Marriott takes a stance on political donations

Marriott has become the first major travel company to take a stand on political donations, after what happened last week in DC.

Marriott will stop donating to some politicians

It has been revealed that Marriott’s Political Action Committee (PAC) will no longer donate to the campaigns of lawmakers who challenged President-elect Joe Biden’s certification process. As a Marriott spokesperson explained:

“We have taken into consideration the destructive events on Capitol Hill to undermine a legitimate and fair election and we will pause political donations from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election.”

While some companies have said they will take the events of the past week into consideration when making future donations, few have taken a hardline stance yet.

Which politicians has Marriott donated to?

I had never really watched this before so it was a fun rabbit hole to go down. First, it’s interesting to see how Marriott’s political giving changed by election cycle. In the past, the company has made overwhelming donations to Republicans, whereas in recent cycles that trend has changed significantly.

According to Open the secrets:

  • In 2000, Marriott donated $3,000 to Democratic candidates and $130,900 to Republican candidates
  • In 2020, Marriott donated $108,500 to Democratic candidates and $89,500 to Republican candidates
  • It was the 2010 election cycle where Marriott went from giving Republicans more to giving Democrats more.

What did Marriott PAC donate to in 2020? Here are some notable politicians and PACs who got Marriott money:

  • Marriott donated a total of $2,000 to organizations associated with Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who was trying to overturn election results; this includes $1,000 for the “Hawley Victory Committee” and $1,000 for the “Fighting for Missouri PAC”
  • Not specifically related to this situation, but Marriott also donated $1,500 to Senator David Perdue’s campaign in Georgia
  • Conversely, Marriott donated $2,500 to a PAC associated with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • But Marriott also donated $1,000 to “Heartland Values ​​PAC,” associated with South Dakota Sen. John Thune.

As you can see, we’re not talking huge sums here – it’s not the amount that will hurt these politicians much, but rather the sentiment.

I don’t understand big business giving political donations

This is more of a general thought on my part than specific to this situation, but I don’t really understand how big corporations go about donating. I mean, I get it – they want to donate here and there in the hope that politicians will view them favorably when they’re in power.

However, the corporate approach to donations is incredibly inconsistent. For example, what does a company really represent if it supports both Nancy Pelosi and Josh Hawley?

I mean, I guess I can answer my own question – corporations don’t represent anything and just try to be viewed as favorably as possible by all the politicians. But stay…

At the end of the line

Marriott has become the first major travel brand to pledge not to donate to politicians who have tried to overturn electoral votes. In practical terms, this appears to mean that the company will not donate to Josh Hawley in the future, at least based on my review of the list that Marriott’s PAC donated to.