Companies Overlooking Racial Justice Commitments
Dozens of companies publicly opposed the restrictive voting bills passed in the wake of the election and released statements speaking out against any discriminatory legislation. Many others condemned systemic racism during the racial justice protests in the summer of 2020, which followed a series of murders of Black Americans by police and armed vigilantes. But these same companies have continued to fund officials officials both directly and through GOP party committees who have questioned election integrity in order to limit voting rights and claimed that vote totals from cities with significant Black populations and turnout were fraudulent, in order to justify contesting the election results.
Home Depot, JP Morgan, Delta Airlines, UPS and many others spoke out against new voting laws in Georgia as racist, while hundreds of other companies including American Airlines, Ford, General Motors and Johnson & Johnson signed a full page New York Times ad condemning discriminatory voting legislation being passed nationwide. Despite taking these pro-democracy stances in public, many of these companies have continued to fund members of Congress who voted against a free and fair election and the Republican party committees supporting them. The pharmaceutical company Merck, whose CEO co-organized the Times ad, has given $68,000 to the Sedition Caucus and the party committees through its PAC.
New York Times ad via New York TimesDavid Gelles/CREW illustration
Walmart And Amazon Among Donors To Lawmaker Who Promoted Qanon
Corporations donated to re-elect Tennessee state representative Susan Lynn who promoted conspiracy theories on social media
Walmart, Amazon and other corporate giants donated money to the re-election campaign of a Tennessee state lawmaker who used social media to amplify and promote the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to a review of campaign finance records and the candidates posts.
QAnon centers on the baseless belief that Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the deep state and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals. Trump has praised QAnon supporters and often retweets accounts that promote the conspiracy theory.
Corporate support for a QAnon-promoting politician is another example of how the conspiracy theory has penetrated mainstream politics, spreading beyond its origins on internet message boards popular with rightwing extremists.
Dozens of QAnon-promoting candidates have run for federal or state office in this election cycle. Collectively, they have raised millions from thousands of donors. Individually, however, most have run poorly financed campaigns with little or no corporate or party backing. Unlike the state representative Susan Lynn, who chairs the Tennessee house finance committee, few are incumbents who can attract corporate money.
Though she repeatedly posted a well-known QAnon slogan on her Twitter and Facebook accounts, Lynn insisted she did not support the conspiracy theory.
Walmarts Political Dichotomy Is No Surprise
According to WWD, Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon contributed $384 to a political action fund owned by Walmart in January 2016. According to the report, McMillion has a history of contributing to Republican candidates, including U.S. Representative Steve Womack in November 2013 and Senator John Boozman in June 2013 he donated $2,600 and $500 to them, respectively. Currently, McMillion is also an advisor to President Trump.
In contrast, political leanings across members of the Walton family are more mixed but have a tendency to support Democrats.
WWD reports that Alice Walton, one of the heirs to the Walton fortune, contributed to both Republican and Democratic causes and candidates. She is the only daughter of founder Sam Walton and sister to Jim and Samuel Robson Walton. In 2020, Alice has contributed $30,000 to various left leaning political action committees and $11,200 to Democratic candidates. She also donated $11,200 to support Republican candidates this year.
Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton, recently contributed to the Lincoln Project, a left leaning political action committee formed by ex-Republicans who want to prevent Donald Trump from being reelected. Among other donations, she gave $5,800 to Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, $25,000 to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, $100,000 to the cross-partisan group the White House Fund, and $100,000 to a political action committee for the No Labels Movement.
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Big Us Companies Slash Donations To Politicians After Trump Election Challenge
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WASHINGTON – Ten U.S. corporations slashed donations to candidates seeking federal office by more than 90% in January, after pledging to cut off giving to the Republicans who supported former President Donald Trumps attempt to overturn his election defeat.
None of the political action committees of 10 major companies reviewed by Reuters, including Microsoft Corp, Walmart Inc, AT& T Inc and Comcast Corp, donated to any of the 147 congressional Republicans who voted to support Trumps claims just hours after his supporters launched a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Disclosures to the Federal Election Commission ahead of a Saturday filing deadline showed the group of corporate PACs affiliated with those 10 companies made $13,000 in new donations to candidates in January. The reports were the first by the PACs to detail contributions made since the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
The money donated during the month was less than one-tenth the roughly $190,000 the 10 company PACs gave candidates in January 2017, and tiny relative to the roughly $10 million donated to candidates during the 2019-2020 election season. The 147 lawmakers who voted to overturn President Joe Bidens victory had received more than $2 million from those 10 PACs during the last two-year political cycle.
