More Blue-Chip Companies Halt Political Donations After Capitol Riot by Trump Supporters -- Update
By Brody Mullins
WASHINGTON -- A growing wave of big businesses are deciding to
suspend or review their campaign donations in the wake of last
week's riot at the Capitol by supporters of President Trump.
Dow Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Facebook Inc. are among
companies saying on Monday that they are halting or reviewing
campaign donations from their political action committees to
lawmakers and political candidates.
Those announcements follow JPMorgan Chase Inc. and Citigroup
Inc., which said over the weekend they were halting their PAC
donations, while others like Marriott International Inc. and Blue
Cross Blue Shield Associations pledged to stop donations to the
Republican lawmakers who objected to President-elect Joe Biden's
victory in the Electoral College.
"Last week's attempts by some congressional members to subvert
the presidential election results and disrupt the peaceful
transition of power do not align" with company values, said
American Express Inc. Chief Executive Stephen Squeri in a memo sent
to employees Monday, announcing the company's decision to suspend
PAC donations to more than 100 congressional Republicans who voted
to challenge the election results.
Decisions by companies to review or suspend their PAC donations
is the most recent sign of corporate unease with moves by
Republicans to call into question Mr. Biden's victory in the 2020
The decisions may represent a widening fissure between the
Republican Party and big business. Many Republican lawmakers
adopted more populist stances on business issues such as trade and
immigration policy in recent years, positions that have sometimes
put them in conflict with the party's longtime allies in
Chemical giant Dow said it would suspend PAC contributions "to
any member of Congress who voted to object to the certification of
the presidential election" through the end of each elected
official's election cycle, which is up to six years for some
senators. "Dow is committed to the principles of democracy and the
peaceful transfer of power," the company said.
Corporate PACs are just one slice of the political fundraising
efforts, and Washington is in the midst of a transition between
administrations, a slow time for fundraising. Most PACs donate to
candidates closer to elections. Also, many of the dinners and
fundraising events that would typically happen in connection with a
presidential inauguration have been put off because of the Covid-19
Corporate PACs are funded by volunteer donations from
management-level employees and doled out to candidates by
executives, usually in consultation with their lobbyists. PAC
donations are an important source of money for incumbent lawmakers
in both political parties, particularly Republicans in recent
In the 2020 election, Republican candidates and committees
received a total of $205 million in campaign donations from
corporate PACs, according to campaign-finance data compiled by the
nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Democratic candidates
and causes received $155 million from corporate PACs.
Money from corporate PACs helped Republicans make up a deficit
in campaign donations from other sources in the last election. The
Democratic Party and its candidates received nearly 60% of the $3.6
billion donated by corporate executives in the 2020 election,
according to the data.
Last week's votes by some Republicans to challenge the Electoral
College process has prompted many companies to rethink donations
from their PACs. Some companies, such as Goldman Sachs, said it is
temporarily halting donations, and JP Morgan said it is pausing
donations for six months.
FedEx Corp., which for years has operated one of the largest
corporate PACs, said, "We are reviewing all future political
contributions." The company added: "We condemn the violence that
occurred in Washington, D.C., and fully support the results of the
U.S. general election."
FedEx made $984,000 in PAC donations in the 2020 election. About
52% of the contributions went to Democrats during that period.
Other companies said they are reviewing their procedures for
political donations, but will continue to give money through their
Still others like Marriott and Mastercard Inc. have said they
would stop giving to the Republicans whose votes they deemed to
undermine the electoral process. More than 100 Republicans in the
House voted to challenge the election results in certain states
last week. Those Republicans included two of the party's top
leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of
California. A handful of Senate Republicans, including Texas Sen.
Ted Cruz and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, voted to challenge election
--Emily Glazer, Drew FitzGerald and Theo Francis contributed to
Write to Brody Mullins at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 11, 2021 15:49 ET (20:49 GMT)
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