Toyota resumes political donations to 2020 presidential election objectors

Toyota contributes again to lawmakers who resisted certifying the official results of the 2020 presidential election, despite the Japanese automaker’s advice pledged last summer to quit such financial support.

Toyota said in July last year it would stop supporting lawmakers who questioned the election result under pressure from critics including the Lincoln Project, an advocacy group dedicated to defeating the former President Donald Trump in his re-election bid.

“We understand that the PAC’s decision to support certain members of Congress who challenged the results has troubled some stakeholders,” the company said at the time. “We are actively listening to our stakeholders and, at this time, we have decided to no longer contribute to members of Congress who challenged the certification of certain states in the 2020 elections.”

Eight months later, the Japanese automaker has apparently reconsidered its position. In March, Toyota gave money to Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana who voted to overturn the January 6, 2021 election results, Popular Information reported In Monday. Walorski also voted against impeaching Trump and against creating a bipartisan committee to investigate the insurgency.

The company also paid $1,000 last month to Tennessee Republican David Kustoff, who voted in line with Walorski on issues related to the 2020 election, a federal election commission deposit shows. Mississippi Republican Trent Kelly and Louisiana Republican Garrett Graves also received PAC money from Toyota in March.

After a six-month hiatus, Toyota “resumed contributions to certain members of Congress,” the company said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch on Monday. “We will not support those who, through their words and actions, create an atmosphere that incites violence,” the company added.

The stance has done little to sway the Lincoln Project, which is dusting off an ad it ran decrying Toyota’s contributions before the company changed its policy last summer.

The group is rebroadcasting its ad accusing Toyota of “helping to fund a movement that violently sought to take votes away from American customers, not to mention Toyota’s own employees.”

This 2021 advertisement followed a report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington showing that in the months following the January 6 assault on the US Capitol, Toyota had donated a total of $55,000 to about three dozen Republicans who challenged certification. The automaker gave twice as much as the second-largest corporate donor to lawmakers who voted against certifying the electoral vote, according to the progressive watchdog group.

After the January 6 attack, 147 Republicans voted against certification of the presidential election results despite no evidence of fraud or vote manipulation. At the time, many companies, including Toyota, pledged to review or suspend their political donations.

A month after the Capitol siege, Toyota also donated $1,000 to Arizona Republican Andy Biggs, according to the Federal Election Commission. deposits. The congressman challenged the integrity of the election.