Only committees tied to two of the companies – General Electric Co and American Express Co – reported any new giving to federal candidates in January.
Where Did The Big Money Go
Very large donations in U.S. presidential elections are directed to super PACs or hybrid PACs because of the $5,600 limit on how much an individual can give to a candidates official campaign committee per election cycle. America First Action, a single-candidate, pro-Trump super PAC founded in April 2017 to support his agenda and deliver him a victory, was the primary recipient of funds from his wealthy backers.
Millions of dollars have come into the super PAC from the affiliated America First Policies nonprofit, but because it doesnt disclose its donors, its known as a dark money group, and we cant be certain who contributed to it. Trump supporters may have also given to joint fundraising committees set up for the presidential campaign and the Republican National Committeefor example, Trump Victory or the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.
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Commitment To Democracy Trumped By Business Interests
In the wake of the attack, corporations rushed to condemn the violence and affirm their commitment to democratic values. But many of those promises would soon prove to be nothing more than performative lip service.
Aflac, one of the countrys biggest insurance companies, strongly condemn the disgraceful events that took place and paused giving to ensure contributions remain consistent with core values. By July, however, Aflac had given $48,000 to the Sedition Caucus and the party committees. One recipient, Representative Barry Loudermilk , sits on the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over insurance issues. Three other recipients, Representatives Tom Rice , Adrian Smith and Ron Estes sit on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has power over tax and health care policy that impact the insurance industry.
Auto giant Ford, which also suspended donations, invoked lofty ideals of a peaceful transition of power and promised to reflect on the relevant considerations that guide its giving. Less than four months later, somber reflection gave way to business as usual. To date, Ford has given $44,500 to the Sedition Caucus and party committees, including the ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Representative Sam Graves .
The first companies to abandon their commitments
Toyota calls the attack horrific and promised to reevaluate its giving criteria.
Toyota starts giving to seditionists again.
Walmart Boeing Hallmark Among Companies Pulling Political Contributions After Pro
House introduces resolution calling on Pence to invoke 25th Amendment
Republicans in the House blocked a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office.
LOS ANGELES – A growing number of major companies are halting political donations made to some Republican lawmakers after last weeks insurrection on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer.
Some companies, like Google and Facebook, are halting all political spending.
Other companies, including Airbnb, FedEx and Ford Motor Company, have issued statements condemning the deadly attack and to say they are reevaluating political spending.
Airbnb released the following statement on Monday:
“Airbnb strongly condemns last weeks attack on the US Capitol and the efforts to undermine our democratic process. We will continue to uphold our community policies by banning violent hate group members when we learn of such memberships, and the Airbnb PAC will update its framework and withhold support from those who voted against the certification of the presidential election results.”
American Express, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs
In response to the violent pro-Trump insurrection that occurred last week, AT& T announced on Monday that it will “suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object the certification of Electoral College votes last week.”
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Retail Tech And Financial Giants Are Pulling Pacs
Employees are able to donate to political parties through political action committees, which pool donations from members.
“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election,” a spokeswoman told Insider.
Some financial giants have also made the move. A Morgan Stanley representative told Bloomberg the firm would also halt donations to the GOP lawmakers who voted against certifying Biden’s win, and Commerce Bank is similarly halting PAC contributions to officials who it said had “impeded the peaceful transfer of power.”
The chemical giant Dow told Insider it would suspend funding to those Republicans for one election cycle, including contributions to the candidates’ reelection committee and their affiliated PACs. The company added that it was “committed to the principles of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power” and said its values guided its political contributions.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which provides healthcare coverage to about 100 million Americans, said it would suspend contributions “to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy.”
Disney Walmart Say They Will Block Donations To Lawmakers Who Objected To Electoral College Results
Disney and Walmart became the latest companies to announce they will halt any donations to lawmakers who objected to certifying the Electoral College results last week.
The rebukes from the two giants marked the newest salvo in a burgeoning rebuke from corporate America against politicians looked to subvert the presidential election. Companies have begun scrambling to disavow their support for lawmakers who voted against certification after evidence-challenged claims that the presidential race was fraudulent helped fuel a deadly riot at the Capitol last week.
