and a peaceful transition of power. Our employee PAC contributes to candidates who support policies critical to Ford’s employees, communities and jobs. Events over the past year have underscored the need for a broader, ongoing discussion about other relevant considerations."
Ford donations: $2,500 to Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who voted to overturn the election; $15,000 to the NRSC (4/28); $15,000 to the NRCC (4/28)
What Altria said after January 6: "Altria strongly condemns the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol...We have spent the past few days discussing the right path forward and have decided, at this time, to suspend all political contributions while we re-examine our existing contribution criteria and guiding principles."
Altria donations: $15,000 to the NRSC (3/30)
What Northrop Grumman said after January 6: “We are pausing political action committee giving and evaluating the way forward.”
Northrop Grumman donations: Congressmen Ken Calvert (R-CA) ($2,500, 4/28); Rob Wittman (R-VA) ($2,500, 4/28); Chris Stewart (R-UT) ($2,500, 4/28)
Lobbyists are pushing corporations to start donating again to the Republicans who set the stage for the riot at the Capitol. “D.C. can have a short memory. We’ll see how long this lasts,” one lobbyist recently told the Wall Street Journal.
Today's edition is part of Popular Information's ongoing effort to comprehensively monitor corporate PAC activity in the months and years ahead. We aren't just keeping track of the corporate cash going to Republicans in Congress who voted to overturn the election. We've also exposed the corporate donors to sponsors of state legislation to restrict voting, discriminate against trans people, and effectively ban abortion.
But Popular Information is a two-person newsletter, and this is a massive undertaking. It involves tens of thousands of campaign finance records from dozens of federal and state databases.
You can help Popular Information expand its capacity to do this work with a paid subscription.
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The money-over-people attack on our country's democratic system is absolutely the most important and horrible issue of our era.
Thank you for keeping track of it.
Here's an example of a company, Patagonia, using its position to help democracy: https://lat.ms/2RGwNiv
As long as people count on corporations to do the right thing, I fear we're going to get similar results as these. These companies are doing what's best for them, not you or me or even the long-term global economy. When relentless pursuit of capital is the raison d'être, these firms will stoop to anything for the sake of an advantage.