CLAIM: The Home Depot recently donated $1.75 million to Hershel Walker’s US Senate campaign.
PA ASSESSMENT: Context missing. Bernard “Bernie” Marcus, a Home Depot co-founder who left the company in 2002, made contributions totaling $1.75 million to a political action committee backing Walker, Election Commission data shows. federalnot Home Depot. While FEC records show the Atlanta-based retailer its own political action committee donated to the Republican National Senate Committee this cycle, the company said in a statement that it did not contribute directly to Walker’s campaign.
THE FACTS: Social media users confuse donations made by former Home Depot executive with politics pass the story of the company itself amid a pivotal race for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia.
Walkera political newcomer and former University of Georgia football star, seeks to overthrow the seat held by his Democratic opponent, incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, as Republicans attempt to take control of the Senate in the upcoming midterm election -mandate.
Walker, who has vehemently opposed abortion rights, has come under national scrutiny in recent days reports that he paid and encouraged a woman to have an abortion. He deny the allegations.
Commenting on the race on Monday, a Twitter user called on people to boycott Home Depot.
“Home Depot just supported Hershel Walker with $1.75 million. Please buy from Lowe’s,” the user wrote.
The claim surfaced on Friday when another user tweeted, “Will you join me in boycotting Home Depot for donating $1.75 MILLION to the Herschel Walker campaign?” earning over 8,000 shares and 40,000 likes.
This message provoked a denial from the company.
“The company has not contributed to this campaign,” the Home Depot account replied. “The contribution came from our co-founder Bernie Marcus, who left Home Depot over 20 years ago.”
FEC data confirms that neither The Home Depot nor its PAC, The Home Depot PAC donated directly to Walker’s campaign or to related PACs set up to exclusively support his campaign.
Instead, FEC records show two donations worth $1.75 million made by Marcus, whose employer is listed as The Marcus Foundationto a PAC dedicated to supporting Walker.
A donation of $1 million was made by Marcus for 34N22 APC on March 21, 2022, and another donation of $750,000 was made to the same PAC on November 8, 2021, according to database. Thirty-four was Walker’s jersey number when he played football at Georgia.
Marcus co-founded Home Depot in 1978 and served as its first CEO until 1997. He also served as Chairman of the Board until his retirement in 2002.
“His views do not represent the company,” spokeswoman Sara Gorman wrote in a statement, adding, “The Home Depot PAC has not donated to the Walker or Warnock campaigns.”
FEC data for the 2021-2022 election cycle shows that the PAC has make a donation to a number of campaigns and PACs on both sides of the aisle, though more money went to conservative candidates and aligned PACs, according to Data compiled by Open Secrets, a nonprofit campaign finance transparency group, which analyzes FEC public records.
A search of these records shows that The Home Depot PAC make a donation a total of $90,000 to the National Republican Senate Committee from 2021 to 2022. The NRSC works to elect Republicans to the Senate. He used funds to launch commercials in Georgia against Walker’s opponent, Warnock.
He also donated $30,000 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, in addition to other Democratic and PAC campaigns, according to the FEC. database.
“Our associate-funded PAC supports candidates and organizations on both sides of the aisle who champion pro-business, pro-retail positions that create jobs and economic growth,” Gorman wrote.
This is part of AP’s efforts to combat widely shared misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.