WASHINGTON (AP) – Corporate America is distancing itself from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies, with many of the biggest names in the business – Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, Ford and Comcast – robbed by Trump-inspired crowds Suspending the political don after leaving the US Capitol in a deadly and violent race last Wednesday.
For now, the move is about reaffirming the rule of law and the clear results of the election, which would elevate Democrat Joe Biden to the presidency. But it also hints that companies are rising up about lawmakers who supported Trump’s false claims of electoral fraud, possibly denying Republicans a withdrawal from business groups that recently exposed the GOP’s political brand Were hearts.
“It’s spreading like wildfire,” said Jeffrey Sonnfeld, a professor at Yale University’s School of Management who consulted with the CEO. “The American business community has full interests in alignment with the American public and not with Trump’s autocratic bigoted wing of the GOP.”
Yet donations withheld by several companies – including Marriott, American Express, AT&T, JPMorgan Chase, Dow, American Airlines and others – were unlikely to give a serious blow to Republicans in Congress who overtook Biden’s victory. Voted for.
Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said, “These are symbolic pledges, a nonpartisan group that plays a role in politics.” It’s just one source of revenue and for some it’s missing, especially in the Senate. “
Corporate-sponsored political action committees are limited to donating $ 5,000 per candidate each year. In races, which often cost millions of dollars, such contributions account for just a small fraction of the overall fundraising picture.
Take Sen. Josh Hawley. Missouri Republicans have long attracted widespread scattering, including supporters and Senate Republican leadership, to declare that they have become first-time senators, who would oppose the certification of Biden’s victory.
Since 2017, when it began its Senate bid, approximately $ 754,000 of the $ 11.8 million raised by it came only from corporate PACs and business groups. According to an analysis of campaign finance disclosures, it accounted for about 15% of its total fundraising.
What’s more, Hawley was not the biggest spend in his race. Outside conservative groups, including those associated with the Republican leadership, dropped the lion’s share of the money, which helped him oust former Democratic Sen. Claire McAskill. Such groups are largely inspired by corporate donation poses.
Nevertheless, greeting card maker Hallmark went a step further than most companies. The Kansas City-based company has asked both Hawley and recently elected Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall to return their contributions as their votes opposed Biden’s victory.
Hallmark spokesman Xiao Xiao Shen said in a statement, “Hallmark believes that the peaceful transformation of power is part of the basis of our democratic system, and we commit violence of any kind.”
A PAC for the company has donated $ 7,000 to the FEC record show, Marshall. The company says it has also donated $ 5,000 to Hawley.
However, in many cases, most companies are skeptical of giving only for several months, leaving enough time to donate before the 2022 elections.
“They are hiding until the news cycle is over,” said Eric Gordon, a professor of law and business at the University of Michigan. “They will return with their checkbooks, and the politicians who are already gearing up for the 2022 congressional elections are waiting at the back door.”
Even if Trump sold himself to voters as a billionaire guru with a Midas-like grip on the economy, many business leaders had already quietly shied away from a president who had cracked down on business, fueling racism , Had halted immigration and failed to contain a deadly ubiquitous epidemic.
But the rejection intensified after the crowd raged at the Washington rally and urged them to march to the Capitol on Wednesday.
Since then, technology companies have denied Trump’s use of services for political operations. Payment firm Stripe has halted processing donations for Trump campaign committees, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because the decision has not been made public.
The move could cut Trump’s fundraising hand in what has been a steady stream of small-dollar donations that are often given through email and text messages. The strip’s decision was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Shopify, an e-commerce platform for merchants to sell goods, shut down the Trump campaign’s trading website, as well as other tech companies, including Twitter, Facebook and Amazon, to impose new restrictions on Trump’s movement due to violence.
Major business groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable and the US Chamber of Commerce all condemned the insurance companies. Yet these same groups also acted in support of Trump’s 2017 tax cuts and will face a Biden administration that wants to raise corporate taxes, a sign that they may not be fully aligned with a political party.
Some ethics watchers were surprised at how quickly companies responded by suspending their donations.
“It seems to be honest for many of the corporations,” said Craig Holman, a campaign finance expert with Public Citizen, a liberal consumer advocacy organization. “There was no major public push or pressure to obtain Marriott and to announce to others that they would no longer contribute campaigns. He did it on his own – he shocked everyone in the campaign finance community. “
The response has not been uniformed by corporations. The chemical company Dow said it would suspend contributions for the next two years for any member of Congress who objected to the certification of the Electoral College. Airbnb said it would also block the support of those MPs.
Some companies are trying to avoid politics altogether after last week’s riots. Citigroup confirmed on Sunday that it was withholding all federal political donations, including Democratic lawmakers, for the first three months of the year.
“We want to assure you that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” said a memo from Candy Wolfe, the city’s head of global government affairs. He said that once the president’s transition is complete, the country can expect these events to be “stronger and more united”.
The decision by Citigroup and others to block all political contributions angered some Democrats, who said they were being punished for the violence that arose with Republicans and that five people were killed.
“This is not the time to say that both sides have done this,” said New York Rep. Sean Shawn on MSNBC. “What did the Democrats do this week, except for the Constitution and the rule of law?”
This story has been corrected to show that the next congressional elections will be held in 2022 and not 2020. AP Business reporter Ken Sweet from Charlotte, North Carolina contributed to this report.