Starting this week, major firms started to suspend political donations in the wake of the Capitol riot last week. Citigroup said it will hold off on all political donations for the first quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, Marriott International announced they are suspending donations to 147 Republican lawmakers. Specifically, they withheld support for objectors to the Electoral College count last week.
Citigroup Halts All Federal Donations
Citi announced that it will stop all federal contributions for the time being. Candi Wolff, head of global government affairs, said Citi “will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law.” She added, “We support engaging with our political leaders even when we disagree, and our PAC is an important tool for that engagement.”
In 2019, Citigroup donated $1,000 to the campaign of Republican Senator Josh Hawley. Hawley hails from Montana. a state where the company employs a lot of workers. In total, Citi’s political action committee gave $742,000 to federal candidates last year. $413,500, or more than half, went to Republicans.
Other Companies Following Suit
Boston Scientific, a medical devices firm, also announced it is suspending its donations. In addition, the company will review its approach to political donations. The company will reconsider helping those who support “the integrity of the democratic process, the election outcome, and the peaceful transition of power.”
Meanwhile, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association will also suspend donations to lawmakers who objected to the Electoral College results. The association, a health care group representing 36 regional and local insurers, will revisit their policies on donations.
Kim Keck, CEO, and president says its support to politicians who work to “build a stronger, healthier nation” will continue.
Marriott said on Sunday that they have considered “the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration.” All lawmakers who objected will not receive their usual support from Marriott. Last 2019, Marriott, through its PAC, donated $108,500 to Democrats and $89,500 to Republicans.
JPMorgan Also Halting its Donations
JP Morgan, one of the country’s largest banks, announced they will stop federal donations to politicians for the next six months. Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility, said that “The focus of business leaders, political leaders, civic leaders right now should be on governing and getting help to those who desperately need it most right now. There will be plenty of time for campaigning later.”
During the 2019-2020 campaign, JPMorgan raised around $900,000 and gave 60% to Republicans. Since 2017, JPMorgan’s PAC gave $2,000 to a committee headed by Hawley. Like other big financial firms, JPMorgan’s also have employees who donate directly to individual politicians. Given the development, even other employees and CEOs are now considering withholding political contributions.
Trump Campaign Also Hit
The Capitol riot not only affected political contributions. It also took a toll on President Donald Trump’s campaign fund and his business interests. Digital payment company Stripe announced they will stop processing payments for the Trump campaign website. The Trump campaign site still accepts donations. Funds raised will help pay for current court cases contesting the election results.
In addition, the Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) announced it will no longer hold its 2022 premier championship at Trump’s Bedminster course. PGA CEO Seth Waugh said that “We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission, and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was given the tragic events of Wednesday that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”
Watch the Business News feature reporting that four major corporations are suspending contributions through their corporate PACs to Republican lawmakers involved in the Capitol riots:
Considering the effect of the Capitol events last week, companies began reconsidering support. Do you agree with companies who decided to suspend political donations? Also, are political contributions even necessary at this point? Let us know what you think by commenting below.