"Trump Won", Corporations have reverted back to donating millions to election objectors

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Jan 6, 2022, 10:44:20 PMJan 6
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One year ago, supporters of Donald Trump carried out a violent attack on
the U.S. Capitol based on false claims of a stolen election. That day, 147
Republican lawmakers voted to overturn the election results of at least
one of the states that voted for Joe Biden.

Major U.S. corporations responded by vowing to halt donations to
Republicans who objected to certifying Joe Biden as president. But the
money began trickling back to those lawmakers within months. Now, a host
of new research around the one-year anniversary of the attack finds that
millions of dollars are once again flowing freely to these Republicans
from businesses as well as individuals.

"The way that has played out over the past year has not been necessarily
in line with what all of the companies promised," Anna Massoglia,
investigative researcher at a transparency group called OpenSecrets, told
Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday.

She adds that some "have gone back to political giving somewhat entirely
over the past year."

Her group — a DC-based nonprofit that has tracked money in politics for
decades — finds that election objectors are among the top fundraisers
overall among Republican lawmakers heading into this year’s midterm
elections.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who voted against certifying
Arizona’s vote before visiting Trump in Florida a few weeks later — raised
nearly $9.1 million in the first nine months of 2021, according to the
group. That puts him as the highest fundraiser in the House Republican
conference.

Renewed corporate giving
OpenSecrets is not the only group looking into funding of election
objectors. A self-described nonpartisan, progressive group called
accountable.us released an “interactive report” around this week’s
anniversary focused on 30 corporations and trade groups — from Chevron to
the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association — whose “promises were
broken when they funneled millions of dollars to election objectors in
Congress.”

The group says that over $8.1 million in corporate or trade group
donations have flowed to the 147 members of Congress in recent months.
Topping the list of givers is the American Bankers Association with
$203,000 in donations. The publicly traded companies high up on the list
include Boeing (BA), Raytheon (RTX), and UPS (UPS). The group says $1.2
million flowed to the lawmakers last November alone.

Another report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
(CREW) pegs the total much higher. CREW says 717 corporations and industry
groups have sent a full $18 million towards these members of Congress
since the insurrection based on the fact that it counts donations directly
to lawmakers as well as the money flowing to their leadership PACs and
party committees that support them.

And even $18 million is not a complete accounting, Massoglia says.
"[Companies] have a number of other ways to flex their political muscle,
such as giving through what are called dark money groups," she added,
referring to those organized as 501(c)(4) nonprofits that don't have to
disclose their donors.

"There may be a lot more happening behind the scenes," she says.

Employee sentiments
Accountable.us also looked at the issue from the perspective of employees.
The group surveyed full-time white collar workers in November and December
and found 62% said they would be more favorable to their employer if they
knew it publicly opposed the insurrection. Over half of those workers
would be less favorable to their employer if they knew it donated to a
lawmaker who supported the Jan. 6 attack.

"I think the message to businesses is that they can't ignore or avoid
these consequential issues," Matt Canter of Global Strategy Group, which
partnered on the survey, told Yahoo Finance.

The pressure has had some concrete effects. Toyota (TM) made headlines
last year for its donations to election objectors but then announced in
July it was suspending donations to those 147 lawmakers.

But it remains a tricky balance for companies. A wave of media polling
released this week found a committed number of Americans still falsely
believe Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud.

In just one example, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that only 9% of
Trump’s voters think Joe Biden “won fair and square.” Similarly, the
Accountable.us/Global Strategy Group survey found that Republicans are
largely split on their companies and donations. Thirty-three percent of
Republicans said knowing their company donated to a Jan. 6 candidate would
actually make them more favorable to them compared to 31% who would feel
less favorable.

Ben Werschkul is a writer and producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington,
DC.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/corporations-donating-millions-to-election-
objectors-220800151.html
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