But over the next two years, in the midst of a contentious midterm battle, less than half of those companies delivered on those promises for a full election cycle, an analysis of campaign donations found.
Contributions made by corporate political action committees to the 147 members of Congress who sought to challenge the election results represent only a small fraction of the more than $350 million those members raised over the past two years.
But the totals still add up for significant support. repealed. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who raised more than $27 million during the 2022 election cycle and objected to the election results with his party’s majority in the House, brought in $285,000 from a PAC of companies that once opposed the election Was. Denialism. He is embroiled in a leadership battle, the Speaker is yet to be elected in the House.
The fundraising totals reflect the extent of the changes that were triggered by the January 6 events in Washington. The rhetoric that fueled the riots has been continued by scores of Republican politicians, and they have in turn been kept into the fold by some of the larger outside interests who denounced their position at the time. The turnaround also raises questions about what the corporations that halted contributions and later returned them were hoping to accomplish with their stand — other than a fleeting PR victory.
Several large companies either did not respond to requests for comment or declined to provide one. Those who often stressed the bipartisan nature of their corporate PAC giving.
Of the 147 members who voted against ratifying all 50 states after the riots two years earlier, 130 remained in Congress. Only two lost in the race for the general election last November.
“So many corporations sought recognition after Jan. 6 to curb political spending, then quietly reopened money funnels to those denied the election,” said Jeremy Funk, media relations director for the liberal-leaning watchdog group Accountable. ” we. “Companies that claimed to be allies to democracy, then rewarded millions to lawmakers who tried to start insurgencies showed they were never serious.”
POLITICO identified more than 100 companies and business groups suspending or reviewing donations to or considering future political contributions to the January 6 events, based on lists compiled by Accountable.US. and opensecrets, a research organization and affiliated newsroom focused on money in politics. Campaign finance records show that more than 70 affiliated political committees of those companies resumed donations to at least one member who voted against the election certification.
Those that did not resume donating were generally companies that had initially made fewer political donations.
Accountable. US analyzed the same Fortune 100 companies, which constitute the upper echelon of American businesses. The organization found that of the 50 companies that pledged to freeze or reconsider political donations after the January 6 attack — either specifically to those that voted against certification, or entirely political contributions – proceeded to give at least $5.6 million to 34 members. Voted against certification the last two years.
Cigna, the health insurance company, told employees a few days after the January 6 attack that it would “discontinue support of any elected official who encourages or supports violence, or otherwise hinders the peaceful transition of power, According to an internal email received by cnbc at the time, It was the first of the companies to pledge to resume contributions, Politico’s analysis found, giving $11,500 in March 2021 to five Republican members who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election. As of November 2022, the company has awarded more than $200,000 to election certification objectors.
In all, fifteen of the Fortune 100 companies identified by Accountable.US gave at least $100,000 to those objectors through their corporate PACs: AT&T, Boeing, Cigna, Comcast, General Motors, Home Depot, Lockheed Martin, Marathon Petroleum, Pfizer, Raytheon, UPS, UnitedHealth, Valaro, Verizon and Walmart.
AT&T, Cigna, Comcast, Marathon Petroleum, Raytheon, UPS, UnitedHealth, Valero and Verizon did not respond to requests for comment. Boeing declined to comment. Those who commented largely declined to mention January 6 or his previous statements on the issue.
Pfizer spokeswoman Sharon Castillo said the company has honored its commitment to give political donations to members who voted against certification for six months. Since then, she said, “Pfizer’s decision to contribute to elected officials is based on their support of public policies aimed at protecting innovation incentives and expanding patients’ access to drugs and vaccines.”
Home Depot spokeswoman Evelyn Fornes said the company’s PAC is “bipartisan” and supports “candidates and organizations on both sides of the aisle who champion pro-business, pro-retail positions.” Lockheed spokeswoman Kailyn Shamir said that The company’s “Employee PAC continues to adhere to longstanding principles of nonpartisan political engagement in support of our business interests.”
Randy Hargrove, a Walmart spokesman, said the company has resumed giving select members of Congress who voted against election certification after Jan. 6 a reevaluation for several months.
“We have long believed that we can advocate more effectively on behalf of our partners, customers, communities and shareholders by engaging with policymakers from both parties. While our political contributions do not mean that we are an elected While we support every point of view of the officer, we will contribute to those that are focused on issues important to our business,” he said.
In a statement, Jeanine Zinivan, a spokeswoman for automaker GM, did not directly address the contribution, but said the company’s “employee-funded PAC supports the election of US federal and state candidates who promote sound business.” policies, supporting American workers and understanding the importance of a strong domestic auto industry as we pursue a full-electric vehicle future.
By the end of 2021, at least 43 political committees affiliated with companies that had initially spoken out after January 6 resumed political donations to members who voted against election certification. The cash flow increased further in 2022 as the midterms approached and Republicans looked poised to reclaim power in Congress, with contributions totaling more than $10.2 million for the election cycle.
Corporate PACs limit what they can contribute to federal office seekers: $5,000 per candidate, per election. They also work in a unique lane of campaign finance law.
Some of the money that ends up in a politician’s campaign accounts comes from a pool of money donated by employees and shareholders—a fact that some corporations sometimes use to distance themselves from the controversies surrounding their PACs. Let’s try to do. But the company is allowed to pay PAC staff or bill for some fundraising expenses such as operating costs.
Even before the events of January 6, a growing number of candidates – largely, but not exclusively, Democrats first elected in the 2018 wave – said they would accept donations from corporate PACs, undermining the influence of money in politics. Will not accept. This scrutiny comes even as corporate PACs make up a smaller and smaller portion of political donations, and despite the fact that most corporate PACs do not donate to candidates who are not already in Congress.
The 147 members objecting to the 2020 election results also raised more than $100 million over the past two years from donors giving less than $200.
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