In the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, dozens of companies released statements about their intention to “reassess” or simply stop giving to members of Congress who voted to overturn the results of the elections. 2020 elections.
After a year of political giving, the numbers speak for themselves.
Seven companies that pledged in some form to suspend donations specifically to members of Congress who halted the peaceful transfer of power later donated thousands of dollars to them or their PAC leaders, according to analyzes of funding data of the campaign by the political bulletin Popular informationmonitoring group Manager.US and TPM: Cigna, Comcast, Eli Lily, Exelon, Home deposit, PriceWaterhouseCoopersand Walgreens.
More than a dozen more stopped donating to members but still donated to party committees that support the campaigns of these Republicans, a sort of loophole. Dozens more said they would suspend all political donations — only to resume contributions a few months after the attack on the Capitol.
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In total, the companies and trade groups that issued statements condemning the Jan. 6 attack collectively donated more than $2.1 million in 2021 to members of Congress who voted to void the election, according to campaign finance records tracked by Accountable.US.
If you include not just members of Congress themselves, but also party organizations like Republicans’ congressional campaign committees, which help fund their re-election campaigns, that number comes closer to $5 million, according to monitoring group numbers. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
“A dynamic pharmaceutical ecosystem”
Many of these initial statements from companies after the attack were only weak expressions of concern, if at all. Businesses and trade groups have spoken of “to suspend” Where “to make a break” their political donations, only to dump tens of thousands into the campaign coffers of members of Congress who voted to overthrow democracy.
The American Bankers Association PAC — which Accountable.US says was the largest corporate or trade group donor last year to members who backed Trump on Jan. 6 — says Business Insider a week after the uprising, “As we do after every election, we will be meeting with all of our stakeholders in the coming weeks to review our political activities from the last campaign cycle before making decisions on future plans.”
“The troubling events of the past week will certainly factor into these discussions,” the PAC said.
The group began donating to several election objectors in June, and in 2021 it has donated $255,500 to 77 objectors, for amounts between $1,000 and $7,500 each, according to Accountable.US.
Eli Lilly, the drug maker, told the Indianapolis Business Journal the week following the attack, his political action committee, LillyPAC, “will suspend political donations to those who voted against certification of the 2020 election results.”
The suspension didn’t last: Eli Lilly gave away $32,500 to 15 opponents during 2021.
“In July 2021, LillyPAC, our employee political action committee, lifted the pause on candidate contributions and resumed contributions on a case-by-case basis so that we can continue to support members of all political backgrounds who include the value of a dynamic pharmaceutical sector. ecosystem to address unmet patient needs,” a company spokesperson told TPM.
Exelon, another company that halted and then restarted donations to election objectors, told TPM in a statement: “Following the events of January 6, 2021, we have made the decision to reassess our political contribution strategies and suspend contributions. from ExelonPAC to lawmakers who voted to challenge the results of the presidential election. Going forward, we continue to believe that we can advocate more effectively on behalf of our clients and our communities by engaging with policy makers in areas where we find common ground.
Walgreens, which made a similar commitment in Augusteventually gave away $24,000 to 11 opponents in November and December, according to Accountable.US.
Some promises were half-too-shrewd: Cigna originally pledged to stop donations to “any elected official who encourages or supports violence, or otherwise impedes the peaceful transition of power.” He has now donated $43,500 to 20 members who voted to oppose the election results. The company told the New York Times in April that the votes in Congress themselves – apparently even those against the swing state presidential voter count – were “by definition part of the peaceful transition of power” and that his commitment “applies to those who have incited to violence or actively sought to impede the peaceful transition of power through words and other efforts.
Comcast donated $2,500 each to seven election objectors in December, despite also saying last January that he would suspend donations to this group.
Goldman Sachs, which noted after the attack that he would pause all PAC donations for “a thorough assessment of how people acted during this time”, donated $2,500 in December to Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), a member of the House Financial Services Committee who, as Popular Information Noted, would have been threatened to create his own list for companies that he thinks might have put him on an “enemies list”.
A spokesperson for Home Depot, like other companies contacted by TPM, pointed out that the company only said it was “pausing” donations after the Capitol attack.
“We said we were suspending donations to take the time to review and reassess each of the members who voted to oppose the election results before considering new contributions,” the spokesperson said. “As always, we assess donations based on a number of factors. Our PAC supports candidates on both sides of the aisle who champion pro-business and retail positions that create jobs and economic growth. »
Assessing political donations in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack can get tricky. Take Oracle, the software company. On January 17, Oracle announced on Twitter that his PAC had “decided to suspend” political donations to anyone who voted against certification of the election.
And they delivered on that promise: In 2021, the Oracle PAC donated $7,450 to Republican members of the House and $14,000 to Republican senators, none of whom were election objectors, according to data from Open Secrets.
On the other hand: the Oracle PAC make a donation $15,000 each to Republican Congressional Campaign Organizations, the Republican National Senate Committee, and the Republican National Congressional Committee, which don’t mind spending big bucks on opponents’ re-election campaigns. An Oracle spokesperson declined TPM’s request for comment.
Similar contributions were made by Sanofi, Verizon and Walmart, Popular Information reported.
Overall, however, the pause in US corporate donations is not insignificant: Corporate donations to insurgent Republicans have slowed significantly.
As popular information reported last month, of 94 House Republicans who were incumbents in 2019 and running for re-election starting in 2021, corporate donations to the PAC fell 60% between the two years, a collective drop of $16 million — although some members made up for the loss with small individual dollar contributions.
And dozens of companies kept their promises and kept their money away from individual objectors and multi-candidate committees. Some, including American Express and Microsoft, are even recommitment for 2022.
Donations that benefit would-be election thieves come out on top: According to Accountable.US, the top recipients among election opponents were also the most influential: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Whip. Steve Scalise (R-LA).