People say they plan to boycott Publix this weekend because of its donation to a pro-NRA candidate. But what about other stores?
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — This weekend, some shoppers plan to boycott Publix after learning the grocery chain donated $670,000 to pro-NRA Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam.
But before you decide to go to other stores instead, do you know which politicians are getting donations from your favorite companies?
To protest Publix political contributions, people tweet their receipts from where they shop, including Walmart.
But if you’re opposed to Publix supporting a pro-NRA Republican, consider that Walmart’s political contributions have also favored Republicans for years, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets.org of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that tracks money in American politics.
These figures represent donations to federal politicians from the organizations’ political action committees (PACs), their individual members, employees or owners, and those people’s immediate families, according to OpenSecrets.org.
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So far in 2018, the three politicians who have received the most money from Walmart are Reps. Steve Womack ($44,200) and Bruce Westerman ($10,000) from the company’s home state of Arkansas, and Rep. Steve Stivers ($10,000) from Ohio.
Publix, over the past three years, has gifted Adam Putnam with $670,000, including a recent one-time donation of $100,000.
Womack ($3,000) and Stivers ($4,000) have each taken money from the NRA in the past two election cycles, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Amazon.com donations, which owns Whole Foods, have favored Democrats in recent election cycles, particularly in the 2016 campaign. Florida-based grocer, Winn Dixie appears to have essentially stopped making contributions over the past decade after giving largely to Republicans in the 1990s.
Target, a popular alternative for shoppers who tweet their receipts, has always backed Republicans over Democrats except during the 2016 campaign.
Targeted funds contributing to political campaigns in Florida since 2016 have also favored Republicans ($23,500) over Democrats ($14,000), according to state campaign finance reports.
Target took the heat in 2011 for supporting an anti-gay Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota.
If NRA-backed candidates are your problem: So far this election cycle, five of the top six candidates backed by Target funds are Republicans with NRA A ratings, including Rep. David Young of Iowa who, as the New York Times previously reported, received the third most financial support from the NRA than any other member of the United States House.
Parkland survivor Alex Wind was among those who expressed displeasure with Publix’s support of Putnam, saying in a tweet, “Guess I should have bought my flowers for the memorials somewhere else.”
This holiday weekend shoppers are encouraged to #BoycottPublix and #TweetTheReceipt where they shop from instead after the The Tampa Bay Times was the first to report Publix has donated $670,000 to Putnam’s political campaign over the past three years.
The backlash prompted Publix, which initially released a statement saying it supported “bipartisan and pro-business candidates”, to suggest that future political donations might be treated differently.
“We regret that some of our political contributions have led to an unintended customer division instead of our desire to support a growing economy in Florida,” Publix said in an emailed statement. “Because of this situation, we are evaluating our processes to ensure that our donations better reflect our desire to support a strong economy and a healthy community.”
National, regional and local supermarkets contributed just over $5.4 million in the 2016 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org. Publix tops the list with the most contributions.
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