Disney, the worlds largest entertainment firm, said it would not make any donations in 2021 to those who voted against certifying the Electoral Colleges results showing President-elect Joe Biden defeating President Trump by a 306-232 margin.
The insurrection at our nations Capitol was a direct assault on one of our countrys most revered tenets: the peaceful transition of power. In the immediate aftermath of that appalling siege, Members of Congress had an opportunity to unitean opportunity that some sadly refused to embrace. In light of these events, we have decided we will not make political contributions in 2021 to lawmakers who voted to reject the certification of the Electoral College votes, the company said in a statement.
Walmart, the nations largest retail company, said it will review its donations but is indefinitely suspending contributions to lawmakers who voted against certification.
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Corporations Reneged On Promises To End Funding To Politicians Who Lied About The 2020 Election
After the shocking incursion, anger over the events of that day was widespread. Many US corporations said they would stop donating to the campaign funds of the 140 Republican politicians who voted to reject election results from states where Biden won the election fair and square. These actions would provide the bare minimum of sanction for undermining the rule of law in the US.
Well, ha. It didnt take long for major businesses to forget about the rule of law and get back to the business of paying for access to legislators. Todays hearing, the first of several designed to probe the events of that day and dispel lies about what happened, is a good opportunity to highlight some of the recidivist firms who have no problem backing politicians willing to strip away Americans right to vote.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington keeps track of which businesses are donating to members of the sedition caucus, the 147 senators and members of congress who voted to reject voters in Arizona and Georgia. No evidence was brought then or now to suggest the results of the votes in those states were compromised.
Its worth noting the companies who appear to have stuck by their promise to avoid donating to lawmakers who voted to throw out legally cast votes. Amazons corporate political action committee hasnt reported any donations to the Federal Election Commission this year, nor have the two operated by megabank JPMorgan Chase.
Walmart Heir Jim Walton Donates $12b Of His Fortune Report Says
Walton, the youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, donated $1.2 billion worth of the retail giants shares, according to a June 27 regulatory filing reported by Bloomberg. Its unclear where the money went, but the family has been known to give money to the Walton Family Foundation, which supports several organizations focused on helping education and the environment.
Walton has a net worth of $50.9 billion, Forbes reported. His older brother, Rob Walton who has a net worth of $49.8 billion, also donated $15 million worth of his Walmart shares last week, a separate filing revealed.
Jim Walton donated $1.2 billion worth of his Walmart shares.
The Waltons joined two other billionaires who recently announced they will donate a large chunk of their fortune.
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett said Monday he will convert 11,250 of his Class A shares into nearly 17 million Class B shares, which amount to about $3.6 billion. The billionaire added he will be giving the money to five foundations Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.
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Walmart And Oracle Support Trump’s Idea For Tiktok Education Fund
Walmart has agreed to back an education fund as part of a deal between the retailer and Oracle to partner with Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The financial contribution will come from the new company, which is to be called TikTok Global, that emerges from the unusual transaction. The arrangement will allow the app to continue operating in the U.S. after the Trump administration threatened to ban it over national security concerns. Yet to be decided is how large of a contribution Walmart and Oracle would sign off on to the fund and how it would be used.
Walmart and Oracle are looking to take a stake of up to 20% of TikTok Global. TikTok’s current owner, Beijing-based ByteDance, and possibly its investors, would get 80% of the newly formed U.S.-based entity that will be the new official owner of the popular video platform.
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New York Walmart CEO Doug McMillon lamented Tuesday that the baseless claims of a stolen election pushed by President Donald Trump and his allies have further inflamed America at a time of peril.
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Biggest Companies That Support Trump
The 10 biggest companies that support Trump are mostly composed of giant retail stores based in the U.S. This is because despite the U.S Presidents conglomerate being mostly focused on real estate development and property management, both Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump also produce and sell items such as menswear, womens fashion, home items, and even wines.
Several billionaires expressed support for Trump while he was still running for President. Those bigwigs included Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal Holdings Inc activist investor Carl Icahn and T. Boone Pickens, chairman of hedge fund BP Capital Management. But the biggest companies that support Trump are mostly retailers, since they carry many of the familys brand-name goods.
While President Trump adamantly advocates American-made products to put America First, a number of his and Ivankas products were actually manufactured overseas. Some of their apparel has been shown to have been made in China, Bangladesh and Vietnam, while home items were made in China, Turkey and India. Trump Vodka was created in the Netherlands.
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