Raytheon quietly took back his political donations to election deniers, report says

The donations, made between June and November last year, followed a promise made by Raytheon days after the insurgency to suspend all political action committee contributions to lawmakers so that it could “reflect on it.” ‘current environment and determine the appropriate next steps’.

Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, denounced the resumption of donations. “Big companies like Raytheon were quick to condemn the insurgency and tout their support for democracy,” he said. “And almost as quickly, many abandoned these so-called values ​​by cutting big checks to the very politicians who helped instigate the failed coup attempt.”

Raytheon did not respond to a request for comment.

In the aftermath of the insurgency, a handful of big New England employers, including General Electric, State Street, Liberty Mutual and CVS Health, made statements similar to Raytheon’s, vowing to rethink their political contributions. While some have maintained their suspension of contributions, others have resumed donations, separate The data from Responsible.US shows.

Springfield life insurance company MassMutual donated $ 5,000 in PAC money to lawmakers who voted not to certify the election, after saying Last January, he “suspended contributions to any candidate who voted against the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election for any state.” And Boston Scientific, the Marlborough-based medical device maker, donated $ 3,500 after saying it “temporarily suspend”PAC activity.

Meanwhile, GE of Boston asked for $ 2,000 in donations, including $ 1,000 each from Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York and Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana, both. voted against certify the presidential election. (Money was returned in April.)

Overall, during the first quarter of 2021, donations opponents of the elections has declined, according to the report. Soon after, they resumed. In the second and third quarters of the year, PAC donations reached nearly $ 3 million, the data showed. Data is still being analyzed for the fourth quarter, but analysts predict it will be “the biggest quarter of the year.” In total, large corporations and trade groups donated more than $ 8 million to election opponents, according to the report.

Herrig said the action is emblematic of America’s lukewarm commitment to democratic ideals.

“These companies never made a commitment to defend democracy,” he said. “These CEOs would rather accumulate political influence than defend their customers, shareholders and employees.”

The group analyzed 20 Fortune 500 companies and industry trade groups that reversed their stance on political donations following January 6. Raytheon, one of Massachusetts’ largest employers, ranked fourth among donors for GOP lawmakers who voted against certifying the election, behind the American Bankers Association, Boeing and the Credit Union National Association. Lockheed Martin placed fifth. (Raytheon is the biggest consumer of lobbying in the defense industry, according to OpenSecrets.)

Analyzing Raytheon Federal Election Commission records, analysts at Accountable.US discovered that the company had distributed $ 186,000 in donations among 62 Republican lawmakers. Lawmakers who received the most money from the PAC: Representative Ken Calvert of California, who received $ 8,000; Colorado Representative Doug Lamborn, who collected $ 6,500; and Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky, who received $ 6,000. (Each of the legislators has served on the supply or armed services committees in the House of Representatives.)

Raytheon’s donations came as he navigated a change in political environment that could impact his fortune.

The company had a pleasant relationship with the administration of former President Donald Trump and unprecedented access to some of its top advisers, the reports showed. Some observers thought it would suffer under the Biden administration, but his lobbying efforts, a payroll of former Defense Ministry officials, and Biden’s pivot from the Middle East to China helped Raytheon maintain his advantage in as the country’s second-largest defense maker, industry experts and activists have said.

Paul Shannon, an organizer of Massachusetts Peace Action, a group that campaigns against Raytheon, said he was not surprised that the defense society had taken back donations to lawmakers willing to challenge democratic principles and deny the results of ‘an election. It just shows the kind of representatives the company relies on to wield power in Washington, he said, adding that any backlash the company may face will likely be limited.

“They are so arrogant and bold,” he said. “They know they control the levers of power. They know they can resist it.


You can reach Pranshu Verma at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @pranshuverma_.