Aug 26, 2022
Political action committees started by corporations which denounced the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol are among those that have poured more than $22 million into the coffers of Republican lawmakers who have promoted the "Big Lie" that fueled the attack, according to a new analysis.
"Many of these companies are likely betting that people aren't paying attention anymore, and that they won't face backlash for funding seditionists."
The government watchdog OpenSecrets published a report late Thursday showing that corporate PACs have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to many of the Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 election results and promoted former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that President Joe Biden's victory was fraudulent.
Just after the January 6 attack--which followed Trump's call for his supporters to march to the Capitol and "make [their] voices heard" by the lawmakers certifying the election results and claims from across the Republican caucus that the election was rife with fraud--companies and groups including the American Bankers Association, Pfizer, and Boeing denounced the insurrection.
Those same companies, however, were among those that continued to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawmakers whose lies fueled the attack, which left at least seven people dead.
\u201cNEW on @OpenSecretsDC with @srijitad_: Corporate PACs gave over $22.2 million to GOP election objectors in Congress since they voted against certifying 2020 presidential election results on the date of the Jan. 6th Capitol attack https://t.co/cWarAUmv0Z\u201d— Anna Massoglia (@Anna Massoglia) 1661464787
Boeing President David Calhoun released a statement following the attack saying, "The vote of the people and the peaceful transition of government are core to our democracy," but between January 7, 2021 and June 30, 2022, the military contractor donated more than $500,000 to 27 members of Congress who denied the election results were legitimate.
Boeing's PAC was among the biggest contributors to what critics have dubbed "The Sedition Caucus," including eight GOP senators and 139 House members who voted against certifying the election results, while a committee started by multinational conglomerate Koch Industries has contributed more than $607,000 to 52 of the lawmakers since the attack.
Home Depot gave nearly $600,000 to 44 members and the United Parcel Service donated more than $500,000 in corporate PAC contributions.
Out of all the lawmakers who have backed Trump's Big Lie, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was the biggest recipient of donations from corporate PACs, with his campaign and leadership PAC raking in $921,400 from companies including Comcast and Wells Fargo since January 6.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) received more than $700,000 and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) received more than $600,000, while four other House members each took more than $519,000.
In the Senate, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) has been the biggest recipient of corporate PAC money in the "Sedition Caucus," taking more than $334,000 for his campaign. His leadership PAC received an additional $70,000.
Other top recipients in the Senate include Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.), who received $167,000 in corporate PAC contributions; Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who took $133,500; and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who accepted $31,500 from corporate PACs including those of Boeing and Community Bancshares of Mississippi, which said after January 6 that it "suspended all support for officials who have impeded the peaceful transfer of power."
OpenSecrets' analysis comes two days after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said that corporate donations to the "Sedition Caucus," including those from PACs and other industry groups, now total more than $52 million.
Nearly $100,000 has gone to lawmakers who both rejected the 2020 election results and sought presidential pardons after the insurrection.
\u201cThe Pardon Caucus has benefitted from nearly $100,000 in corporate donations from companies like @GM, @Toyota and @LockheedMartin\u2014all of whom might want to rethink giving to members who thought they likely broke the law while trying to keep Trump in power.\u201d— Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics) 1661366086
"$50 million is a lot of corporate cash helping re-elect the Sedition Caucus," said CREW, "and many of these companies are likely betting that people aren't paying attention anymore, and that they won't face backlash for funding seditionists."
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